Which cities in Florida look like Europe?
Florida is known for its sunny beaches but it’s also home to towns that’ll make you feel like you’re in Europe.
These towns and cities have European-style buildings and host festivals that are all about celebrating European culture.
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If you’re looking to soak up some European charm and culture but don’t want to spend a lot of money on an International trip, these places might just quench that thirst!
Of course, it’s not exactly the same as walking in Santorini or even sipping wine in an Italian village, but they do the job of bringing a slice of Europe closer to home!
Ready? Here are the 5 cutest towns and cities in Florida that look like Europe!
Cities in Florida That Look Like Europe
1. St. Augustine
Located on Florida’s northeast coast, St. Augustine could easily be confused with any Spanish city — after all it was founded by Spanish explorers in 1565 — also making it the oldest city in the country!
Walking through St. Augustine, you’re transported to the old streets of Spain with its historic forts like the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, Spanish colonial architecture, and the Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park.
While the architecture gives it away that it has European influences, the entire vibe of the city also adds to it. From carriage rides and narrow streets to the annual Nights of Lights festival reminiscent of a Spanish plaza during the holiday season.
The city’s deep roots in Spanish culture are evident in everything from the street names to the local cuisine, making it a must-visit for anyone seeking a European experience in Florida.
2. Tarpon Springs
Want to feel like you’ve been whisked away to a coastal town in Greece but can’t really be there? We know the exact city you’ll need to visit.
Known for its sponge docks and vibrant Greek community, Tarpon Springs boasts the highest percentage of Greek Americans of any city in the US, so it’s not surprising that the entire historic downtown feels like a coastal Greek Island!
From enjoying the aromas of fresh baklava, souvlaki, and moussaka, the sounds of traditional Greek music, and the sponge boats bobbing in the water (after all it is the Sponge Capital of the World), to Greek architecture, everything about this city screams Greek island port.
The city even organizes the annual Epiphany celebration, the biggest of its kind in the Western hemisphere.
Plus, you don’t have to go far to enjoy it all! It’s just a 45-minute drive from downtown Tampa! Tarpon Springs is actually one of the unique weekend getaways in Florida!
3. Rosemary Beach
With its inviting boardwalks, cobblestone streets, town squares, sidewalk cafes, and dutifully designed homes, Rosemary Beach might make you think you’ve stepped into a village on the Mediterranean coast. Think partly south of France, partly French Quarter in New Orleans.
This beachside community on the Emerald Coast has a layout inspired by the principles of New Urbanism, promoting walkability and community interaction, much like you’d find in the cozy coastal towns of Europe.
The architecture is a blend of French and Dutch West Indies featuring high ceilings, courtyards, and shuttered windows.
You can enjoy open-air markets, sip coffee in quaint cafes, or take leisurely bike rides along pathways lined with greenery.
4. Alys Beach
You might confuse Alys Beach for either Mykonos or Santorini but we won’t judge you for it because there is a striking resemblance between these Greek islands and Florida Panhandle’s coastal city.
Right by the pristine white sands and clear waters, Alys Beach welcomes you with its spotless white buildings that rival Santorini’s famed palette.
While it is more of a laid-back place where you can spend a day contemplating its beauty at the pool or at the beach, for those who prefer exploring, the town’s layout makes it easy to discover on foot or by bike, with cute boutiques and galleries dotting the way.
Dunedin doesn’t quite mirror the typical European city in its architecture or layout, but it does possess a strong European influence, particularly Scottish.
Its name, the Scottish Gaelic word for Edinburgh even reflects its heritage. To date, Dunedin still maintains a strong connection to its Scottish roots, with cultural events such as the Dunedin Highland Games and festivals showcasing traditional music, dance, and athletics.
While it may not have the ancient cobblestone streets or the centuries-old buildings found in European cities, Dunedin’s celebration of its European heritage offers a different kind of old-world charm. You’ll also find roads and neighborhoods with Scottish names.
Final Thoughts on Cities in Florida That Look Like Europe
With these European-inspired towns and cities, it’s clear that the Sunshine State holds more than just beaches and commercialized downtowns.
From the Spanish influences of St. Augustine, and the Greek vibes of Tarpon Springs, to the Mediterranean charm of Alys Beach, each town offers a unique touch of Europe.
These communities celebrate their rich cultural heritage, allowing you to explore internationally inspired architecture, indulge in diverse cuisines, and partake in cultural festivities without leaving the country.
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