24 Florida Beaches Too Beautiful to Ignore

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If you're craving soft sand between your toes or just need a beach escape, we've got the lowdown on Florida's top spots. We're talking powdery quartz strands, rocket launches, island-hopping adventures.

From lively hot spots like Cocoa Beach to remote tropical oases, these gems showcase the Sunshine State's 1,300 miles of glorious coast.

So pack your sunnies, slather on that SPF, and get ready for beachcombing, snorkeling, chilling, and more as we uncover these sandy paradises. Let this insider guide be your compass. 

1. Amelia Island

Amazing aerial view of Amelia Island, Florida - USA

For a quieter escape, head to Amelia Island in Northeast Florida. It's just a hop away from Jacksonville. You'll find pristine beaches, historic charm, horseback riding, and birdwatching activities.

Amelia island fishing pier at sunrise

If history's your thing, reviewers recommend dropping by Fort Clinch State Park:

Definitely go to Fort Clinch! There's a nice beach in the park where a lot of people find shark teeth. You can ride bikes in there as well! Downtown Fernandina is where all the touristy shops are, but there are some good restaurants.

I like Timoti's! Something for everyone, not too expensive, a playground for kids in the back, and super fresh shrimp. Walking downtown for an hour or so can be fun too. 

2. Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach pier in Cape Canaveral of Florida near Orlando

Cocoa Beach isn't just about the sand and surf on the East Coast. This spot is famous for rocket launches, thanks to its proximity to the Kennedy Space Center.

Missile launch from Cape Canaveral viewed from Cocoa Beach Florida

If you're into that sort of thing, you can catch some exciting launches here. And, of course, there's the vibrant surf scene and those stunning sunrises over the Atlantic.

Although this was dubbed a "pretty" beach, some reviewers expressed discontent over the litter and crowds. It can get crowded during peak times, so an early arrival is wise.

3. Caladesi Island State Park

Panorama of Caladesi Island State Park or Clearwater Beach Florida

If you're up for some adventure, check out Caladesi Island State Park. You can only get there by ferry or boat from Honeymoon Island State Park. But it's worth the effort.

Caladesi island state park nature

A visitor was happy about the solitude of the place and the wildlife cameos along the way:

The ferry ticket is $18 per person. It’s quick to get there, 15ish minutes. On our way there we saw a dolphin. The ferry sailor was really nice! The beach was almost empty. White and soft sand and the water clear and cold. Really good to relax. A lot of shells in the shore. There are some chairs and umbrellas (I think you have to pay $35 for them) There are bathrooms, gift shop (with beer, water, soda, snacks).

Nature lovers will enjoy hiking, birdwatching, and kayaking. Just make sure to plan your ferry ride ahead of time.

4. St. Pete Beach

Resort and hotel lounge chairs lined up on clean, white sand under clear, blue sky at beautiful St. Pete Beach in St. Petersburg, Florida

Over on the Gulf Coast, St. Pete Beach is all about relaxation. The soft, white sand and calm waters make it perfect for kicking back. It also has a lively nightlife scene and a charming downtown area.

American Coast or shore line in Gulf of Mexico. St Petersburg Clearwater Florida

Although it can get crowded, the majority of reviews on this place have been positive:

The beach is packed. But we can’t ask for the opposite: it’s a beautiful beach! The rocks make it even more beautiful! The water is warm, clear and full of small fish.

The sand is white and soft. A lot of shells can be found. There are some tents, I guess for everyone to use. There are also volleyball nets.

Beyond the beach, you can enjoy water sports and some delicious beachfront dining. Don't miss those Gulf Coast sunsets—they're something else.

Speaking of sunsets, you can catch some of the best on these Florida beaches: 12 Beaches to Witness Florida’s Best Sunrises and Sunsets.

5. Siesta Key Beach, Sarasota

Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, FL

Let's start with Siesta Key Beach over on the West Coast. This place is like a classic Florida postcard.

It's got that powdery white quartz sand that stays cool even when scorching hot. The water is a beautiful turquoise, perfect for swimming and water sports. You can also find beach volleyball and great spots for picnics here.

Aerial photo closeup tourists on Siesta Key Beach

One guest raved about the sand quality, staff, and parking, even calling it one of the best beaches in America:

Amazing beach, white sands, well kept and groomed. People in the area super friendly, free parking, among one of the best beaches sin America. We had a wonderful time enjoying the day here. I would suggest this to anyone who loves a white sand beach. The area is quiet so it is truly a wonderful time along with the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Beautiful Sandpipers wandering the shoreline.

