Best Beaches in Florida
There must be a dozen sites that annually claim “The Top Ten Beaches in Florida”. They go on the rank them one through ten based, more than likely, on some economic reason or advertiser paid influence. Two things you won’t find in our Best Florida Beaches. One, you will have an assessment of our best beaches WITHOUT a ranking. Two, a beach like South Miami Beach won’t be included.
Florida Travel Log’s list of the Best Beaches in Florida has no sponsors influencing our findings and beaches that are shoulder to shoulder people are not “BEST” in anyone’s mind! In fact we try to give a broader spectrum of options as you travel around Florida.
Trying to rank a beach is subjective. Not only is choosing a beach subjective, but it may be your cravings for a towel in the sand that may change daily. One day you may want to be totally alone and unbothered by fellow sun-seekers. The next day you may want a pitcher of margaritas while watching some playful antics nearby. Our views and minds can alternate with our moods.
So here we go in alphabetical order the Best Beaches in Florida we have found so far.
Anna Maria Island Beach – Here is an area of Florida that hasn’t been bitten by the high rise condo bug. Quaint cottages and small hotels are along this long Gulf side beach just a few miles from Tampa, Clearwater and Sarasota.
Clearwater Beach – Yes, Clearwater Beach can get crowded, but you can walk a few hundred feet north and get out of the crowds. This may be the whitest, brightest sand you will find in Florida. Lot’s to do on this island! We live here and love it.
Cocoa Beach – This is a very commercial beach, but how can you skip a beach that has the Florida Surfing Museum and Cape Canaveral nearby. Yes, you can rent a surf board and visit the largest Ron Jon Surf Shop in the world. Great place to try your hand at surfing the Atlantic Ocean!
Panama City Beach – There is a chance you saw this beach while day dreaming of your college spring break. Panama City Beach is great for spring breakers, but the average tourist should try a different time of year if they are beyond the late night party days. Kids will love the area and the relatively calm Gulf waters. Every major hotel is here and the beach is miles long for an afternoon walk.
Sanibel – Captiva – These are islands in a chain of four that all have great beaches. However, Sanibel and Captiva are the only ones that are accessible by car (one of our criteria for best beach). These two are different, but are linked by the same access road from Ft. Myers. The traffic can be a nightmare on weekends, but weekdays will offer a great shelling experience on Sanibel and that relaxing surf on Captiva.
St, George Island Beach – If you want to just drop out of society for a day or two, St. George Island Beach is the choice. Most days you will only have the seabirds competing for a spot in the sand. The campground is remote and quiet nestled in an oasis in the middle of sand dunes. The picturesque setting will leave you relaxed and closer to nature than most beach experiences. One of our favorites.
St. Pete Beach – If lush white sand is what you want, add St. Pete Beach to your list of must visit beaches. For five miles you can walk along the eastern Gulf waters and visit some well known places like the historic Don CeSar Hotel and Spinners Restaurant for one of the best views in the county. Great destination for a young family!
Honorable Mention Best Beaches in Florida – the beaches below are great places to visit, but didn’t make our list because of one or two factors explained in the description. They may take a little more effort to get there, but offer glimpses of a different type of sand lover’s atmosphere.
Caladesi Island Sate Park – The beach on this island has made some lists for best beaches in Florida. However, one downfall (or benefit, depending on your perspective) is that Caladesi can only be reached by ferry from Honeymoon Island. Hiking trails and a remote beach. Great side trip if you visit Clearwater Beach.
Marco Island Beach – On the north side of the island is a wide strip of beach fronting many hotels and condominiums. This is a great stretch of beach, but it has little public access and it is relatively small (but wide).
Cayo Costa Island – We have written about Sanibel and Captiva above. Perhaps an equally good beach is Cayo Costa Island on the west side. Again, this beautiful beach can only be reached by boat.
Sarasota area beaches must be included in the list of honorable mentions. Siesta Key, Lido Beach and Crescent Beach are all great locations, but travel and parking make them difficult to navigate.
So where are those hidden gems we have missed? Send us a message!