There is something really special about Florida! Not only is it full of some amazing places to visit but there are also beautiful national parks, amazing cities and some of the best beaches in Florida that you really can’t miss.
Over the years, we have visited Florida countless times and explored the entire state. From the pristine islands in Florida Keys to the coastal vibrations of Pensacola or Pure water. There is a small part of Florida that will suit and surprise every type of traveler.
That’s why I wanted to share some of the best beaches in Florida that are total gems to experience.
Check out the best beaches in Florida below. Have the best time exploring and cooling off in surfing!
1.) Cocoa beach
Located on the Atlantic coast, Cocoa Beach is one of the best beaches in Florida that is great for a day at the beach. Honestly, such a beach is great for most coastal experiences, especially with surfing and parasailing which make this area completely fun.
Need a sweet treat? Stop by Florida Key Lime Pie for their (guess) Key Lime Pie. It is completely delicious and all homemade. Plus, you might meet Sweetie, a resident alligator who’s something of a local celebrity here.
If you don’t like the whole trip to the beach, you can easily link it to a trip to the Kennedy Space Center, which is a complete dream to visit.
2.) Hollywood beach
Just shy of Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood Beach is a great coastline to stay (and visit) for a few days until you relax. With larger hotels and facilities on the coast it offers everything you need to make your trip to the beach completely easy.
Also, if you’re an early riser, go for a walk and watch the sunrise on Hollywood’s Broadwalk Beach. It is beautiful and completely quiet at this time of day.
3.) Fort DeSoto State Park
I’m just ashamed of St. Pete’s Beach, Fort DeSoto State Park is an idyllic and completely untouched area of Florida that is too good to miss.
Preserved as a county park, Fort DeSoto State Park has something to boast about! In fact, it has some of the best beaches in Florida that are just as popular with locals as they are with visitors.
North Beach is an easy favorite to visit, along with East Beach! They both have their charms and you can’t go wrong with either.
And not only that, here you can spot a bunch of wild animals. During April, until September, tortoises can nest on the beaches. This means that special care is needed when wandering along the coast.
4.) St Pete Beach
We spent about 5 days exploring St. Pete Beach and the wider St. Petersburg area; it was amazing!
After logging in Don Cesar, a Florida institution, be sure to check out one of the best beaches in Florida. You see, from here you can move around and explore St Pete Beach or stroll south to the white sandy shores of Pass-a-Grille Beach.
The whole area here is also completely beautiful and quite unusual. Just visit Crabby Bill for delicious seafood and travel to St. Petersburg for street art and take a bite in Bodega in the Central Place for the best Cuban sandwiches.
5.) Clearwater Beach
Best for beach restaurants and soft sandy beaches, Clearwater is just a destination.
Now we visited March and the weather was perfect (nice and quiet) – which we loved! Although in the holiday season it can be much busier.
Best of all, you can do a bunch of things in Clearwater; from swimming to adventurous activities like parasailing, cruising and rowing. Pure water there is something for everyone.
6.) St. George Island
St. John’s Island George Island is a wonderful place to visit if you are driving Orlando to Pensacole. It’s about halfway between the two, and an afternoon trip is worth it if you want to cool off a bit.
The whole island is completely intact and it looks just like it was a century ago. That is the beauty of the coast here, it seems untouched.
The beach itself covers the entire southern part of the island and lasts for kilometers. This means you will never feel crowded or cramped on the beach … even at the peak of your visit.
After a day on the coast, hop in Paddy’s Raw Bar for some of their Apalachicola oysters that are as local as you can. Completely chilled and relaxed, it’s a great place to relax before heading further away from the coast.
7.) Siesta Key, Lido Beach, Sarasota Beach and Crescent Beach (Sarasota)
Situated in the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, Siesta Key is a completely blissful barrier island that has a charm that attracts as much as it comes!
Even better, Siesta Key beaches will never disappoint and are easily some of the best beaches in Florida to visit. With glistening white sand and toasted water temperatures, it’s a place to go with the whole family.
This is especially true because the waves are a little calmer than the Atlantic coast; that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be extremely careful, though. Remember, the sea can be dangerous.
8.) Bahia Honda State Park
Located about 30 kilometers from Key West, Bahia Honda is one of places to visit on the Florida Keys – especially if you like beaches!
While you’re here, be sure to spend some time soaking up the rays on Calusa and Loggerhead beaches that are so dreamy. Although relatively small, this is a charming little area to explore, though sometimes a little crowded.
It’s worth visiting it as you explore more widely Florida Keys.
9.) Fort Lauderdale Beach
Fort Lauderdale Beach, which is often as popular as nearby Sister Miami Beach, is a pretty popular place in Florida to visit. Best of all, it’s not just about the sun, sea and sand! During the year, many different events are held on the promenade and the beach itself. It’s a completely fun atmosphere and you can easily spend a few days chilling here.
In addition, you can also try jet skiing, snorkeling and scuba diving!
10.) Gasparilla Island
North of Fort Myers, Gasparilla Island is another Florida gem that is too good to miss. In fact, I would say it has one of the best beaches in Florida that is completely easy to visit.
Completely calm and pretty damn sweet, the coast near the Port Boca Grande lighthouse is a must visit. While not the biggest, as Florida beaches go, it has some charm and charm that is totally worth the trip.
Then head to the South Beach bar and grill to grab a table. Their local catch is so delicious and fresh!
11.) Anna Maria Island
South of St Pete Beach, Anna Maria Island is the perfect combination of pristine coastline, sweet little catering facilities and unparalleled charm.
For me, it’s one of the best beaches in Florida for complete relaxation and unwinding. You see, it’s not too far from the content, but quiet enough to feel a million miles away!
For a delicious dinner, head to the Sandbar Restaurant for their crunchy squid. There are some of the best in all of Florida.
12.) South Beach (Miami)
I can’t mention the best beaches in Florida without mentioning South Beach in Miami. Love it or hate it, its coastline is beautiful and worth a visit while exploring the wider area of South Florida.
After cooling off on the sand, take a stroll through the historic Art Deco district and stop for a cheeky cocktail along the way. It is a completely lively area that is amazing to soak up!
Pensacola is well known by visitors to the U.S., and is less well known by international visitors heading to Florida. That means it can be quieter than some other popular places in Florida, especially when vacations in the state mean more people are traveling.
Although a bit retro, Pensacola is a charming place worth a little love and visiting. We liked the coast in Pensacola Beach Park and it is completely untouched.
Did you whet your appetite? Head to Flounder’s Chowder House which serves some of the best soups in the South! Trust me, you won’t want to miss it.
14.) Sanibel Island
Located just off Fort Myers, Sanibel Island is a total vibe and features some of the best beaches in Florida. Some of our favorites are Gulfside City Park and Bowman’s Beach (which is completely epic and pristine).
If you are heading towards the northern island of Captiva (close to the island of Sanibel), be sure to enter Supports and Barnacles Bar. It is a cozy little restaurant serving the most delicious shrimp tacos.
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