Florida Beaches Overview
Florida Beaches are among the best in the world. There are a lot of options, whether you want a secluded beach, family friendly or a party hot spot. We’ll help you decide which beach is best for you.
Florida Beaches – Choosing your beach destination
With about 1,200 miles of coastline, Florida is a year-round escape for many on the East Coast. Plus, the diversity of the shores — from family-friendly to party hardy — helps draw a variety of travelers. When making your decision about where to go, you should consider two general rules of Floridian geography: One, the farther south you head, the warmer, more tropical weather you’ll encounter. And two, Gulf Coast water is usually calmer and warmer than the Atlantic Ocean. With those two tips (and our descriptions), you’re ready to pick your next Florida beach vacation.
Florida beaches, whether quiet and secluded or bustling with activity, are ranked among the best in the country for beauty, accessibility and facilities. Families, couples and active singles enjoy year-round sunshine, soft sand and clear Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean waters.
Florida Beaches by region
Florida Beaches can generally be divided into seven regions (clockwise from top left): The Northwest Region, or Panhandle, the North Central Region or Nature Coast, the Northeast Region, the East Central Region, The Southeast Region, the Southwest Region, and the Tampa Bay Region
Florida Beaches by Location
See below for our A-Z listing and links to information on Florida Beaches
Florida Gulf Coast
Clearwater Beach dazzles with impeccable beaches and inviting waters. As a year round top vacation spot, Clearwater offers a seemingly endless supply of sun and a mild and temperate climate. It is ideally situated on the Gulf of Mexico on Florida’s west coast, offering something for every visitor. With awards as Best City Beach, one of America’s Top Family Beaches, one of the Top Singles Beaches in Florida, and one of the Best Beaches from Maine to Hawaii, be assured, Clearwater boasts award winning beaches and so much more. Providing extensive water recreation and nature-based and land-based attractions as well as a wide array of special events there is plenty to see and do. Numerous opportunities exist to watch or participate in a sporting activity. The rich history and heritage of this area along with the outstanding performing and visual arts make Clearwater the perfect place to spend time in – or out of – the sun. Clearwater Beach is known for its white-sand broad beaches, which offer popular water sports such as jet skiing, parasailing, and water biking. With an abundance of choices for accommodations, dining and shopping everyone’s style and budget will be met.
Indian Rocks Beach
Indian Rocks Beach is a thriving community that has maintained most of its original character, and supports a lively mixture of recreational activities from nature preserves, to parks, to sandy shores.
Located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Treasure Island is one of the shining gems of the greater Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater region. Its white sandy beaches, pristine waters, welcoming hotels, unique restaurants and other family-friendly attractions make it the perfect destination for your next vacation.
Anna Maria Island is a quaint Barrier Island nestled in the Gulf of Mexico. Beautiful turquoise waters and white sandy beaches are the main attraction here. It is a place where “old” Florida charm can still be found, flip flops are a way of life and the speed limit never exceeds 35mph. High rise condos and fast food restaurants are pleasantly absent from our pristine “get away from it all” island.
Six islands line Sarasota’s extensive coastline, each revealing its own personality, recreational options and natural beauty.
Siesta Key’s beaches are the beach benchmark for which all other beaches are judged. Miles of fine white sand stretch along the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico on Siesta’s western shore, perfect for blemish-free sand castles, long walks, or a soft place to soak up the sun. For something different, try the more laid-back atmosphere at Crescent Beach in the middle of Siesta Key, or find fertile ground for shell collecting in the coarser sand at Turtle Beach on Siesta’s southern end.
Although smaller than Siesta, Lido Key’s beaches pack a surprising variety into a compact area. Lido’s north end features unspoiled beach backed by a public park, with nature trails from the water to the tranquil Florida pine forest. Head south and you’ll find a popular public beach that’s similar to Siesta, with white sands and many recreational amenities. On the island’s southern tip is South Lido Park, bordered by Sarasota Bay on the east, Big Pass to the south, and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. There, boaters drop anchor in the calm waters of the pass to come ashore and picnic in the park or enjoy the waves crashing on south Lido’s Gulf side beaches.
Longboat Key is a more private beachfront community than many areas of Sarasota, geared more to people staying at the island’s fabulous resorts than to casual visitors. Still, Longboat’s world-class dining scene draws people from all over.
