10 Places that Resemble the Caribbean in Florida!

Florida is a treasure trove of destinations that evoke the charm and beauty of the Caribbean, offering stunning beaches, clear waters, and vibrant communities.

carribean beach

For those residing in or visiting Tallahassee, several of these tropical paradises are within reach, providing perfect getaways without leaving the state. Whether you’re seeking a lively atmosphere with plenty of activities or a serene retreat to unwind, Florida’s diverse locales cater to every preference.

Here’s a guide to ten places in Florida that resemble the Caribbean, each offering its unique allure and all within a manageable distance from Tallahassee.

key west

Key West:

The southernmost point in the U.S., Key West is known for its crystal-clear waters, lively Duval Street, historic sites like Ernest Hemingway’s home, and a vibrant, laid-back atmosphere. There aren’t really beaches in the historic district but there is a few nearby like Smather’s beach!

Distance from Tallahassee: Approximately 485 miles. Driving takes around 8-9 hours (usually 12 with traffic!), but you can also fly to Key West International Airport. You also have the option of taking the fast cat ferry from Ft. Meyers!



Located in the Florida Keys, Islamorada is famous for its stunning coral reefs, excellent fishing, water sports, and tropical feel. It’s known as the “Sport Fishing Capital of the World.”

Distance from Tallahassee: Approximately 460 miles. Driving takes around 8 hours. Can fly into Miami and get there quick with a rental car!

sanibel island

Sanibel Island:

Sanibel Island is known for its shell-filled beaches, wildlife refuges, and laid-back atmosphere. The island is a great place for shelling, biking, and enjoying nature. Sanibel and Captiva Islands are renowned worldwide as the ultimate destination for those seeking an idyllic, low-key beach vacation.

Distance from Tallahassee: Approximately 360 miles. Driving takes around 6-7 hours.

captiva island

Captiva Island:

Connected to Sanibel Island, Captiva Island offers white sandy beaches, lush vegetation, and a charming, secluded ambiance. It’s ideal for a peaceful retreat.

Distance from Tallahassee: Approximately 370 miles. Driving takes around 6-7 hours.



Located on the Gulf Coast, Naples boasts beautiful beaches, upscale dining, shopping, and a tropical, resort-like environment. It’s known for its luxury, golf courses, and arts scene. Beaches in Naples are one of the iconic reasons people come to this stunning city, with endless stretches of white sand, clear, warm waters and fun in the sun.

Distance from Tallahassee: Approximately 420 miles. Driving takes around 6-7 hours.

marco island

Marco Island:

This island in the Gulf of Mexico offers beautiful beaches, clear waters, and a variety of water sports. Marco Island has a relaxed vibe with plenty of opportunities for boating and fishing.

With 6 miles of pristine white sand beaches and crystal blue Gulf waters, Marco Island’s coastline is a stunning tropical paradise. It’s no wonder these beaches are consistently ranked among the best, attracting visitors from all over the world. The island offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, tranquility, and recreational activities, making it an ideal destination for beach lovers and adventure seekers alike. Whether you’re looking to relax under the sun, explore the vibrant marine life, or indulge in water sports, Marco Island provides an unforgettable beach experience.

Distance from Tallahassee: Approximately 430 miles. Driving takes around 7-8 hours.

siesta key

Siesta Key:

Known for its powdery white sand and turquoise waters, Siesta Key Beach consistently ranks among the best beaches in the U.S. The area offers a lively beach scene and plenty of outdoor activities.

Siesta Key, an enchanting barrier island off the coast of Sarasota, Florida, is renowned for its 8 miles of powdery white sand beaches and tranquil turquoise waters. The island’s sand, composed of 99% pure quartz, stays cool to the touch even on the hottest days, providing a unique and comfortable beach experience.

Distance from Tallahassee: Approximately 290 miles. Driving takes around 5-6 hours.

clearwater beach

Clearwater Beach:

With its soft white sand and clear Gulf waters, Clearwater Beach offers a Caribbean-like beach experience. It has vibrant nightlife, water sports, and family-friendly attractions.

Distance from Tallahassee: Approximately 245 miles. Driving takes around 4-5 hours.

destin beach


Located in the Florida Panhandle, Destin is known for its emerald-green waters and sugar-white sands. It offers excellent fishing, boating, and a lively harbor area. It can be crowded but if you go off season you can sometimes get the beach to yourself!

Distance from Tallahassee: Approximately 165 miles. Driving takes around 3-4 hours.

longboat key

Longboat Key:

Longboat Key, a serene barrier island nestled along Florida’s Gulf Coast, stretches for 11 miles and offers a tranquil retreat with its beautiful white sand beaches and emerald green waters. Known for its upscale ambiance and relaxed atmosphere, Longboat Key is a haven for those seeking peace and luxury.

The island boasts a variety of high-end resorts, gourmet dining options, and championship golf courses, making it an ideal destination for sophisticated travelers. Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the island’s abundant wildlife and scenic beauty, while beachgoers can enjoy the uncrowded shores and stunning sunsets. There aren’t many parking spots for the public beaches here. It is better to rent and stay at this one!

Distance from Tallahassee: Approximately 300 miles. Driving takes around 4.5 to 5.5 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

These destinations provide a variety of experiences, from vibrant nightlife and cultural activities to peaceful retreats and outdoor adventures, all within a day’s drive or a short flight from Tallahassee.