Florida is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. People flock to this state because it is home to many amazing attractions, and it has an amazing climate. While some visitors are interested in the family attractions, there are others who head for the beauty of the Everglades. Another aspect of this state that people find appealing is its outstanding coastline, which has some sections along the Atlantic Ocean and others lining the Gulf of Mexico. The highlight of the coastline for most people is the beaches, as this is where they will spend a lot of their time during a vacation. Each of the beaches has something different to offer as while some are great for relaxing and sunbathing, others are the perfect destination for water-based activities. Here is an overview of the 20 best beaches in Florida.
20. Jacksonville Beach
Jacksonville Beach actually consists of 22 smaller beaches and it covers 22 miles of the coastline. It is located along the northeast of Florida’s First Coast and is a great location for enjoying beach volleyball, fishing, surfing, and swimming. It is also famous for its dolphins, which playfully entertain visitors to the beach throughout the year. It boasts some of the best waves in Florida, so it is a popular place for surfers to visit. Along the beach, you will find a fishing pier, a golf course, and a wide range of attractions and activities to enjoy. It is a good option for a family day out if you are staying in the area.
19. Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach is a great place to visit as there is so much to do you can spend a full day there. Not only can you walk on the beach or sit and relax in the sun, but you can also have lots of fun in the water. Paddling, kayaking, swimming, paddleboarding, and surfing are all popular activities at this beach. Furthermore, you can take advantage of all the attractions along the beach, including the pier the bars, the boat tours, the Segway tours, and the cafes. It is a great place for a fun-filled family day out while you are in Florida.
18. Jupiter Dog Beach
If you have taken your dog along with you on your travels, then the best place to visit is Jupiter Dog Beach. Dogs are free to run around off their leash at this beach, so you will find many other dog lovers at this location. It is the largest dog beach on the East Coast of Florida as it covers a 2.5-mile stretch. Even if you do not have a dog, this is still a great beach to visit.
17. New Smyrna Beach
This beach is described as the East Coast surfers paradise, as it is one of the best spots on the Floridian coast for surfing. Even if you do not surf yourself, you can absorb yourself in the surf culture at this destination. The scenery is also quite spectacular as there are some stunning rocky ledges along the beach.
One of Miami’s best beaches is Mid-Beach, which is on a hotel-lined section of the coast and it is separated from the buildings by a boardwalk. The beach sits between 21st Street and 46th Street, and it is usually visited by the cool crowds. This beach has a fun vibe with lots of beach bars and pool clubs to choose between.
15. Delnor-Wigging Pass State Park
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park includes a beach in Naples, Florida, is one of the quietest beaches in the whole of Florida, and it is also one of the most stunning. If you visit during the week, there is the chance that you will find yourself alone. Even if you visit at the weekend, this is not a beach that gets filled with tourists. Beachcombers love this spot, and the water is suitable for children paddling as it is shallow around the edges. A little further out and it is deep enough for people to swim and snorkel. Furthermore, it is a good spot to watch dolphins playing.
14. Garden Key
Part of the Dry Tortugas National Park, Garden Key is an exclusive beach that is reached only by boat or seaplane. If you are willing to make the effort to travel to this island beach, you have a treat awaiting you. Most people who visit Garden key go snorkeling, as the crystal clear waters are home to sea turtles, seahorses, nurse sharks, moray eels, and an array of tropical fish. The park is also home to Fort Jefferson, which is a coastal fortress that was built in 1846.
13. Fort Lauderdale Beach
Although Fort Lauderdale is a popular tourist area, its beach is not as busy as you would think. This is surprising considering it boasts sparkling blue waters and stretches of powder white sand. The beach and the surrounding area have undergone a major restructure to rid itself of its former reputation as a spring break destination where teens hang out. It is now a refined alternative to the Miami beaches that it neighbors.
12. Bowman’s Beach
Located on Sanibel Island, Bowman’s Beach is a secluded beach that is perfect for couples who want a tranquil spot where they can relax away from the crowds. It is also well-known for being one of the best shelling beaches in Florida and for being a great place to watch the dolphins and manatees in their natural habitat.
11. Bahia Honda
This Florida Keys beach is the image you bring to mind when you think of the perfect beach for relaxing on a vacation. It is a 524-acre beach park that is lined with white sand and palm trees. It has both secluded spots for sunbathing, and busier spots where people enjoy kayaking, fishing, and snorkeling.