Venice Beach is one of the best places in the world to find shark’s teeth, easily sifted from the sand and shells by people of all ages. (Don’t worry; these pointy, triangular fossils — naturally shed by sharks over their lifetime — are due to a quirk of ocean currents, not sharks off the coast.) There’s also a massive fishing pier that extends into the Gulf, as well as dining options overlooking the beach.
Also in Venice is Caspersen Beach — easily the largest in Sarasota — featuring an unbroken vista of rolling dunes as far as the eye can see. Even your furry friends can get in on the action at Brohard Paw Park, a Venice beach where dogs can frolic in the surf and dig to their hearts’ content.
Casey Key is regarded as a private refuge studded with multi-million dollar homes, including one belonging to famed author Stephen King. That privacy has its advantages for visitors, as well. Casey Key’s public beaches — including North Jetty Park and Nokomis Beach — feel like a burst of old Florida. Each Casey Key beach is a cozy nook packed with amenities without the hassle of crowds or development.
The beaches on Manasota Key off the coast of Englewood in southern Sarasota are hidden gems. Even the two most popular beaches on the island — Manasota Beach and Englewood Beach — are rarely crowded. But Blind Pass Beach and Stump Pass Beach are so unknown you can pretend to be stranded on a deserted island.
Ft. Myers Beach
Fort Myers Beach offers a large list of things to do during your stay here and provides all ages with plenty to ensure that your time here is extremely enjoyable.
While you are staying on Fort Myers Beach, you will find that there is such a large list of activities and attractions to keep you busy. If you are the more active type, Fort Myers Beach has several waverunner and jet ski rentals available, along with boat rentals, fishing charters, parasailing and much more!
If you are looking to relax it a little more and stay on dry land, there are some beautiful restaurants on Fort Myers Beach to enjoy the dining experience overlooking the Estero Bay or the Gulf of Mexico coastline.
There is also the movie theatre, bowling alleys, marinas, casino boats, and the general beauty of the area to fill up your schedule.
Located in Lee County on the Gulf of Mexico, Sanibel Island, Florida is known for its sunsets, lighthouse and luxurious resorts.
Sanibel Island is a barrier island just off the southwest coast of Florida by Fort Myers. It is located within Lee County but in 1974 became incorporated. Sanibel Island is about a forty-five minute car ride from Southwest Florida International Airport. Directions to Sanibel can be found here. There is a causeway road that leads onto the island with a toll of $6.00
Sanibel Island is about 12 miles long and 4 miles wide. Sanibel is known around the world for it’s fabulous shelling beaches. Due to Sanibel Island’s unique geographical orientation, lying East to West instead of North to South, it acts as a scoop and gathers seashells along it’s beaches. Throughout the year, thousands of visitors come to enjoy Sanibel’s beaches and hunt for that special seashell.
Sanibel’s population is around 5600 people, however these numbers can quadruple during the winter when it is Sanibel Island’s prime tourist season. With an average temperature of around 75 degrees, it is easy to see why Sanibel gets many so called “snowbirds” (tourists from the north that come to Sanibel to escape the cold weather)
While Sanibel Island is a wildlife refuge in and of itself, over 60% of the island is actually protected wildlife preserves. The island also is home to the Sanibel School, a K-8 grade A rated school.
There are over 26 miles of bike trails and over 17 miles of beautiful beaches.
Situated at the northernmost point of the picturesque Ten Thousand Islands and just south of Naples, Marco Island, Florida is your island in the sun.
Marco Island is graced with miles of white-sand beaches, luxurious real estate, beautiful year-round weather, sumptuous restaurants, fine shopping, dining, lively entertainment, attractions and plenty of recreational activities from boating and fishing, to golf and tennis, and more. All set amid the stunning subtropical beauty that is unique to Southwest Florida’s Gulf coast.
From family vacations to a romantic rendezvous for two, Marco Island, Florida is an unforgettable paradise where memories are made.
Panhandle & East Coast
Pensacola Beach offers family fun on the whitest beaches in Florida. Located on Santa Rosa Island, enjoy swimming, fishing and diving in the emerald Gulf of Mexico.
