With their sunny days and warm temperatures, Florida beaches are some of the best beaches in the world. From the Atlantic to the Gulf, Florida beaches come in all shapes and sizes. Some beaches are quintessential “old Florida” with an easy-going and relaxed vibe, while other beaches boast dining and nightlife that will satisfy the most discerning visitor.
No matter your budget or taste there is a Florida beach for you on this list of the best beaches in Florida. Read on and choose the beach the beach (or beaches!) that is best for you! After that checkout our list of the best travel sites and book your trip to one of these great beaches.
List of the Best Beaches in Florida
Less built-up and “touristy” than many other beaches, Anna Maria Island offers a homey and idyllic beach destination. Visitors looking to get away from hustle and bustle typical of many beaches and just relax will appreciate Anna Maria Island and all it offers. With its old Florida charm and its delicious seafood Anna Maria Island is not to be missed.
Sanibel Island, along with nearby Captiva Island, is gem among the southwest Florida beaches. With bike trails aplenty and unique dining and shopping options, Sanibel Island has a relaxed and picturesque atmosphere. The island also boasts great shelling and a wildlife refuge where visitors can leisurely canoe through protected wetlands.
A short drive west of Tampa, Clearwater Beach is a perennial favorite with beach goers. Home to Winter the dolphin, one of the best resorts in Florida, and clear gulf water, Clearwater Beach has something for everyone. Be sure to check out some of the top-rated dining establishments lining the beach – everything from freshly caught grouper to upscale fine dining is available.
Located in northeast Florida, Amelia Island is both picturesque and inviting. Between the famous beach horseback rides and Segways, taking in the island’s scenery is a breeze. Historic bed and breakfasts and unique boutiques add to the charm of Amelia Island.
Voted the best family beach in the US by Parent magazine, Fort De Soto North Beach is the perfect laid-back Florida beach. Just south of St. Petersburg, the beach is part of the Fort De Soto Park, a group of five islands complete with a museum and fort. In between exploring the history of the fort, beach goers can find shells of all shapes and colors on this beach, making it perfect for shell enthusiasts.
For a less crowded atmosphere than nearby Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale is the place to be. Clean white sand abounds here, and the dining strip is truly special. Rent a bike and cruise the boardwalk to experience all that Fort Lauderdale Beach has to offer.
With its sugar-white sand beaches and emerald-green water, Pensacola Beach is a favorite with many. Its laid-back vibe and variety of activities make it a relaxing, but fan beach destination. Pensacola Beach also offers an educational and informative Eco-Trail where visitors can learn about local plant and animal life.
Part of Miami Beach, South Beach is renowned for its nightlife and white sand beaches. Its iconic shopping and dining strip complete with Art Deco buildings has been featured in many a film or television show. While probably not the best beach for a family, South Beach’s beautiful shoreline and nightlife make it an ideal beach for those looking for a good time.
An easy hour drive from all of the Orlando attractions, Cocoa Beach is home to one of the largest surf shops in the world. And for good reason too – Cocoa Beach’s location on the Atlantic side of Florida allows surfers to catch better waves than they would on the Gulf side. The beach’s close proximity to Port Canaveral, a leading cruise port, also allows visitors easy access to the Caribbean.
Located in southwest Florida, Siesta Key Beach is consistently rated as one of the best beaches in Florida. Its relaxed vibe and soft, white quartz sand make it a family favorite year in and year out. While there be sure to get in some fishing and have some ice cream from one of the many delicious ice cream shops along the beach.
As the southernmost tip of Florida, Key West Beach is a taste of the Caribbean. There are many activities to choose from: kayaking, world class fishing, snorkeling, and boating. Key West also has an active nightlife, giving visitors something to do almost 24/7.
Originally a barrier island located off of the Florida panhandle, Destin Beach is now connected to mainland Florida. As part of Florida’s “Emerald Coast” its emerald-green water attracts visitors from near and far. While there are many activities to choose from, dolphin watching and a thriving art and entertainment scene are favorites for many.
Best Beaches in Florida Conclusion
With pretty much the entire perimeter of the state of Florida touching water, it makes sense that there would have some pretty amazing beaches located there.
So whether you are a Florida native, or looking to plan a vacation, this list of the best beaches in Florida is going to provide you with a few different beaches that you definitely need to visit.
Have you been to any of these beaches? Let us know how it was in the comments below.