Travel Leisure

The 5 Best Beaches in Florida for Sun, Surf and Scenery

If you’re looking for a domestic location with lots of sunshine, lots of water and great cuisine, chances are you are already thinking of Florida. With over 1,350 miles of coastline, Florida is synonymous with beautiful beaches and stunning shores that crawl along the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. But the great thing about Florida is that its beaches are not one-size-fits-all. Just like its diverse culture, the coastline of Florida comes in many flavors; from energetic hot spots perfect for partying to tranquil stretches ideal for quiet nature walks. Irrespective their your vibe, every beach lover can find their perfect patch of sand (or overwater bungalow if that’s your style) in Florida. To explore the very best, here are the top beaches that should be on your Florida bucket list.

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach in Florida is one of the best beaches in this state.

Clearwater Beach on the Gulf Coast frequently tops lists of the best beaches in Florida for its stunning tranquil blue waters, white sands, and abundance of beach amenities. Lifeguards are present, which is reassuring for families. The nearby Pier 60 area offers sunset festivals and attractions. Clearwater Beach is also ideally located close to Clearwater’s restaurants and shops. It also has stunning views so, walking the entire length of soft sand to take in the dramatic views is a must.

Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Beach, Florida, one of the best beaches in the state.

Located in the Florida Keys, Bahia Honda State Park’s beaches perfectly showcase the tropical splendor of the islands. Clear shallow waters allow for incredible snorkeling and swimming activities. The park’s beaches are immaculately maintained and never crowded despite their world-class beauty. Nearby nature trails through pine forests and mangroves make Bahia Honda a paradise for beach lovers who also enjoy the outdoors. 

Siesta Beach

Siesta Beach, Florida is a great place to relax and consider one of the best beaches in the state.

Consistently recognized as one of America’s best beaches, Siesta Beach near Sarasota on the Gulf impresses with its powdery quartz sand that remains cool underfoot even in the hot sun. The expansive beach area accommodates crowds without feeling packed, offering plenty of space to stretch out. Beach amenities like lifeguards, picnic areas, and volleyball courts complement Siesta’s natural beauty. Additionally, the stunning sand and gradual slope into the calm waters create an ideal beach experience.

South Beach

South Beach in Miami, Florida
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If you are looking for an energetic vibe and lively nightlife, Miami’s South Beach along the Atlantic will deliver. The tropical art deco architecture sets a stylish backdrop for this iconic urban beach. Because it’s a hot spot for celebrities and fashion models, people-watching is top-notch. The beach scene transitions seamlessly into open-air restaurants and nightclubs as the sun goes down. In all, South Beach offers a lively culture beyond just sunning and swimming all day.

Crescent Beach

Crescent Beach in Florida is one of the best beaches to visit.

Crescent Beach is located on a barrier island near St. Augustine, Crescent Beach offers a pristine Atlantic shoreline abutting wild natural settings. The undeveloped dunes, marshes, and maritime forests surrounding Crescent Beach lend an aura of remote tranquility. Surfing and fishing are popular, and cars are allowed to park right near the water in some areas. For nature-loving beach fans, Crescent Beach’s beauty and seclusion top the list.

With Atlantic waves, Gulf breezes, vibrant crowds, and remote island settings, Florida’s wealth of stunning beaches has options for every preference that truly delivers when it comes to the quintessential beach lifestyle. So if you want to experience these top beaches firsthand, go ahead and add Florida to your bucket list. While you’re at it, check out Florida’s best Airbnb’s to consider when planning your trip. 

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