Powdery-white sands, turquoise-blue waters, beachfront eateries, and spectacular sunset views make for the perfect getaway. But there's no need to travel to a distant, exotic locale to enjoy these amenities. Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are just a few hours away. You don't even need a passport to find them. With nearly 1200 miles of coastline, Florida offers everything travelers need to immerse themselves in some well-deserved relaxation.
Famous for its vacation venues, there are more than 800 beaches in the Sunshine State to choose from. Snorkeling, kayaking, and biking are just a few of the activities you'll find. Or, if you're looking for nothing more than laying under a sun-filled sky and soaking up some rays, the locale choices are endless. Whatever your dream vacation is, you'll have no trouble finding ways to spend your time. Choose your paradise.
On Florida's western coast, you'll find beautiful Clearwater Beach. Treasured by locals and visitors alike, it's famous for its soft sand, blue waters, and beautiful views of both the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. Join in on a game of beach volleyball or try out parasailing and enjoy a bird's eye view of the beach. The shallow, warm waters, pristine beaches, and picturesque sunsets make it a popular spot for families and photographers alike.
Google the term "great Florida beaches," and you'll easily find this Caribbean-like, island setting. With its crystal-white sands, transparent, clear-blue waters, and swaying palm trees, you'll understand why. Bahia Honda is a popular state park in the Florida Keys, and one of the best in Florida, according to locals. Choose from three equally beautiful beaches: Calusa, on the northwest side; Sandspur on the Atlantic side; and Loggerhead on the western end of the island.
For those who crave natural settings and collecting treasures along the beach, Sanibel Island, located in the Gulf of Mexico, is a unique choice. Stroll along the 15-mile shoreline that wraps around the island, and you'll find amazing and colorful conch, cockles, and scallop shells, unbroken and plentiful. In fact, this beach is the shelling capital of North America. You'll see a historic lighthouse, a rustic boardwalk, and perfect sunsets on Bowman's Beach, a more remote section of sandy waterfront along on the northwest end of Sanibel Island.
Just a short hour's drive from Tampa, you'll find Siesta Key, an eight-mile barrier island. Once you arrive, you'll find Siesta Beach, a revamped public beach surrounded by a 40-acre park. The beach is famous for its white quartz sand, which stays cool despite the hot Florida sun and squeaks under your feet as you walk across it. You'll find walking trails, lifeguards on duty, food and drink concessions, a playground, picnic shelters, and drum circle events on the weekends.
Surfers love the calm, consistent waves at Cocoa Beach, which sits on Florida's Atlantic coast. The shallow water depths allow you to wade out past the breakers, so it's an excellent place for aspiring surfers as well. Although the area is immersed in surfer culture, you'll also find excellent parasailing, stand-up paddleboard and kayak rentals, and kitesurfing. Take a stroll along the 800-foot boardwalk that stretches out over the Atlantic Ocean and witnesses one of the most beautiful sunsets in all of Florida.
This picturesque beach once had a reputation as a Spring Breaker's paradise, but in recent years, Fort Lauderdale Beach has taken on a trendier, classier persona. These days, majestic palm trees and mansions line the promenade behind the beachfront. Sure, you'll still find plenty of happy hour locations that offer a unique array of craft cocktails and great food. But these days, you'll find most of the visitors sunbathing while participating in one of the most popular local activities: people watching.
For more than a century, this beach has been a favorite spot for fishermen. You'll see them lined up on the beach's historic pier trying to reel in the catch-of-the-day. Naples Municipal Beach has 10 miles of oceanfront views with magnificent sunsets, but that isn't all that makes this an Instagrammable-worthy locale. Watch the dolphins and stingrays play in the waters, just off the pier, and take advantage of the beach's long list of amenities to create the perfect day out.
Nestled along Florida's west coast, in the 1100-acre Fort De Soto Park near Tampa is Fort De Soto Beach. Locals love this 6-mile, family-friendly, dog-friendly beach, which may be why travel experts recognized it twice as one of the state's best beaches. The majestic views, clean, white sands, and hiking trails make it a great spot for a fun weekend camping adventure or a short day trip. Go fishing off the pier, rent a kayak, and explore the beautiful shoreline or rollerblade along the paved trails.
Miami is one of Florida's top cultural and artistic hubs, known for its cuisine, its vibrant nightlife, and its diverse populations, plus, it's the home of Haulover Beach. Take a stroll along the beautiful shoreline, and once you reach the northern end, you'll find the only legal nude beach in the state. But this unique beach offers more than a place to sunbathe sans swimsuits. Check out one of the most popular beach activities, kite flying, or make your way to Food Truck Tuesdays, an event featuring an amazing selection of local food vendors, music, and entertainment.
The city of Palm Beach is no doubt the crown jewel of glitzy extravagance in Florida. This South Florida island has more than 47 miles of spectacular beachfront views and surprisingly, a wide range of budget-friendly lodging options. Palm Beach Municipal Beach is one of the top-rated beaches in the state, according to visitors and locals alike. Swaying palm trees, stylized architecture, upscale boutiques, exclusive galleries, and unique restaurants add to its charm and offer a unique place to take in some rays.
If you're seeking a more secluded beach, Santa Rosa Beach in northwest Florida is a great place to tune out the noise and appreciate the calming benefits of the ocean. Travelers seek out not only the sugar-like sand on the beach but also the area's clear, turquoise waters and serene atmosphere. National Geographic named Santa Rosa Beach as a 2019 hotspot. You'll find a thriving local artist's community, luxury beach houses, and upscale dining experiences in this unique beach neighborhood.
For those who've never experienced Miami, South Beach is the best place to start your adventure. This is the land of beautiful people, world-class accommodations, and year-round fun-in-the-sun. South Beach is not the perfect destination for those seeking solitude and relaxation. It's a thriving hub for locals and tourists alike, where you'll find superb sunbathing spots, volleyball courts, lots of paved sidewalks for rollerblading, and gentle ocean waves that are perfect for the novice surfer.