Beaches in Florida, Key West Beach, South Beach, Siesta Key Beach, Delray Beach, Clearwater Beach, Atlantic Beach, Naples Beach,
Take advantage of the Sunshine State’s surf, sun and sand at these top 10 beaches in Florida. With remote island getaways, big-city beaches and family-friendly shores perfect for shelling and sand-castle building, Florida promises a beach for every visitor. Check out our recommendations and browse through photos of Florida's best beaches.
Key West Beach
Paradise is located just off the coast of mainland Florida — and it's called Key West. As Jimmy Buffett crooned, Key West is the original changer of latitudes and attitudes, and 1 weekend here proves that he knew exactly what he was talking about. Fort Zachary Taylor State Park is one of Florida's most beautiful spots, with wide stretches of sugary sand and tranquil waters. Visitors can rent snorkel gear or a 2-person glass-bottom kayak from the concession area. Or stick to dry land and rent a bike to navigate the single bike path that winds beside the Key West shipping channel, around the fort, through a rocky, secluded beach and to countless picnic spots.
South Beach is an international playground offering nonstop nightlife, sandy shores, unique architecture and plenty of eye candy. When imagining the South Beach scene, think Baywatch with an architectural twist ... even the lifeguard stands are art deco masterpieces. The long, man-made beach stretches up the Atlantic for miles and is perfect for early morning runs and topless sunbathing. And while it may not be the Caribbean, the water is as clean and clear as the Atlantic gets. The beach is also about the best spot to view the city lights at night before exploring the legendary club scene.
Siesta Key Beach
With so much to see and do, it's almost impossible to lie idle on Siesta Key. Whether you curl your toes in it, run your fingers through it or bask on it, the allure of the island sand is contagious. Beach lovers flock to these silky shores to take advantage of the wide expanse of sand and the tranquil Gulf waters. Siesta Key Beach is perfect for strolling, shell-collecting or more active pursuits, such as renting a catamaran or kayak from one of the many beach concessionaires. This perfect family vacation venue, which boasts beachside picnic areas and playgrounds, is also home to candlelit restaurants and cozy rental cottages ideal for a romantic getaway.
Delray Beach at Ocean and Atlantic avenues is a charming village by the sea. Each year, nearly 1 million visitors flock to this family-friendly, 2-mile-long beach ideal for sunbathing, swimming and sand-castle building. When the sun goes down, visitors take a stroll on festive Atlantic Avenue, enjoying the boutiques, seafood restaurants, cool architecture and the Pineapple Grove Arts District. And if you’re looking for a worthwhile splurge, check into the Seagate Hotel and Spa on Atlantic Avenue, just a short trolley ride to the beach and the private Seagate Beach Club.
Clearwater Beach's well-deserved reputation as one of America's finest beaches has lured countless families and couples to its broad, sandy shores and beachfront hotels. Spread along a narrow, 3-mile stretch of the Pinellas Peninsula on the Gulf Coast, Clearwater Beach straddles the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the west and tranquil Tampa Bay to the east. This location between the 2 waters and Clearwater's proximity to Tampa offer visitors ample activities, such as sunbathing on white-sand beaches, diving into a game of beach volleyball, renting fishing boats, taking a dolphin-watching cruise, parasailing or heading to a mainland museum or aquarium.
Relaxing is easy on Atlantic Beach: Sand as soft and white as sugar, brilliant sunshine and azure waters abound. And while Atlantic Beach has heaps of small-town charm, it’s also just a short drive from Jacksonville, making it convenient for day-trippers and vacationers who want a short airport-to-beach commute. History buffs can learn about the development of the Atlantic Beach and neighboring Jacksonville beaches at the area’s Beaches Museum and History Center. After spending the afternoon strolling the shores, head to Beaches Town Center’s pedestrian-friendly cobblestone streets and check out the town’s restaurants, galleries, boutiques and frequent special events, including live music and the monthly North Beaches Art Walk, held on the third Thursday of every month.
The biggest dilemma when chilling on the pearly white sands in Naples is which way to look. On 1 side are the rolling waves, and on the other are the gleaming mansions that make up Millionaires' Row. One of the most popular beaches at Naples Pier is in the city, on 12th Avenue South. Another great beach lies a few miles north of Old Naples, at the Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. This is a great place to spread out the family's beach blanket and camp out for the day, as there are bathhouses and food stands on-site and rentals available for everything from umbrellas to kayaks to snorkeling gear.