Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Florida is a beach lover’s paradise, home to a collection of idyllic, white sand beaches where you’ll be lured in by the soft quartz sand, sparkling turquoise waters, and laid-back beach town atmosphere. You can soak up the sunshine as you dig your toes in the sand, help the kids make a sandcastle, and enjoy a day of water sports. From small surf towns to action-packed hotspots, enjoy the postcard-perfect landscapes at one of Florida’s top white sand beaches.
Why Come Here: To see its world-famous white quartz sand and picturesque sunsets.
One of the most acclaimed beaches in the U.S., Siesta Key Beach is known for its pure quartz sand and crystal clear waters. Soft to the touch, the sand here feels like powdered sugar, as it is made of 99 percent pure crushed quartz and is considered to be the finest sand in the country. To experience a bit of the local culture, join the weekly drum circle just before sunset.
Why Come Here: Enjoy endless water activities and Sunsets at Pier 60.
Clearwater Beach is another famous beach in Florida, which boasts some serious bragging rights. It has been consistently given awards for the quality of the beach, the charming town area with family-friendly attractions, and its breathtaking sunset views. The kids will be captivated by the musicians and street performers at Sunsets at Pier 60, while deep-sea fishing, boating, jet-skiing, and spotting dolphins are also popular activities.
Why Come Here: Savor the postcard-worthy views with sugar-white sands and emerald waters.
Considered the epicenter of the Florida Gulf Coast, Pensacola Beach is famous for its emerald-green waters and sugar-white sands. A family-friendly area with endless opportunities for beachgoers, you can stroll along the lively Pensacola Beach Pier, snorkel and explore underwater aquatic life, indulge in fresh seafood, or stay for a sunset and join the monthly stargazing gatherings.
Why Come Here: Escape the crowds at this slice of paradise and quiet beach.
Flip flops are all you’ll need in Perdido Key, considered one of the crown jewels of Florida’s idyllic Emerald Coast. Located on a thin strip of land, it sits in the extreme northwest corner of the state and is far from the hoards of tourists. Enjoy its Caribbean-like quality of the beach and idyllic shoreline, marvel at its unique landscapes of rolling, white-sand dunes and indulge in an afternoon of swimming, kayaking, and watching playful dolphins in the water.
Why Come Here: A family beach with tons of kid-friendly attractions nearby.
Take the entire family to Fort Walton Beach, as it’s a lively beach town that is full of attractions, parks, museums, and aquariums. Fill up your vacation with activities or lay back and enjoy the 24 miles of calm emerald waters and cool powdery sands at the beach. Peel yourself from the sands to see marine life at Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park or explore hands-on exhibits at Emerald Coast Science Center.
Why Come Here: Soak up the sunshine at more than 6,000 feet of scenic shoreline.
Known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”, Destin is popular for its fishing opportunities and beautiful beaches. With emerald-hued waters, sugar-white sands, and inviting seafood restaurants, Destin is a haven for outdoor lovers. Explore nearby Henderson State Park’s 6,000 feet of natural shoreline and warm crystal clear waters or visit Miramar Beach for peace and quiet. If you’re looking for a party atmosphere, take a boat out to Crab Island.
Why Come Here: A nature lover’s paradise with a white sandy coastline and two rare coastal dune lakes for kayaking.
Grayton Beach is a funky area with Hemingway-style wooden homes, known for its brightly colored art galleries and quaint homes situated on side streets paved with crushed oyster shells. One of the most beautiful beaches in the United States, you can’t beat its white sand shoreline and clear emerald green waters. Hike the nature trail, kayak in Western Lake, or bike past beautiful pine flatwoods.
Why Come Here: Sugar-white sand beaches and outdoor adventures like hiking, biking, and birdwatching.
Santa Rosa Beach draws beachgoers from around the world, known for its charming small-town atmosphere. The beach’s landscape of pristine sugary white sand and turquoise waters is a perfect oasis for nature enthusiasts looking to unwind. Take a day trip to nearby Topsail Hill Preserve State Park for sunbathing, biking, bird watching, and hiking and to enjoy its 3.2 miles of secluded white sandy beaches.
Why Come Here: A long list of top Florida attractions nearby and plenty of fun in the sun available for all ages.
One of Florida’s prettiest Gulf Coast gems, St. Pete Beach is home to a stunning stretch of undeveloped beach with a beautiful landscape of immaculate sugar-sand and sparkling blue waters. This family-friendly beach is a perfect place for kids to delight in a day of swimming and making sandcastles. Enjoy the plethora of water sports on offer or simply lounge under an umbrella and soak up the warm Florida sunshine.
Why Come Here: An idyllic beach to enjoy Florida’s simple pleasures, including dolphin spotting.
The beaches on Anna Maria Island boast soft white sand and clear turquoise waters that will lure you in for a day of soaking up Florida’s endless sunshine. Rent a bike and head to Bean Point, where the Gulf of Mexico meets Tampa Bay, to find a perfect spot to watch dolphins splashing about in the water and manatees grazing by. For a day of collecting seashells, head to Coquina Beach at the southern edge of the island.
Why Come Here: Picture-perfect white sandy beach and nature-filled eco-tours.
Longboat Key is a stunning strip of paradise found nestled along the Gulf. It’s home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Sunshine State, perfect for those looking to spend their time shelling, birding, and taking romantic moonlit strolls. Nature enthusiasts can join eco-tours that explore the lagoons and mangroves or go on kite surfing, kayaking, or paddleboarding excursions.
Why Come Here: Home to family-friendly beaches and a fun range of water and land activities.
Fort Myers Beach is a slice of paradise for families, where you can go beachcombing for colorful seashell treasures away from the hoards of tourists. Head to Lynn Hall Memorial Park for a full day of activities with the entire family and stop by the Fort Myers Beach Pier to observe local fishermen. Lounge under an umbrella, spot dolphins in the water or kick your vacation up a notch with an adventurous day of parasailing and kayaking.