When you get exhausted from all the theme parks that Florida has to offer, it’s time to unwind and relax at its world-famous beaches. Also called the Sunshine State, Florida features more than 2,000 kilometres of coastline and over a thousand kilometres of beautiful sandy beaches affording gorgeous views of Florida’s finest seascapes.
Here are the best beaches you should definitely visit while in Florida.
Often considered as one of the United States’ finest beaches, Clearwater Beach is spread along a 5-kilometre stretch of the Gulf Coast’s Pinellas Peninsula. To the east lies the serene Tampa Bay; to the west is the Gulf of Mexico. You can play beach volleyball, go on a cruise to see some dolphins, try parasailing, go fishing or simply work on your tan—the options are endless at Clearwater.
Caladesi Island State Park
Beachcomb along the bright white sands of the Caladesi Island State Park and you can find sand dollars, or simply grab a beach chair and marvel at the beach’s azure waters. This island beach is located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, just a little bit off the coast of Dunedin.
Canaveral National Seashore
Measuring more than 40 kilometres, the Canaveral National Seashore is considered the longest expanse of undeveloped beach on Florida’s east coast. It sits on a slender barrier island and is a sanctuary of sea turtles and other wildlife. Beachgoers who want to experience this paradise can find it between Titusville and New Smyrna Beach.
Grayton Beach State Park
This park located on Florida’s Gulf Coast boasts a coastal dune lake that you can explore in a paddleboard or a kayak. With its fine white sand and majestic sunrise view, Grayton Beach State Park is a must-see for beach-loving adventurers.
You will want to take a siesta, or an afternoon nap, once you arrive at this beach in Siesta Key with its cool sand—made almost entirely of quartz crystals, mind you—and gentle sea breeze. Watch the sun set, collect shells, go on a picnic, take to the water in a kayak or simply stroll along the shoreline.
Barefoot Beach Preserve
Pristine is one word that will surely come to mind when you see what Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park has to offer. Its mile-long beach sits on one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on the southwest coast of Florida.
St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
Just across the bay from Port St. Joe, the St. Joseph Peninsula State Park is home to around 16 kilometres of white sand beaches, a heavily forested interior and striking dune formations—indeed the tallest sand dunes in the whole state. Camping is a must-do!
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park
If it’s shelling and snorkelling you’re after, head on over to the Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park in Naples. Dive in and see the wonders the Gulf Coast’s reef has to offer—you may even see some sea turtles and manatees frolicking along. Birdwatchers are also treated to several owls, migratory seabirds, ospreys and bald eagles, the only eagle unique to North America.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
What makes the beach at the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park stand out is its historic lighthouse, which is the oldest standing building in Miami-Dade County. You can go on a tour of the lighthouse and even fish along the seawall.
St. George Island State Park
Located on a barrier island, this state park features nearly 15 kilometres of strikingly white sand. Spend the night at the park for some stargazing and see the Milky Way it all its glory without all the city lights.