6. Bahia Honda State Park

sunset view of bahia honda state park

You'll find Bahia Honda State Park on Bahia Honda Key when heading down to the Florida Keys. It's got secluded beaches, perfect for some quality alone time, especially around December. The snorkeling here is top-notch, and there's plenty of lush vegetation to explore. Don't forget your snorkeling gear!

Palm view of Bahia Honda State Park, on Big Pine Key, Florida

A New Jersey native learned a safety lesson while wandering the beautiful space:

Bahia Honda is a world class beach (in an island chain with few Sandy beaches). Sandspur Beach on the Atlantic side is calm and shallow with crystal clear water. Do not venture in to the natural areas off the beach or you will discover why it is called “Sandspur Beach”… which I did, thus learning a valuable lesson. We have been a number of times and no visit to the middle Keys would be complete without at least one visit to Bahia Honda.

If you're an RVer, this state park covers your camping needs. Check out our guide for RV camping here: Bahia Honda State Park: An RVer’s Ultimate Guide To Beach Camping.

7. Santa Rosa Beach

Summer Day at Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Santa Rosa Beach offers more than just miles of turquoise waters and sugary white sands. It's a haven where you can explore Point Washington State Forest or dine with a view at local seafood spots.

This beach isn't just a place to relax; it's an opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of the Florida Panhandle.

8. Pensacola Beach

Beautiful aerial view of resort town of Pensacola, Florida

Pensacola Beach is not only famous for its stunning white sands but also for the historic Fort Pickens.

Here, you can enjoy the Gulf of Mexico's waves on one side and the tranquil Pensacola Bay on the other. It's a perfect spot for those who love history as much as they love beach days.

9. Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach

With 27 miles of stunning beaches, Panama City Beach is a favorite for sun-seekers. It's not just about the beaches; the area is bursting with water parks, restaurants, and live music venues, making it the ultimate family vacation spot.

10. South Hutchinson Island

Hutchinson Island Southern View Horizon

This gem offers tranquility away from the crowds. South Hutchinson Island is known for its beautiful, unspoiled beaches and is a prime location for turtle-watching.

Nature lovers will appreciate the peaceful beaches and the opportunity to connect with Florida's wildlife.

11. The Treasure Coast

Beach sunset, Treasure Island, FL

Stretching along Florida's east coast, the Treasure Coast is named for its shipwrecks with treasures. Today, it's treasured for its unspoiled beaches, clear waters, and quiet retreats.

Whether you're into diving to explore underwater wrecks or just soaking up the sun, this coast offers a unique blend of adventure and relaxation.

12. Grayton Beach

Aerial View of Grayton Beach Florida on a Beautiful Spring Afternoon

Nestled on the Emerald Coast, Grayton Beach is celebrated for its rustic charm and pristine natural beauty. The area's state park offers miles of trails for hiking and biking alongside some of the most undisturbed beaches in the country.

13. Gulf Islands National Seashore

Waves on the beach at Navarre Florida in the Gulf Islands National Seashore.

The Gulf Islands National Seashore is a national treasure that spans parts of Florida and Mississippi, offering some of the most untouched coastal environments in the United States.

You can enjoy biking, hiking, fishing, and bird watching while surrounded by breathtaking scenery. The seashore's historic forts and tranquil beaches make it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and history buffs.

14. Captiva Island

Sunset in Captiva Sanibel Island, Florida.

Captiva is known for its laid-back atmosphere and stunning sunset views. The island's beaches are perfect for shelling, fishing, or simply lounging by the sea.

With its array of wildlife, including dolphins and tropical birds, Captiva Island offers a serene escape into nature's beauty.

Naples Beaches

Naples Florida old pier aerial view

Naples, Florida, is renowned for its stunning beaches, unique experiences, and natural beauty. Here’s a closer look at what makes Naples' beaches truly special.

15. Vanderbilt Beach

Umbrellas along Vanderbilt Beach in Naples, Florida, USA at sunset

Vanderbilt Beach is famous for its expansive, soft white sands and clear, gentle waters, making it an ideal spot for swimming and sunbathing. This beach is perfect for families and visitors looking to relax in a picturesque setting, with ample amenities nearby for a comfortable day out.

16. Lowdermilk Park

Clear blue sky over Lowdermilk Beach in Naples, Florida

Lowdermilk Park offers a beautiful beach, volleyball courts, a children’s playground, and picnic areas, making it a hit among families and groups. Its calm waters and clean sands are perfect for building sandcastles or simply enjoying a peaceful day by the sea.

