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The Best Florida Villas for a Nature Retreat in 2023

  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 14 June 2023
  • Revised 30 August 2023
The Best Florida Villas for a Nature Retreat in 2023
  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 14 June 2023
  • Revised 30 August 2023
The Best Florida Villas for a Nature Retreat in 2023
  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 14 June 2023
  • Revised 30 August 2023

Holidays are all about the perfect combinations, like the sand and sea, sunsets and selfies - or villas and natural surroundings. After all, after a day of city attractions, what could be better than a bit of R&R amidst Florida's subtropical paradise? And we’ve got just the villas for you. Situated along the pristine Gulf Coast and in Orlando’s flourishing backyard, they offer the opportunity to explore white sand beaches, vibrant woods and protected nature reserves.

Here are the very best Florida villas for an unforgettable nature retreat in 2023 and beyond...

Charlotte Harbor Area

Adjacent to Florida’s third-largest state park is Charlotte Harbor Area Villas, set alongside the scenic waterways of Punta Gorda. Besides exploring the gleaming canals by kayak or boat and soaking up the soothing sunshine in your private lanai area, why not discover the emerald environment of Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park?

At Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park, you can roam leafy nature trails on foot or bike through pine flatwoods leading to thriving mangrove forests. Or rent a canoe and journey through the estuary to discover the primitive wilderness of this environment. And when you want a change of scenery, you can head to Port Charlotte Beach Park to feel the sand beneath your feet

Located near Fort Myers, Charlotte Harbor also offers a delightful conservation area that can be easily reached within a 40-minute drive. This close proximity ensures all roads lead to a serene nature retreat.

Anna Maria Island

If your idea of a nature retreat involves unwinding on the beach, then we have the perfect destination for you. Anna Maria Island, one of Florida's best-kept secrets, offers a serene and uncrowded environment, stunning powder-white sand and picturesque aquamarine waters along the Gulf Coast.

At your Anna Maria Island villa, the beach is a leisurely stroll away. Alongside its pristine 7-mile stretch of idyllic beach, Anna Maria Island is also home to the Leffis Key Preserve. Situated in the island’s south, this hidden gem is a sanctuary of mangrove forests. You can explore the boardwalk path that winds through the preserve, and if you climb the 26-ft high hill, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay.

If you’re still craving more outdoor adventures, cross the Anna Maria Island Bridge to Neal Preserve. This expansive 120-acre wetland is a haven for birdwatchers and offers various trails that meander through oak hammocks and mangrove forests. You can even climb an observation tower that provides a panoramic view of Anna Maria Island.

For lazy days, you can always treat yourself to a refreshing dip in your private pool overlooking the lush landscapes.

Sanibel Island

Another dreamy beach destination, and considered one of Florida’s top shelling shorelines, you’ll find quiet stretches of immaculate coastline on Sanibel Island. What's more, when staying at a Sanibel condo on the Punta Rassa Peninsula, you can be only 10 minutes away from this slice of paradise.

Enjoy glorious seascapes from your bayfront balcony, perfect for admiring the golden sunset dip below the horizon. And with a private beach in front of your villa, you can bask in the sumptuous solitude of this sugar-sand bay.

To extend your nature retreat, we recommend visiting the J.N Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, a conversation for 270 bird species and protected mangrove ecosystems on Sanibel Island. Here, you can traverse the wildlife trails through the hardwood hammock forests, or rent a kayak to navigate the refuge’s waters. 

And if whale watching and dolphin spotting are on your bucket list, it's time to rewrite it. Board a boat tour at Captiva Island in the north to discover these fascinating marine mammals in their natural environment. 

Emerald Island Resort

If you’re holidaying in Central Florida, you can immerse yourself in the luscious greenery at Emerald Island Resort. Located on Disney’s doorstep, you’ll be (and feel) less than 6 miles from The Happiest Place on Earth. Moreover, the Emerald Island Resort offers the perfect balance between being close enough to action yet far enough to still enjoy a tranquil nature retreat. 

Right in the middle of the community, you will find 30 acres of conversation that are home to 11 densely wooded areas waiting to be explored. Here, you can revel in nature walks in the shaded forests and, when you need a refreshment, just head to the palm-tree-populated resort clubhouse overlooking the gleaming lakes. 

No matter where you venture in this luscious community, from the sports courts to the resort swimming pool and your immaculate home, you’ll feel enveloped by beautiful nature.

Watersong Resort

Nestled in the exquisite countryside of Davenport, just a short 30-minute drive from Walt Disney World, lies the captivating Watersong Resort. Surrounded by stunning lakes, opulent woodlands, and thriving wildlife, this destination offers a carefree escape. 

Stroll along the resort's nature trails that wind through subtropical groves and you can marvel at the sight of turtles along the lakeside. Better yet, you’ll feel like you’re in a wildlife sanctuary as you observe deer grazing in the fields and raccoons scurrying about in the forest. 

You can even find a villa overlooking the lakeside or backed by the conservation area, allowing you to enjoy your private swimming pool amind the natural views.

Veranda Palms Resort

Perfectly situated amidst the breathtaking beauty of Shingle Creek Regional Park, Veranda Palms Resort is home to the headwaters of the Florida Everglades. The resort also features several lakes that can be overlooked from the comfort of your outdoor swimming pool.

We also recommend embarking on invigorating hikes or bike rides through the lush woods or casting your fishing line by the calming lakeside. For a truly immersive experience, you can even glide across the water on a paddleboard.

Bella Vida Resort

Bella Vida Resort combines Mediterranean flair with Floridian culture. Besides 15 acres of glittering lakes, Bella Vida Resort boasts a stunning swimming pool area designed like an Italian garden with terracotta chess tiles, manicured pot plants, a lavish fountain, and swaying palm trees.

Picture waking up in your holiday villa, stepping out onto your private lanai bathed in glorious sunshine, and being greeted by breathtaking views of the resort's serene lake. You can also venture on numerous walking trails through this picturesque estate, before stopping to admire the glorious 25-foot waterfall.

Ready to find your home-from-home? Check out our award-winning Florida Villa Holidays for 2024 & 2025.

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