As the only state with two coasts, the Florida beaches are a dime a dozen. A beach in Florida can be a bit of heaven. Many who visit Florida and Miami Beach travel to enjoy the azure surf and palm beaches that are like nowhere else on earth. From America’s #1 Beach to a nude beach favorite of supermodels, the top beaches here have it all.
Best Florida Beaches
Some of the best beaches in Florida are on the East side of the state as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Daytona Beach are located there. Known for its open and uncluttered beaches, Fort Lauderdale offers a beach community that is great for those who love to stroll on the beach or lay on the sand. The map of Florida beaches shows the great array of places to relax during a trip to the Sunshine State.
The heart of Florida tourism is Miami Beach’s trendy South Beach. Supermodels and celebrities who visit Florida sunbathe at Lummus Park Beach, a swath of star-studded white sands from the city’s 5th to 15th Street. The 12th Street stretch is a very popular gay and muscle beach area. To get an all-over tan, head further north to the clothing-optional Haulover Beach.
Key to Paradise
In Miami’s Key Biscayne you’ll find the key to paradise at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, rated as one of America’s top swimming beaches, with over a mile of beautiful sandy beach, nature trails, and a historic lighthouse. The lighthouse has a cultural complex that offers guided tours and other activities for visitors.
Shoreline fishing from the seawall requires a Florida license. Shaded picnicking is available under covered pavilions, and you can moor your boat overnight. Pets are restricted in some areas.
Nearby Virginia key is another secluded gem, a deserted key where you can get away from it all.
However, don't dismiss the West Florida beaches. The Florida Keys beaches are frequented by travelers around the world and don't forget Clearwater.
Best Beach in Florida – and America
Dr. Stephen Leatherman, otherwise known as "Dr. Beach" authors an annual list of America’s Best Beaches, and at the top is North Beach at St. Petersburg’s Fort DeSoto Park. This natural jewel is a long, wide, sugar sand beach with great shelling and thriving natural dunes.
Along with being a wonderful place to swim, there's fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, bird watching, biking, walking, and even a dog park. The beach offers modern changing rooms and restrooms and plenty of parking.
The free park, located on Mullet Key at the mouth of Tampa Bay on the Gulf of Mexico, is made up of five islands with a total of over 7 miles of beaches, 4 miles of trails, a 2.25-mile canoe trail, and a 900-acre bird, animal, and plant sanctuary.
Its namesake 105-year-old Spanish-American War-era fort is listed on National Register of Historic Places, and has a museum that's open daily from 9am to 4pm. Park rangers conduct nature and history tours. You can also rent canoes and kayaks to explore the winding mangrove channels along the bay side. The park's campground sites beside Tampa Bay are some of the most lovely in Florida.
North of Clearwater, Caladesi Island State Park is on a 3.5-mile islet, accessible only by ferry. The park is made up of soft sand dunes covered in sea oats and palmettos, and is brimming with wildlife. Offshore dolphins and sea turtles swim offshore. On shore, where pets are restricted, you’ll find shore birds, rabbits, raccoons, snakes, and armadillos from the parks nature trail.
This is among the best beaches in Florida and an ideal spot for bird watching, shell collecting, and saltwater fishing. Amenities include picnic pavilions, bathhouses, refreshment concessions, and an overnight marina.