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Best Kept Secrets of Goodland Florida

Where is Goodland Florida?

Never heard of Goodland Florida? Goodland is in southwest Florida in Collier County. This small village is adjacent to Marco Island, one of the most famous tourist destinations in Florida (see the map below). Better known Naples Florida is just 45 minutes away.

Discovering the Best-Kept Secrets of Goodland Florida

Nestled along the serene waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Goodland, Florida, is a hidden gem that boasts a treasure trove of secrets waiting to be discovered. This picturesque waterfront community, located just a stone’s throw away from Marco Island, offers a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

secrets of Goodland Florida
This picture represents the area around the village of Goodland Florida.

But what sets Goodland apart from other coastal destinations? It’s the best-kept secrets that lie within its charming streets and welcoming locals. 

From mouthwatering seafood shacks serving up the catch of the day to quaint art galleries showcasing the talent of local artisans, Goodland offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and small-town charm.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast looking to explore the scenic trails of the nearby Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge or a foodie eager to indulge in the flavors of the sea, Goodland promises to delight and captivate visitors from all walks of life. So, grab your camera, pack your appetite, and get ready to uncover the best kept secrets of Goodland Florida.

History and Background of Goodland

Goodland, Florida, may be small in size, but it has a rich history that dates back centuries. Originally inhabited by the Calusa Indians, who thrived on the abundant seafood and natural resources of the area, Goodland later became a fishing village in the late 1800s. The village grew as fishing became a major industry, and the local community became closely connected with the sea.

A local blogger has pieced together to as much history as possible in this post. Some of the family names in Goodland go back for decades. For better information about the Goodland area, the Marco Island Museum a few miles away has more detail.

Over the years, Goodland has retained its small-town charm and strong ties to its maritime heritage. The streets are lined with colorful cottages and charming shops, giving the town a distinct character. 

Today, Goodland is home to a close-knit community of locals who take pride in their town’s history and work tirelessly to preserve its unique identity. The town was a fishing village one hundred years ago and it is still steeped in that tradition.

Hidden Gems and Local Attractions in Goodland Florida

For nature enthusiasts, a visit to the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge is a must. This vast expanse of mangrove islands, tidal creeks, and marshes is home to an incredible array of wildlife, including manatees, dolphins, and a variety of bird species. Visitors can explore the refuge by kayak or boat, immersing themselves in the natural beauty of the area and getting up close and personal with the local wildlife.


secrets of goodland florida views
This is a typical view all around Goodland Florida. The islands in the distance are part of the Ten Thousand Islands of the Everglades.

The Waters Around Goodland Florida

Goodland is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities and recreational opportunities for visitors of all ages. One of the most popular activities is fishing, with the waters surrounding Goodland teeming with a variety of fish species. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a novice looking to try your hand at fishing for the first time, there are plenty of charter boats and fishing guides available to help you make the most of your fishing adventure.

If you prefer to stay on land, Goodland is also near to several scenic nature trails that are perfect for hiking, biking, or simply taking a leisurely stroll. The Marco Island Nature Preserve, located just a short drive from Goodland, offers miles of trails that wind through pristine mangrove forests and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

things you need when flying

Best Places to Eat and Drink in Goodland Florida

secrets of goodland florida
Blue Crabs in the area around Goodland Florida are plentiful Most of the restaurants, like the Crabby Lady, make dishes using this delicacy.

When it comes to dining in Goodland, seafood is king. The town is famous for its fresh seafood, and there are several local restaurants that serve up the catch of the day in a variety of delicious preparations.

Many of the restaurants in Goodland are seasonal. We recommend calling if you are going to Goodland between July and October 1st.

The best restaurants in Goodland include:

The Crabby Lady – waterfront, Goodland (our favorite restaurant choice!). About  two feet from the water in the bay, excellent crab selections and very relaxed staff. (Open Year Round)

The Little Bar Restaurant – waterfront, Goodland

Paradise Found – waterfront, Goodland

secrests of goodland florida crab dip
Best Blue Crab Dip we ever had was on a Goodland Florida road trip.

Stan’s Idle Hour – waterfront, Goodland – the biggest and most notorious restaurant in Goodland, Florida. This quirky waterfront bar and grill offers a laid-back atmosphere, live music, and a menu filled with classic American dishes and fresh seafood.

Local Events and Festivals in Goodland

Goodland may be a small town, but it knows how to throw a party. Throughout the year, the town hosts a variety of events, fishing tournaments and festivals that celebrate its rich history, local culture, and love for all things seafood. 

One of the most popular events is the annual Mullet Festival, which takes place every January. This lively festival features live music, arts and crafts vendors, and, of course, plenty of mullet – a local delicacy that is typically smoked or fried.

Tips for Planning a Florida Road Trip to Goodland

If you’re planning a trip to Goodland, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you make the most of your visit. Firstly, Goodland is a small town, so it’s best to plan your trip in advance, especially if you’re visiting during the peak tourist season. 

Booking accommodations and making restaurant reservations ahead of time will help you avoid any last-minute headaches. Note that many activities, shops and restaurants operate only during the fall, winter and spring seasons.

Secondly, be sure to pack accordingly for your outdoor adventures. Goodland and the surrounding areas offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, so bring comfortable clothing, sunscreen, insect repellent, and any necessary equipment for hiking, biking, or fishing.

Lastly, don’t forget to bring your camera. Goodland is a photographer’s dream, with its stunning sunsets, charming restaurants, and abundant wildlife. Capture the beauty of the town and create lasting memories of your visit.

secrets of goodland florida
The Calusa Indians inhabited the Goodland area for several hundred years. This exhibit of the Calusa came from the Marco Island Historical Museum.

Exploring Nearby Areas and Day Trips from Goodland

While Goodland is undoubtedly a destination in its own right, it also serves as a perfect base for exploring the surrounding areas. Just a short drive away is Marco Island, a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, world-class golf courses, and upscale shopping and dining. 

A visit to Marco Island is a great way to experience the best of both worlds – the laid-back charm of Goodland and the luxurious amenities of a larger resort town.

For those looking for a more adventurous day trip, the Everglades National Park is within easy reach from Goodland. This unique and diverse ecosystem is home to a wide range of plant and animal species, including alligators, manatees, and the elusive Florida panther. 

Whether you choose to explore the park by boat, kayak, or on foot, a visit to the Everglades is sure to be an unforgettable experience. The best kept secrets of Goodland Florida include the magic of the Everglades.

For a complete list of things to do in the EvergladesFlorida Travel Blog has a complete rundown of fun things to do.

Uncovering the Hidden Treasures of Goodland, Florida

Goodland, Florida, may be a small town, but it is brimming with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. From its rich history and charming narrow streets to its mouthwatering seafood and natural beauty, Goodland offers a unique and authentic experience that is sure to captivate visitors from all walks of life. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a foodie, or simply looking for a peaceful and picturesque day trip, Goodland has something for everyone. 

So, pack your bags for another Florida road trip, and get ready to uncover the best kept secrets of Goodland Florida.

Map of Goodland Florida

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