Itâ€™s time to head to the beach. But before you can plan your trip to the Sunshine State, youâ€™re trying to narrow down exactly where you want to visit. This leads you to the question: whatâ€™s the best beach in Florida?
Well, we have answers.
Because there are so many great beaches â€” and everyone has slightly different preferences â€” we couldnâ€™t just choose one to qualify as â€œthe bestâ€. There are some beaches, however, that naturally rise to the top.
As such, weâ€™ve compiled a list of what we think are some of the best beaches in Florida below. Our list is organized by geographic region, so you can take your pick, no matter where you happen to be in the state.
Ready to plan your visit? Then keep reading.
- Beaches on the Panhandle: Best Beach in Florida
- Central Florida Beaches on the Gulf
- Beaches on the Atlantic
- South Florida Beaches: Best Beach in Florida
Beaches on the Panhandle: Best Beach in Florida
Nothing says fun in the sun like a visit to the Florida panhandle, so itâ€™s no wonder some like to say this is where youâ€™ll find the best beach in Florida. Enjoy the warm waters of the Gulf at the beaches listed below.
Destin Beach Florida
Destin is an incredibly popular beach destination. Here youâ€™ll have your pick from multiple beautiful beaches, including Henderson Beach State Park, Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, and Mirimar Beach, just to name a few.
In addition to hanging out on Destin Beach, you wonâ€™t want to miss a trip to the Okaloosa Island Pier â€” especially if you like to fish. You donâ€™t even need to worry about bringing your own gear, as you can rent equipment at this pier for only $8 per person.
Panama City Florida
Panama City Beach is another popular beach in the area, especially among spring breakers. But donâ€™t let that deter you if you want a family-oriented vacation. You can also spend time at St. Andrews State Park, which offers beautiful beaches, as well as the opportunity to go hiking and bird watching.
Then pay a visit to Pier Park and enjoy the areaâ€™s restaurants and shopping. Be sure to check out the areaâ€™s event calendar to see what other activities you may take part in (aside from spending the day at the beach, that is!).
Central Florida Beaches on the Gulf
If you want to visit the best beach in Florida, why not choose a place where you can also enjoy some city life? St. Petersburg and Tampa are located close to these beautiful beaches, making the area a great destination for individuals who enjoy walking the streets and beaches alike.
At Clearwater beach, you wonâ€™t want to miss Pier 60. On the pier, you can enjoy beautiful sunrises and sunsets, as well as do plenty of fishing. This pier even stays lit up at night, allowing you to catch redfish, snappers, flounder, and more â€” long after the sun goes down.
The area also has private fishing charters, so you can get out on the water for some deeper-ocean fishing. And of course, Clearwater Beach is a destination in and of itself, with wonderful sandy shores and even beach volleyball courts.
St. Pete. Beach: Best Beach in Florida
St. Pete Beach is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Clearwater Beach. In addition to normal beachside activities of swimming, reading, and sunbathing, you can enjoy tons of water activities, from parasailing to paddleboarding and even windsurfing. And when you get thirsty, head to one of the numerous beach bars located nearby.
Beaches on the Atlantic
While Atlantic beaches may be a bit chillier than their Gulf counterparts, thereâ€™s no doubt that some would consider the locations below as the best beach in Florida.
Main Beach on Amelia Island
Main Beach on Amelia Island is a family-friendly beachside park. In addition to enjoying the beach itself, visitors can play a round of minigolf or even head to the skate park. The park also has picnic shelters and sand volleyball courts.
And have no fear that the waters are sometimes a bit choppier on this side of the state. While you should always exercise caution on your own, Main Beach has lifeguards on duty during popular beachgoing months (from Memorial Day Week through Labor Day).
If you plan to spend most of your time out on the shore, Daytona Beach might be the best option for you. Thatâ€™s because it has a huge shoreline (500 feet wide) at low tide, making it an awesome place to build sandcastles, go beachcombing, or just lay out and catch the rays.
Like Main Beach, Daytona Beach has lifeguards on duty. In addition to Daytona Beach, you can check out other beaches in the area, including Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach Shores, and Ponce Inlet.
South Florida Beaches: Best Beach in Florida
Weâ€™d be remiss if we didnâ€™t mention beach destinations in South Florida. Given the natural beauty of these beaches, itâ€™s hard not to consider either of these locations the best beach in Florida.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park offers an incredibly unique way to see Florida beaches. This national park consists of seven islands west of Key West. The largest of the islands, Loggerhead Key, even has a lighthouse you can explore. The area is also full of coral reefs that are perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving.
If you want to extend your stay in the area, camping is available at Garden Key. If you choose to visit this island, be sure to check out Fort Jefferson as well, where you can learn about the history of the key and how the fort has helped protect Florida over the years.
South Beach: Best Beach in Florida
South Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Miami, surrounded by beautiful art deco beaches and palm trees. As such, this is an excellent place to visit for anyone who wants to surround themselves with the beauty of the beach and city at the same time.
During your visit, be sure to check out South Pointe Park to get a view of the Miami skyline. Then, enjoy the beautiful sandy beaches and clear blue waters of the ocean.
There you have it! You now know some of the beaches you donâ€™t want to miss during your visit to Florida. And in case you want to do some of your own research, you can also use this map to help you find the best beach in Florida for your familyâ€™s needs.