The best beaches in Florida, on both the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, feature white, powdery sand, national and state beach parks, rich marine life, and environments suitable for adults and children alike. Here are our picks for the 15 best Floria Beaches, from the Panhandle to the Keys, each with its own distinct personality, from the enticing South Beach to the unexpected surf town of New Smyrna, and from the natural wonders of Dry Tortugas National Park to those of Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge.
Get ready to lay out a towel, soak up some rays, and enjoy the many exciting attractions on land and water in sunny South Florida.
#1 Beaches Florida: Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin
Only a select handful will ever get to see this pristine island, which is 3.5 miles long. Wide stretches of pure white sand, turquoise ocean, exquisite seashells, and abundant bird life make for a breathtaking setting.
You can take a ferry from Honeymoon Island State Park, or walk over from Clearwater Beach to the south and reach the island (a major hurricane in 1985 dredged up enough sand to create a link between Caladesi and Clearwater). That’s not the best part. Renting a kayak from one of Honeymoon Island’s reputable tour companies is a fun and exciting way to get from the island to the town of Caladesi.
#2 Florida Beaches: South Beach, Miami
Florida’s most renowned beach is a 2.2-mile strip of white sand that is home to beautiful people, expensive cars, revealing swimwear, and Art Deco buildings. The part adjacent to Ocean Drive (between 5th and 15th Streets) is the busiest and most touristy, whereas the section south of Fifth Street is where locals congregate because of its relative peace and quiet.
Because of its proximity to South Pointe Park and its easy access to its walking paths and sunset vistas, South Pointe Beach is one of the most popular in the area. A sea of Speedo-clad, toned bodies may be found around the 12th Street lifeguard stations, which are designated as the gay beach with rainbow flags.
From 15th to 22nd Street, hotel beach clubs take up much of the shoreline; however, anyone is welcome to spread out a blanket if they choose. The Betsy – South Beach, 1 Hotel South Beach, SLS Hotel South Beach, and The Setai Miami Beach were all recognized as the best hotels in South Beach by readers in 2021.
#3 Beaches Flordia: Clearwater Beach
In addition to its clean, shallow seas, pillow-soft sands, playground, and Beach Walk Promenade, which is perfect for bike trips and rollerblading, this Gulf Coast beach is a magnet for kids and their parents. When you need a break from the sun, head inland to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where you can see dolphins, sea turtles, river otters, stingrays, and nurse sharks. Come to Pier 60 for the daily festival-like celebration of the sunset, where street entertainers will entertain you.
#4 Nicest Beaches in Florida: Marco Island Beach
At Marco Island’s western edge, you’ll find beautiful, broad stretches of white sand perfect for strolls and shelling. To find sand dollars and other treasures, you’ll need to wade out to the sandbars at low tide. Tigertail Beach Park, located in the northern part of this barrier island, is a popular spot for paddleboarders due to its tidal lagoon.
Beachfront hotels like the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort and the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa attract families further south. Marco Island is a popular breeding area for seabirds like least terns and black skimmers, so there is a lot of activity there as well.
#5 Best Florida Beaches: Fort Lauderdale Beach
Stop thinking you know anything about Fort Lauderdale. The spring break mecca of yore, complete with Pabst Blue Ribbon-strewn beaches, Hawaiian Tropic oil slicks, and sold-out motels, is no more. This beach’s history is currently being retold in terms of pristine stretches of sand, crystal clear waters, five-star hotels, and mega-yachts. The Where the Boys Are stigma has been eradicated thanks to massive investments in infrastructure that have transformed Fort Lauderdale Beach into a low-key, high-end alternative to the beaches in nearby Miami.
#6 Top Beaches Florida: Bill Baggs Cape State Park, Key Biscayne
The unspoiled, mile-long stretch of sand at Key Biscayne’s southern point is consistently ranked among the best beaches in the United States, and it’s easy to understand why. The gentle waves and peaceful shoreline make for perfect daydreaming conditions. However, if you’re up for a little adventure, you can also check out the impressive network of biking and walking trails that offer spectacular views of the Miami skyline. Explore the Cape Florida Lighthouse, South Florida’s oldest structure dating back to 1845, and keep your eyes out for Stiltsville, a neighborhood of antique homes that seem to float on the surface of Biscayne Bay. The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami is a neighbouring luxurious but laid-back island refuge with its own 1,200-foot-long golden sand beach, perfect for combining with a visit to Bill Baggs.
#7 Prettiest Beaches in Florida: Bowman’s Beach, Sanibel Island
This good beach in Florida is located just off the main Sanibel-Captiva Road but has remained relatively untouched, making it ideal for anyone seeking a quieter escape without sacrificing any of Sanibel Island’s famous sunsets, superb shelling, or calm waves. Inland rivers to the west of the beach make it a prime location for windsurfing, sailing, and even canoeing, making it one of Florida’s top beaches for these activities.