10. Siesta Beach
Located in the Siesta Key, this beach is crescent-shaped and is known for its soft white sand and turquoise waters. Siesta beach is divided into three areas, so it has something for everyone. At the northern end, there is the Siesta Public Beach which is best suited to families. The southern tip of the beach is called Turtle Beach, and this is great for sportier visitors as it has volleyball courts, fishing, and hiking trails. Crescent Beach is the central section of Siesta Beach, and this is the quieter area that boasts romantic charm that is ideal for couples on their vacation.
9. Pass-A-Grill Beach
Pass-a-Grille Beach is part of St. Pete Beach is a quiet strip that is part of the larger St. Pete Beach. As it is a little-known beach, it is often considered one of Florida’s hidden gems. People head to this beach to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere away from the crowds. IT is a shell-lined beach that is great for paddling and swimming. People also fish from this beach, and it is possible to hire fishing gear from The Merry Pier, which is nearby.
8. Destin Beach
Destin Beach is located on the Emerald Coast of Florida, says Visit Florida. This beach is popular with surfers, and the surf is gentle enough for novices to learn the skills of surfing. It is also a great beach for children as the waters are shallow close to the beach, and there are tidal pools where they can play.
7. Caladesi Island
Many people consider a visit to Caladesi Island the ideal beach experience. It is just three miles off the coast in the Gulf of Mexico and boasts white sands and warm breezes, which is the perfect environment for relaxation. For this reason, the beach is popular with couples and those on honeymoon. However, it is also great for families as there are shallow waters that are perfect for paddling.
6. North Beach at Fort De Soto
Orth Beach is a narrow, natural, and secluded beach that is well-known to the locals but rarely visited by tourists. It is one of the quieter beaches, so it is ideal for those who do not enjoy the hustle and bustle of the crowded tourist areas. You can sit and relax on this pretty beach with little more than birdsong and the sound of the lapping waves breaking your thoughts. North Beach lies within the Fort De Soto State Park, so it is one of the most tranquil spots on the coast.
5. Daytona Beach
Visit Florida highlights Daytona Beach as one of the best to visit for families as it is a hive of activity, both along the beach and in the surrounding area. This is a large beach that stretched along 23-miles of the coast. It is a great place for sunbathing, swimming, and trying some fun watersports or taking a boat trip. Nearby attractions include the Daytona Beach Pier, the Museum of Arts and Sciences, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and the Daytona International Speedway.
4. Panama City Beach
This is one of the larger beaches in Florida as it stretches along 27-miles of the Florida coastline on the Gulf side of the Florida Panhandle. One reason to visit this area is for the great weather as there are 320 rain-free days every year. However, this beach is most famous as a popular diving spot, and it has been given the nickname the ‘Wreck Diving Capital of the South’. Other than diving, people love relaxing one the stunning white sand, and surfers come to ride the waves. It is also a good place for families to visit as there is a tidal basin that is predominantly used as a kiddie pool for paddling, although it is also ideal for paddleboarding.
3. Grayton Beach
While many people head to the most popular tourist spots, others prefer to find a stretch of beach that is not known by the tourists and is an example of the natural beauty of the Floridian coastline. If this is the type of beach you prefer, then The Telegraph recommends Grayton Beach as one of the best to visit. It is usually only the locals who hang out at this one mile stretch of shoreline that has pretty white sand and the emerald waves of the Gulf of Mexico. It is a popular spot amongst nature lovers and bird watchers. It is also the starting point for more than 10 miles of walking paths, including the Grayton Beach Nature Trail, so it is also popular amongst hikers.
2. South Beach
This is probably Florida’s most famous beach and it stretches for 2.2 miles along the coast of Florida. You will find that tourists and locals hang out in different spots along this beach. Tourists usually head for the section of the beach that runs by Ocean Drive, so this is often the busiest part of the beach. On the other hands, locals either head to the SoFi section of the beach or to the strip by 12th Street, which is commonly called the gay beach. The beach is lined with beach clubs and iconic hotels.
1. Clearwater Beach
Conde Nast Traveler rates Clearwater Beach as the best in Florida because it has something for everyone. It has long been one of the most popular beaches thanks to its soft sand and clear, shallow waters. Sandcastle building is a popular activity on this beach, and there is a colossal beach playground for children. People walk, jog, and rollerblade along this beach’s promenade, and the fishing Pier 60 holds sunset celebrations. This is also where you will find an array of street performers to entertain you. Clearwater Beach is one of the spots where you can take a powerboat ride.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker