With 1,197 miles of unspoiled beauty and pristine coastline, it is no surprise that Florida has some of the best beaches in the world. White powdery sand, turquoise waters, and charming beach towns – the Sunshine State has the winning combination for a perfect destination. With endless beach day weather, Florida is the perfect holiday destination for sun seeking vacationers. In Florida you are spoiled for choice, but which destination should you choose? Here is a snapshot of some of the most beautiful beaches you could be enjoying this summer. Soak in stunning ocean views with your toes in the sand and let your worries melt away at one of the top beaches in Florida.
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Known for its luxury shopping and golf courses, Naples sits on the Gulf of Mexico in southwest Florida. Only a 2 hour drive from the hustle and bustle of Miami, Naples beach is 10 miles of tranquil, warm waters with white “sugary” sand. If you visit at the right time of year, you might spot sea turtle nesting or dolphins splashing about in the water, as the Gulf of Mexico is littered with unique wildlife. A great place for families to unwind and relax for a day, popular activities include fishing, kayaking, and snorkeling. Golf courses and shopping opportunities abound, making Naples a luxury beach destination as well. It is the perfect beach to unwind in warm, tranquil waters.
Siesta Beach is in Siesta Key – an eight mile barrier island an hour out of Tampa, that runs along Florida’s Gulf Coast and is impressive to say the least. Consistently ranking as one of the top beaches in the state, and even the nation, Siesta Beach is recognized for having the finest white quartz sand, described as the most pristine and finest in the world. Many beach-goers revel in the fine quartz powder that gives this beach undoubtedly a magical quality, allowing it to stay cool under the powerful Florida sun.
Why Come Here: Tons of fun nightlife and activities, beautiful sunsets and local artistry.
Top Hotels: Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach
One of the most famous beaches in Florida, Clearwater Beach has an impressive set of accolades. Racking up a long list of awards for the quality of the beach, its surrounding area, and the gorgeous sunsets, Clearwater is a quintessential Florida beach. Beach-goers are captivated by musicians and street performers, deep-sea fishing, boating, jet-skiing, and scuba diving are also popular activities. It is not uncommon to spot sea turtles, rays, or even a school of dolphins.
Why Come Here: Uncrowded beaches, abundance of golf and fun historic sites.
Top Hotels: Omni Amelia Island Plantation | Hampton Inn & Suites Amelia Island Historic Harbor Front
A true Southern jewel, Amelia Island is 13 miles of lush landscape, untouched beach, and laid back vibes. A family-friendly destination favorite, there is an abundance of fun water activities like kayaking, paddle boarding, and surfing.
Honeymoon Island State Park
Why Come Here: Off the beaten path and uncrowded, nature trails, shell collecting.
If you’re looking for a secluded state park with stunning natural beauty, Honeymoon Island State Park is where to go. Just as the name suggests, Honeymoon Island is a secluded state park perfect for those seeking privacy and tranquility. Nature lovers will appreciate the nature trails and gorgeous landscapes, and the beach is pristine, with soft white powdered sand and idyllic crystal blue waters. Perfect for an itinerary filled with sun bathing, nature watching, and shell collecting, Honeymoon Island offers 4 miles of untouched paradise. Nature lovers will rejoice at the 3 mile nature trail full of osprey, bald eagle, and great horned owls. Close the day by catching a stunning sunset and it will be an experience that is surely hard to beat.
Why Come Here: World famous shelling, small town charm, local dining and the peaceful atmosphere.
Laid back with predominantly warm, calm waters, Sanibel is a favorite for families traveling with children. Sanibel Island is known for its world-class shelling and charming vibes, you will find visitors and locals alike bent over scouring the beach to examine the unique treasures the ocean provides in what has affectionately been coined as the “Sanibel Stoop.” While there are many restaurants, shops, and galleries in the area, Sanibel likes to preserve its small town feel and you will be hard pressed to find many chain restaurants, streetlights, or even traffic lights.
Santa Rosa Beach
Put away your passport at the 26 miles of Caribbean quality beach on Florida’s Emerald Coast, Santa Rosa Beach draws beachgoers for its tranquil turquoise waters and quartz-crystal sand.
