Florida beaches – there are hundreds along a 3,000 kilometer long coastline in the world’s most popular tourist destination.
Florida has beaches for everything and everybody. From crowded city beaches to deserted beaches on islands and even some for skinny dipping.
With the exception of the Everglades area and a small region in north Florida, one can say the whole state consists of beaches.
Some of the most famous Florida beaches:
– with the South Beach section being the one we name as number one city beach.
Siesta Key Beach
– famous for its powder like sand and always on the top lists regarding best beaches in the US.
– the crown jewel among the beaches in Pinellas county, and recently named “Best Beach in America”.
– located on Sanibel Island and the best place on this island to go shelling.
– has spots where you can (at low speed) drive and park your vehicle right on the beach.
Public beaches are normally owned by the county or the state, so recent news about giving private beach owners more rights is of little importance to the visitor.
Public Florida beaches always have guards, whose main task is to detect dangerous rip currents. Usually there are also bathrooms and often a restaurant.
Normally no nudity on Florida beaches
Nudity and topless sunbathing is not as common as in Europe. The
exception for the latter is Key West, South Beach and a few other places. Skinny dipping is rarely practised. The state only has one official nude beach which is Haulover Beach in north Miami Beach. Inofficially Playalinda Beach at beautiful Canaveral National Seashore is recommended for nude sun lovers.
Beaches in north Florida (The Panhandle or northeast) are unfortunately often forgotten. Along The Gulf of Mexico we find the most beautiful Florida beaches. Examples Grayton Beach State Park and St George Island.
The west coast beaches are a mix of city beaches and natural beaches. The best examples we find around Clearwater Beach. The town has a bustling beach life, as well as a few kilometers to the north, beautiful Caladesi Island, where you can find a peaceful spot. Clearwater Beach sits on a big peninsula which can be described as the Tampa Bay riviera with St. Pete Beach in the south.
Further south is Fort De Soto Park, close to several nice beaches in the small towns that make up Anna Maria Island.
Sarasota and her islands invite us to Lido Beach, the city beach, and world famous Siesta Key.
In the Fort Myers area we encounter several island beaches. Sanibel Island and Captiva are well-known destinations. Cayo Costa is a state park with deserted beaches. The areas city beach is equivalent of Estero Island, which is Fort Myers Beach.
Naples has a city beach, although we prefer nearby Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs.
The Everglades beaches are only accessed by wilderness hiking or canoeing. Exception: Marco Island.
Key West is not a beach destination, but the city has a few beaches, like Smather’s Beach and Dog’s Beach. Make a day trip to Dry Tortugas and you will find an exceptional marine environment. For the rest of Florida Keys, we recommend a stop in Bahia Honda State Park.
Florida beaches along all the Atlantic coast
Miami Beach lives up to its name. 96 blocks, beaches all the way. South Beach is great for people watching. If you stay further north in the city, make sure your hotel has direct beach access.
Same rule applies to Fort Lauderdale, no reason to stay any place where you need to drive to get to the beach.
The best beach promenade in southeast Florida: The Hollywood Beach Broadwalk.
In this part of Florida you can expect pretty high water temperature year around thanks to the Gulf Stream coming close to shore.
In theory, you can (with some additional swimming and detours) walk the rest of the Atlantic coast all the way to the state line. You will encounter all kinds of beaches.
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All content on this page and other parts of FloridaUSAguide is based on information from the Scandinavian online publication Florida.nu, established in Clearwater Beach, Florida, 2006.