The 8 Best Beaches In Florida

The Sunshine Coast of Florida is a top destination for US and worldwide travellers alike. This guide suggests the Top 8 Best Beaches in Florida for all tourists.
Miami Beach. Photo: Denys Kostyuchenko |

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Florida AKA the sunshine state is a coast-to-coast year-round travel destination, with more than 1200 miles of shoreline. The top vacation destination in the USA has beaches for all types of travelers, from family-friendly to water sports, the Florida shores have something for everyone.

Florida’s beaches come in a variety of city breaks, beachside towns or complete relaxation resorts. If you’re looking for a place to stay and soak up the sun, here are the top 8 best beaches in Florida. 

1) Palm Beach

Palm Beach. Photo: Tessa Wilson |

A popular beach with spring breakers, Palm Beach is the perfect spot for all travellers. It has the nightlife and the sports, so there’s something for everyone at Palm Beach. With world-class golf courses, white sands, and water sports; it’s a top destination for US residents and tourists from around the world.

Palm Beach is a resort town located 70 miles from Miami. With upscale restaurants, old-style mansions, art galleries, and shopping on Worth Avenue. During Spring Break and the summer is when Palm Beach is at its high season, so if you’re looking to avoid crowds don’t visit during these times. 

2) Delray Beach

Palm Trees. Photo: Jorge Vasconez |

The beach that gives small-town vibes with entrainment options of a large city, Delray Beach is a hidden gem on Florida’s coastline. Aside from the beach, which boasts snorkelling and paddle boarding, there’s also the Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens to explore. 

Surrounded by many shops and restaurants, when you’ve finished at the beach you can stroll along Atlantic Avenue – lined with palm trees for upscale shopping and nightlife. This is the second-best option to Palm Beach if you’re looking for a less crowded stay. The small-town big-city vibes offer the best of both worlds, catering to all types of travellers. 

3) Destin Beach

Gulf Breeze. Photo: Aaron Burden |

Family-friendly, Destin Beach has gorgeous sands on the Gulf coast with plenty of adventure parks nearby. It’s the ultimate choice for a beach vacation with a laid-back atmosphere, meaning the summer months are its peak tourist season.

With various hotel resorts and villa rentals, there’s a choice of accommodation options to fit all budgets. Those on the beach may even spot dolphins and sea turtles! As Destin Beach is targeted at families, there are many activities off the beach to entertain and spend time with the kids. 

4) St George Island

Palm Tree Road. Photo: Lance Asper |

If you’re looking for pure relaxation, St George Island is 75 miles from Tallahassee and is a popular retreat for those seeking the ultimate beach escape. There are no high rises in this beach town, with pristine white sandy shores on Florida’s Gulf Coast. 

You can swim, kayak, fish or camp, and if you’re lucky you may even spot some local sea life. Aside from pelicans and crabs, you can expect to spot turtles and dolphins too. St George Island is the ultimate beach retreat if you’re looking to switch off from the world, and if you’re looking for the Cape Cod lifestyle on the Florida coastline. 

5) Naples

Naples Beach Pier. Photo: Joseph Biscocho |

If you’re looking for a luxury beach retreat, Naples is the place to stay. This is the place to be for the rich and famous, or travellers looking to experience the luxury lifestyle for a short time. With an abundance of golf courses, gourmet restaurants and boutique shopping, it’s one of the most lavish resorts on Florida’s coast.

With luxury comes a high price tag, so expect to pay more in accommodation prices for a stay in Naples. Resorts will often be glamorous, but a stay won’t come cheap so expect a stay here to be more expensive than other beachside resorts. The white sandy beach of Naples comes with a gorgeous sunset view, which is best viewed from the pier.

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6) Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach. Photo: Robert Linder |

With gentle waters and white sand, Clearwater Beach is another relaxation hotspot. Travellers can spend hours swimming, lounging, playing volleyball, rollerblading or biking! A walk along the beachfront promenade takes visitors past various restaurants and shops. Due to the proximity to Tampa Bay, it can get busy here in peak season.

At Pier 60, watch the sunset then take part in crafting events or enjoy some of the nightlife entertainment. Due to the size of the pier and the lights scattered over it, many visitors come here to night fish so it’s likely you’ll see some keen fishermen when taking an evening stroll. 

7) St. Petersburg

St Petersburg, Florida. Photo: Marcus Urbenz |

Dubbed the Sunshine City of Florida, if you’re looking for a city break with a beach retreat then this is the perfect destination for you. Offering the urban lifestyle of city life, it’s the best of both worlds with high rises in the background of the shoreline, giving an escape to the beach without travellers feeling cut off. 

The city has the most consecutive days of sun, so it’s the perfect place to visit throughout the year. Florida’s weather changes in the Spring and Fall, so check out the details of the Fall Hurricane season if you’re looking for an off-peak stay. For those who like a little adventure, when you’re not exploring the city or lounging on the beach you can take part in activities such as windsurfing, kayaking and deep-sea fishing. 

8) Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach. Photo: T M |

Close to Orlando, Cocoa Beach is world know for its waves so is popular amongst surfers heading to the shore and families traveling from Disney. There are four parks all with beach access offering picnic facilities and showers. 

The most popular beach is Wastage Cocoa Beach and pier. This is where visitors can enjoy the water or watch expert surfers catch a wave in annual surfing competitions. If you’re looking for some touristy keepsakes, stop by Cocoa Beach’s Ron Jon Surf Shop, the world’s largest surf store. 

It’s possible to travel to Cocoa Beach from Orlando, so if you’re visiting Disney and Universal but want a rest day at the beach, then it’s only an hour’s drive to the coast (60 miles).

More from our best beaches series:

The 10 Best Beaches In Spain

The 7 Best Beaches In Thailand: Experience Tropical Bliss


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