17. Naples Pier

Enchanting Coastal Sunset at Naples Pier, Florida, Captured in Perfect Radiance

A visit to Naples is incomplete without a stroll on the Naples Pier. Extending into the Gulf, it's a prime location for fishing, dolphin watching, or capturing stunning sunset views.

The Pier is a central part of Naples' charm, offering breathtaking vistas and a chance to connect with nature. You can find Florida's other good fishing spots here: 13 Best Fishing Piers In Florida.

18. Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park

Delnor Wiggins Pass State Park Beach

For those seeking a more natural beach experience, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park provides unspoiled shores, opportunities for snorkeling in its clear waters, and the chance to spot diverse marine life. This state park is a serene escape from the more crowded beaches, offering a peaceful haven for nature lovers.

The Emerald Coast Beaches

Beautiful day on a pristine beach on the Emerald Coast of Florida

The Emerald Coast, a stunning stretch of 100 miles along Florida's Panhandle, is celebrated for its pristine white sands and vibrant green waters, appealing to both water sports enthusiasts and families seeking a picturesque getaway:

19. Destin

Destin Florida during morning sunrise

Destin is a highlight of the Emerald Coast, offering a plethora of activities such as snorkeling, paddleboarding, and jet skiing. Its reputation as the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village" attracts anglers of all levels for some of the best fishing experiences.

20. Fort Walton Beach

Ocean at Fort Walton Beach

Fort Walton Beach provides a mix of outdoor adventure and cultural richness. With its beautiful beaches, visitors can enjoy a day filled with water activities. The nearby Air Force Armament Museum offers a glimpse into the area's military history, making it a unique visit to the coast.

21. Okaloosa Island

Shoreline at Okaloosa Island with partial view of fishing pier

Okaloosa Island stands out for its serene beaches, dolphin-watching tours, and family-friendly attractions. It's a quieter retreat than its more bustling neighbors, perfect for those seeking peace by the sea.

22. Henderson Beach State Park

 The beach patrol officers clear the beach area as the sun sets at Henderson Beach State Park Destin, Florida.

In Destin, Henderson Beach State Park is an oasis of nature trails, picnic spots, and unspoiled beaches. It's an ideal location for families to spend a day amidst nature's tranquility.

23. Grayton Beach to Seaside

Distant Aerial View of Grayton Beach Florida

The stretch from Grayton Beach to Seaside encapsulates the Emerald Coast's diverse charm, from the artsy vibes of Grayton Beach to the sophisticated ambiance of Seaside. Each town offers unique shopping, dining, and sunset viewing experiences, catering to different tastes and preferences.

24. Dry Tortugas National Park

The tropical waters of the Gulf of Mexico surround Historic Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas National Park known for its famous bird, marine life and great place for swimming and snorkeling

Finally, head to Dry Tortugas National Park if you're up for adventure. It's about 70 miles west of Key West, and you can only get there by boat or seaplane. But it's worth it for the secluded beaches, historic Civil War forts, and all the marine life you can spot.

A view of Fort Jefferson and the moat, Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

Although past visitors advised taking some Dramamine for the journey, the national park has been highly praised by many of the reviewers:

Amazing experience. We took the seaplane out and enjoyed the trip. Once on the island we explored Fort Jefferson then did some snorkeling. We would have liked to explore down the beach a bit more but with the half day seaplane trip you really need to prioritize your activities. Absolutely stunning park!

Snorkeling, exploring Fort Jefferson, and even camping are on the menu here. Just make sure to plan your transportation and pack all the necessities.

Did you know you could also catch bioluminescence and stargaze here? Learn more: Dry Tortugas National Park [A Dark Sky Paradise for Bioluminescence and Stargazing]

Final Tips for Your Florida Beach Adventure

As you embark on your journey to Florida's spectacular beaches, remember that each one offers its unique slice of paradise. Whether it's the serene shores of Amelia Island or the vibrant energy of Cocoa Beach, there's a perfect spot for every beach lover.

Pack your sunscreen, bring your sense of adventure, and check the local weather and beach conditions for a seamless experience. Most importantly, embrace every moment—from the whisper of waves at Siesta Key to the historic whispers of Dry Tortugas.

Florida's coast is not just a destination; it's a treasure trove of memories waiting to be made. So, dive in; the water’s fine, and your perfect beach day is just a sunrise away!

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  1. Really loved your brief insights on these incredible beaches. I’ve been to a few of these blessed locales, but now I want to drop in on each one…at least once. Not sure how I’m going to memorize them all though.

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