Ft. Walton Beach / Destin
Fort Walton and Destin are on Florida’s Emerald Coast and offer 24 miles of pristine white-sand beaches stretching along the Gulf of Mexico. This sand, made up of pure Appalachian quartz, remains remarkably cool even in the heat of summer, and gives the waters here their trademark emerald-green color by reflecting sunlight back up through the surf. Delight your senses in our spectacular beaches and the expansive waters of Choctawahatchee Bay. Discover miles and miles of pure playground for shell seeking, sun bronzing, sand castle building. Four renovated beachfront parks – Beasley Park, James Lee Park, Marler Memorial Park and Wayside Park – and six beach mini-parks .With more than 60 percent of our lovely beaches protected by law, you can be assured that when you return it will still be the same – natural and undeveloped forever.
Panama City Beach , Florida offers 27 miles of stunning white sand, emerald green waters and surefire enjoyment in, on or under the water. Explore our vast expanse of things to do, from family-friendly mazes and Florida sport fishing to exciting nightlife and relaxing spa getaways. With boatloads of attractions, top-notch restaurants, beach activities, amazing accommodations and world-class events. The Panama City Beach Hotels are ready to welcome you to the sugary, white sand and emerald, green waters of one of the most beautiful of all Florida beaches. And with events all year ranging from the famous Seabreeze Jazz Festival, UNwineD to Fun For The Holidays.
Fort Lauderdale is famous for its beaches, arts, culture and events. From shopping on Las Olas Boulevard, to gondola rides on the canals, to a historic riverfront. The City of Fort Lauderdale boasts more than seven miles of sparkling beaches that offer residents and visitors premier opportunities for recreation, relaxation and enjoyment. The City’s award-winning wavewall and signature beachfront promenade highlight Fort Lauderdale’s world famous coastline, which is punctuated by an array of shops, restaurants, sidewalk cafes and entertainment venues. Beach goers can participate in a wide range of activities from boating, wind surfing, jet skiing and volleyball to snorkeling, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing and rollerblading. Or, if relaxation is what you desire, simply sit back, unwind and enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
The St. Augustine beaches boast miles of luxurious sand with beautiful weather year-round. Barrier islands naturally create the island waterway and miles of gorgeous coastline with many public areas for beach recreation and relaxation. St. Augustine Beach is located on Anastasia Island where you can enjoy sandy beaches, the St. Johns County Pier, a playground, pavilion, fishing pier, volleyball courts, bait shops, fine restaurants, shopping and more.
Known as an auto-racing hub, Daytona Beach, Florida, also offers surfing, kayaking, parasailing and other water sports on its beaches and great Florida resorts. Here you’ll find everything you need to have a great vacation in the Daytona Beach area. The “World’s Most Famous Beach” is 23 miles of beautiful white sand beaches.
The hard-packed sand where driving is allowed on 18-miles of the beach during daytime hours and speeds are only 10 miles per hour. Five miles of beach are now reserved for visitors who wish not to have to share the beach with cars.
With 23 miles to play on people have found an almost unlimited amount of activities. Sunbathing, surfing, frisbee, sand castle building, people watching, volleyball, swimming, running, bicycling, car cruising, bikini watching, kite flying, picnicking, riding floats, relaxing, riding motorbikes, sitting under umbrellas, looking for shells, sailing, jet skiing, skim boarding, fishing, enjoying beauty contests, eating “beach dogs” or snow cones, walking the boardwalk, playing video games, enjoying the skyride, sail boarding, jogging, enjoying free concerts.
Pristine shores are abundant and nature is close at hand. Lose the traffic, the city noise and the crowd, and discover the perfect vacation. Witness nesting sea turtles, beautiful sunrises, and warm, breezy weather.
You’ll find everything at Cocoa Beach. From countless attractions and locally caught seafood to premium hotels and plenty of shopping.
West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach is a city of unsurpassed beauty, from sub-tropical waterfront location, vibrant downtown for shopping, exciting dining experiences. It has sunny palm-lined streets, scenic waterfront views, quaint shopping districts, historic neighborhoods, year-round outdoor festivals.
Miami /South Beach
South Beach, Florida has been called the American Riviera and an Art Deco Playground. Yet there’s more than fine white sand to South Beach’s fantasyland of exuberant architecture. South Beach, Florida offers an eclectic mix of world-class boutiques, galleries and stores, and South Beach rates as a culinary hot spot for gourmet to casual cuisine. At night, South Beach comes alive with crowds dressed in party-casual chic.
Click the link below to read about our picks of the best Florida Beaches