Our picks for Florida’s Top Beaches
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.
Below are our picks of the best Florida Beaches
Siesta Key is also one of Florida’s Best people-watching beaches. It has a relaxed crowd of all ages and is frequented by Sarasota’s toned, tanned, young, and beautiful people. It’s a huge beach, so you can find the spot that’s perfect for you. Stay close to the snack bar and hang with the youthful crowd, or walk north where the crowds are much thinner and the beach is quieter. The waters are calm and inviting and the sand is brilliant white. Be sure to stay for the sunset as its one of the most amazing sights to see.
Manatee Beach – Anna Maria
Anna Maria is a residential community that caters to a wide range of visitors from all over the world. It is a quiet island without high-rises, big hotels, or nightlife. The focus is on relaxing and enjoying the beach and the community.
There are plenty of restaurants, from seafood to Italian and Indian cuisine and everything in-between. From Manatee Public Beach you can walk all the way to the north tip of the island if you care to (many do) in about 2 hours. If you need some adventure, go parasailing, take a charter fishing trip or a tour boat to Egmont Key.
Clearwater Beach is beautiful. The sand is white and from the pier there is a nice view and it is the place to be at sunset. The water is generally shallow and reasonably clear most of the time. There is entertainment around the pier at night with arts, crafts, music, and street performers.
Clearwater Beach is very swimmer friendly and has lifeguards. Clearwater Beach hotels are lined up along the Gulf of Mexico on the white sugar sand beaches.
Sanibel and Captiva
Sanibel makes a powerful statement about itself by setting aside nearly one-third of the island as a wildlife preserve. Sanibel is a large island–twelve miles long and, in some places, three miles wide. Captiva is a separate island, just north of Sanibel, and is about five miles long and much narrower than Sanibel. North Captiva is another, separate island north of Captiva that can be reached only by boat or airplane.
Sanibel is about more than just the beach. It is an island experience completely unique to Sanibel. Despite the large population of visitors that vacation on the island, there is still a very strong sense of community. And the community is dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of the island.
There are no tall condominiums on these islands, no fast food chains, no large discount shopping centers or malls. Development has been strictly controlled. Even in the areas with shopping and restaurants, on Periwinkle Way, plenty of green space has been left and the foliage is beautiful. One third of the island is a wildlife refuge: Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
Marco Island is located about 30 minutes south of Naples. It is the southernmost island on the southwest coast of Florida that has beaches accessible by car. Marco Island is very overdeveloped. It was once covered with mangroves and Indian middens, but most of the mangroves were bulldozed, finger canals were carved into the coast so everyone could have a boat dock, and the land was filled in so homes and condos could be built. So here it is, out in the middle of nowhere, a retirement/vacation paradise with all the comforts of any small city. Development on Marco is relatively recent, so everything is new. The landscaping is beautiful, with coconut palms and tropical foliage and flowers everywhere. The beaches are beautiful. There are a lot of condominiums and luxury resorts on the beach. Marco Island is upscale all the way and caters to the well-to-do. But you can still get a good rate on a beachfront hotel, especially in the off season.