St. George Island State Park
A local gem, St. George Island State Park is a quiet and unspoiled barrier island situated in Northwest Florida. Picturesque natural beauty at its finest, here you’ll find a gorgeous landscape of undeveloped beaches and sand dunes.
Nicknamed “Florida’s Playground,” Navarre Beach is a compact community with rich history. Part of the pristine Gulf Islands National Seashore, visitors can soak in the 12 miles of isolated coastline and enticing emerald waters.
Considered the epicenter of Florida’s Gulf Coast, postcard-worthy Pensacola Beach consistently ranks as one of the best beaches in Florida. Indulge in the lively activities at the Pier, snorkel through underwater aquatic life and stay for their epic sunsets.
Caladesi Island State Park
Away from the masses, Caladesi Island State Park boasts unreal views of pristine beach line on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Reachable via a ferry, avoid the crowds at what feels like a deserted island all to yourself.
Grayton Beach State Park
Emerald green waters, side streets paved with crushed oyster shells, and Hemingway-style wooden homes are what make the artsy Grayton Beach area a local favorite. Visit the famous shoreline and bask in the view of its 2,000-acre unspoiled beach views.
Fort De Soto Park
Soak in the stunning natural beauty of Florida without tourist crowds at Fort De Soto Park, where shelling, swimming and strolling the white powdered sandy beaches are a top priority.
Henderson Beach State Park
One of the most notable beaches along Florida’s Panhandle, Henderson Beach State Park is a small beach in the former sleepy fishing village Destin. Destin has developed an incredible resume of pristine beaches and world-class nightlife. Although the area has grown considerably in the past decade, it has maintained the same charming, southern vibe it once had. Beachgoers enjoy renting bikes, packing a picnic in one of the many pavilions, fishing, bird watching, and soaking in the emerald green water.
World renowned for its mix of big city vibe and eccentric liveliness, South Beach is one of Florida’s playgrounds. With a never-ending amount of entertainment, you simply can’t be bored at South Beach. Water activities are king at this beach – you can snorkel, scuba dive, kayak, paddleboard, canoe, fish, or windsurf. Strolling the beach is an activity in itself, as people watching is practically a sport here. Beautiful people, wild parties, trendy bars and clubs, South Beach is where you go to have fun. Infamous for its mix of big-city vibe and eccentric liveliness, South Beach is one of Florida’s playgrounds.
Fort Lauderdale Beach
Located on the Atlantic Coast and 23 miles north from it’s big city rival Miami, Fort Lauderdale holds its own with a low-key version of its flashy neighbor. Dotted with stunning beachfront restaurants and arguably one of the best taco joints in florida, Fort Lauderdale has more than dazzling blue waters to entice you to visit. There are fantastic shops, cafes and cultural events to keep you entertained as well. Once popular as a spring break destination, Fort Lauderdale has since evolved into a family friendly destination. The beach is lined with a pedestrian walkway near hotels, restaurants, and shops by active locals in-line skating, jogging, and doing yoga. Three miles offshore you can find unique and exotic sea life on a 69 mile living coral reef accessible to snorkelers.
Want to avoid the crowds but enjoy a lively night out? If you’re the type of beachgoer that likes the best of both worlds, Delray beach is your perfect destination. Voted “Most Fun Small Town in America” by USA Today in 2012, Delray is a small beach town with a big personality. Situated less than an hour from big cities like Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, it is known equally for its beautiful beaches and nightlife. Delray also provides visitors a plethora of activities like surfing, kayaking, sailing, and snorkeling.
Why Come Here: Opportunities to surf, delicious local restaurants, nearby nightlife.
Top Hotels: Best Western Cocoa Beach Hotel & Suites
Popular with the Central Florida area and made famous by pro surfer Kelly Slater, you’ll find surfing is a favored activity at Cocoa Beach. Cocoa has calm and consistent waves, perfect for a beginner learning the sport. Whether you’re catching a wave yourself or you just want to watch the experts do their thing, Cocoa Beach is a great area to relax with no frills. For a viewpoint 800 feet over the Atlantic Ocean head to the pier and enjoy beachfront bars and restaurants serving fresh seafood.