However, our favourite thing to do here is to go barefoot along the beach, taking in the beautiful Gulf scenery and collecting as many shells as we can hold.
#8: Top Beaches In Florida: Fort De Soto Park, Tierra Verde
This beach park is impressive with its 1,136 acres split across five islands, white sands, nature walks, and the patchwork of mangroves, all of which are perfect for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. The coast is frequently visited by bottlenose dolphins, and manatees can be seen bobbing in the sea.
The natural tidal pool on North Beach is a great place to take the kids to play around and look for seashells. Fido and his human companions can swim in the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico at Dog Beach, which is a quarter mile long. A larger “Paw Playground” includes two grassy dog parks (one for larger pooches, another for smaller pups), water fountains, and hoses to rinse off the sand.
#9 White Sands Beach In Florida: Haulover Beach, Miami
Haulover Park, a 177-acre county-run park in northern Miami Beach, is home to Florida’s first legally sanctioned public nude beach. Clothing is optional on this family-friendly beach, which attracts people of all shapes, sizes, and sexes.
The nicest beach in Florida is often unofficially divided into three sections: one for families, one for non-families, and one for LGBTQ+ people. Between lifeguard towers 2 and 3 along Halouver’s 1.4-mile coastline is a dog beach where canine companions are free to run, roll, play catch, and even take a refreshing plunge in the Atlantic Ocean. Also, the Haulover Inlet current helps bring some of Miami’s best waves to this beach, making it a popular spot for bodyboarders and people just learning to surf.
#10 Beautiful Beaches In Florida: Bahia Honda, Florida Keys
The Florida Keys are home to some of the best stretches of sand in the world, and a 524-acre beach park sits at the meeting point of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Located at US-1/Overseas Highway mile marker 37, Bahia Honda is a must-see for anybody driving between Miami and Key West.
There are isolated and more crowded areas to lounge in the sun, and great chances to cast a line or paddle a kayak or snorkel. Don’t forget to raise your eyes above the sand and have a peek at the most complete part of Henry Flagler’s elevated international railroad.
Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge
Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, located between Melbourne Beach and Wabasso Beach in the middle of Florida’s east coast, is 20 and a half miles of beach and coastline habitat dedicated to sea turtle conservation. The area is the most important for sea turtle nesting in North America, and the world’s most important for loggerhead sea turtles. During nesting season (June–July yearly), Friends of the Carr Refuge hosts naturalist-led evening turtle walks.
At this time of year, you can watch as a mother sea turtle returns to the water after laying her eggs in a nest she has built. Daytime dig turtle watches can be done to see hatched sea turtle nests as the hatchlings begin emerging from the nests in August and September.
In the northeastern part of the state, on a barrier island with 13 miles of shoreline and 40 public access sites, you may enjoy some time with your family doing some traditional activities. The beach isn’t crowded, so you can spread out a blanket (or settle onto a lounger), grab an ice cream cone, and watch the kids play on the sand. The ADA-compliant Mobi-mat strewn across the boardwalk ramp at the Main Beach access point is a great safety measure for wheelchair users.
The Atlantic Recreation Center rents out four beach wheelchairs, three of which are upright models and one of which is a Mobi floating beach wheelchair so that people who use these devices can still enjoy the sand and surf.
Henderson Beach State Park, Destin
This beach Florida in the Panhandle is especially stunning because of the succession of white sand dunes that rise to a height of 30 feet. It’s a beautiful section of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, a protected area of the Gulf of Mexico that runs for 160 miles from the coast of Mississippi to the panhandle of Florida. It’s worth noting that this park isn’t simply well-liked by people; it’s also a hotspot for dolphins, a place where brown pelicans and black skimmers come to eat, and a breeding site for green and loggerhead sea turtles.
Siesta Key Beach, Sarasota
There are lots of what they claim is the world’s finest, whitest sand on this enormous beach in the Gulf of Mexico (the sand is more than 99 percent pure quartz, which helps it stay cool even when the temperature outside is soaring). Siesta Key is a family-friendly beach full of sand sculpture artists, hippies, and families enjoying the sunshine, not the drama-filled splash ground shown on MTV’s hit reality show Siesta Key.
Jupiter Dog Beach
This northern Palm Beach County beach is a designated off-leash dog park, so you may expect to see paw prints of all sizes and shapes. It is the longest dog-friendly beach on the East Coast at 2.5 miles long. There are doggie bags conveniently placed throughout the beach, and all four-legged visitors are expected to be well-behaved, obedient, and social.
Above are the 15 Florida Beach that Hyannis Holiday has just introduced to you. Hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful trip to Prettiest Beaches in Florida!