7 Of Florida's Best Beaches To Visit
The state of Florida is famous for many things, from its oranges and key lime pie to Miami and Disney World, the state has much to offer to its residents and anyone who visits. Due to Florida's location with the Gulf of Mexico to the west and the Atlantic Ocean on the east-side, naturally there is fun to be had on the beaches of Florida.
From Daytona to Tigertail beach, these are 6 of Florida's best beaches:
1. Miami Beach
Image: South Beach
We start with the statement of the state, Miami Beach. Of course there are many good beach-spots to go to in Miami, but we'll list two for you here.
1. South Beach
Though this spot isn’t quite known for the beach per se, and be forewarned that the sands are coarse and parking is nearly impossible, however, if what you’re looking for is a crowd, that includes the rich, the famous and the youthful, party nowhere else than South Beach, Miami.
The neighborhood also has a glittering nightlife for you to party into the night. Rockwell is a recently opened spot on Washington Avenue by Miami nightlife impresario Chris Paciello. The venue formerly held by Les Bains and Chaos, is now a new concept that pays homage to Miami's nightlife. Rockwell offers a mix of musical formats as well as features live performances. You can always check the events happening at the Rockwell on their website.
Wall Lounge at W South Beach Hotel, is another great option. With a frequent guest list that includes who's-who, this elegant and upscale lounge divides its space into a small front bar with futuristic lighting, a main room with multi-colored harlequin mirrors and a huge gold sectional sofa. They constantly party with big name DJs and will have you dancing to your heart's content.
2. Crandon Park Beach on Key Biscayne
Image: Crandon Park Beach
If you want to enjoy your day on the beach without the annoyance of cigarette smoke and loud music, head over to Crandon Park Beach. Soft white sands surrounded by green lawns and palm trees, this is where Miami locals go to enjoy a relaxing day on the beach.
The area is very family friendly with tons to do like playing volleyball, having a picnic or an on-site grill. You can also rent a cabana on the south end of the Crandon Park. With a first-come first served basis, the cabanas have showers and give those who rent one an assigned parking space and exclusive picnic table on the beach.
2. Fort Lauderdale
Image: Fort Lauderdale
Located on the southeast coast of Florida, the city has the Atlantic Ocean fronting it. An average temperature of 75.5 °F (24.2 °C) all year round makes Fort Lauderdale just perfect for a day on the beach. Fort Lauderdale is also great for 'people watching' as you relax in the sands and soak up the sun.
Head over to Las Olas Boulevard for some shopping and dining. The area has over 30 alfresco dining options, 65 retail shops, 3 world class museums and 10 major international art galleries. So, you will have plenty to do when you're not on the beach.
Image: Caffe Europa (left), Big City Tavern (right)
Big City Tavern is a restaurant owned by the Big Time Restaurant Group, and offers an atmosphere that is reminiscent of the old taverns of Chicago and New York. Their menu features fresh seafood, steaks, pastas and salads, and they also have a rotating selection of craft and specialty beers and a wine list that emphasizes California varietals.
Caffe Europa offers an Italian dining experience with everything from pizza and pasta to gelato and cappuccino. The recipes for their dishes have been passed down from generation to generation. They also have an international wine and champagne list for you to choose from.
3. Key West
Image: Smathers beach
The southernmost city in Florida offers some beautiful beaches with breathtaking views. Smathers Beach is the largest of the beaches in Key West with its sands running over 2 miles long (3.2 kilometres). Smathers beach beach is great for families as children can play way into the waters without worrying about a drop in water depth, there are no strong currents or undertows to worry about either.
The beach also has trails for cycling, benches for picnics and beachside activities such as volley ball for good family fun. Also, because the waters are not too deep and has no undertow, you can also enjoy getting your head under the waters for some snorkeling.
Of course, while you're in Key West, you need (and I mean 'NEED') to try some Key Lime Pie at places such as Key Lime Factory or Key West Key Lime Shoppe. The dish was also featured in our “6 dishes from around the world that we love” article.
Image: Tigertail beach
Image:paddle boarding at Tigertail beach
Facing the Gulf of Mexico, the beaches at Naples are a lot warmer than that of the east-side beaches. There are several to choose from in Naples, from South Marco Beach at the southernmost end of the island to Naples Municipal Beach and Pier which has been a part of the community for over 100-years.
Tigertail beach is one to that we would recommend, located at Marco Island's northern end, the area is one of the world's most important habitats for wintering and nesting shorebirds. The beach boast beautiful white sands with both high and low tides and lots of room for you to stroll along. You can also rent kayaks, paddle boards, cabanas and beach chairs to fully enjoy your beach experience.
5. Gulf Island’s National Seashore, Pensacola
Image: Gulf Island’s National Seashore
Image: At Fort Barrancas
The Gulf Island's National Seashore in Pensacola gets a 5-star rating on TripAdvisor.com and is also given the #2 ranking on things to do in Pensacola beach. The seashore stretches across three gulf coast states, Navarre Beach, Florida and Gulfport, Mississippi.
The area is filled with history, giving those interested a unique-look into the military past of Pensacola going back to before the American Revolution. Fort Barrancas, originally built by the British and used by the Spanish as well as US navies, sits on a hill on the western shoreline and is one of the oldest structures in the area.
The seashore itself is paradise-like and is great for getting away from the crowd and relaxing in the sun. It is also surrounded by a thriving ecosystem of marine wildlife. Dolphins, sea turtles and rays are commonly spotted in the clear waters near the shoreline. That makes it a great spot for both children and adult nature lovers.
6. Lovers Key State Park
Lovers Key State Park is renowned for its pristine white sands. The park also has hiking and bicycle trails, as well as kayaks rentals to explore the surroundings. The beach front itself is beautiful, unspoiled and quiet, making it a romantic spot to visit. The area is also surrounded by nature and wildlife.
The beautiful views and pristine white sands coupled with the serenity of the nature makes Lovers Key State Park, truly a wonderful destination.
7. Daytona Beach
Image: Daytona Beach Golf Club
Located in Volusia County, Florida, Daytona beach is famous for being a motorsport mecca in the USA. Events such as NASCAR's opening Daytona 500 and Coke Zero 400, Bike week, Biketorberfest and the 24 hours Daytona Endurance race take place there. The beach road course hosted races for nearly 50 years before it replaced in 1959 by the Daytona International Speedway.
You can also play some golf while you're there at Crane Lakes Golf and Country Club on their semi-private 18-hole course or head to Daytona Beach Golf Club on either the north or south courses for a day of golfing fun.
Daytona is definitely a fun place to be with tons to see. Not too relaxing, but oh so exciting!