White sandy beaches, pristine sea water, warm sun and a gentle breeze: what more could you ask for? If you’re looking for a beach vacation without leaving the East Coast, look no further than Florida. With so many options to go to, it can be difficult to figure out which Florida vacation spot is the best beach for you.
Even luxury lovers often prefer to go to the beach to relax and soak up the sun. Some just like to romp around in the sand and dip their feet in the warm water. After all, what’s not to love about beaches? Florida is known for its beautiful white sandy beaches and with good reason! Whether you are looking for a quiet place to relax or a busy beach with lots of activities, there is something for everyone.
These are likely reasons why Florida welcomed approximately 122 million tourists in 2021, a 54.1% growth from 2020. There are beaches all over Florida: in the Panhandle or protected in national parks; those in West Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, known for their stunning sunsets; and beaches along the Atlantic known for their surfable waves.
In fact, the beach is so popular that people even turn to virtual “vacations” when they need to be away for an hour or two. A recent study even shows how simply experiencing the view of a beach virtually can relieve pain. British researchers say connecting dental patients to a virtual reality beach environment during their procedure not only reduces anxiety for them, it even reduces pain!
But no matter what kind of beach you prefer, have fun. After all, it’s hard not to be happy when you’re at the beach in Florida. Looking for a relaxing vacation on one of Florida’s best beaches? StudyFinds will help you with this. We visited 13 “expert” websites that rate Florida’s beaches and came out of their reports with the four most recommended vacation spots.
The list: According to experts, the best beaches in Florida
1. Siesta Key Beach
There’s a reason Sarasota’s Siesta Key Beach has been featured in most top “Best Beaches” lists: it’s just that good! This beach features white sand that is 90% quartz and crystal clear waters perfect for swimming or just lounging on the sand.
Southern Living claims that “this tropical key is an easy place to keep the whole family entertained, thanks to tennis and volleyball courts, beach concession booths, and year-round lifeguards. Maybe you can even take a siesta.”
Siesta Key is also a well-known shopping destination with a variety of unique shops and lots of delicious food to try. No wonder people flock to this beach.
Travel + Leisure states: “You don’t have to fly to the Caribbean to experience white sandy beaches. Cocktail in hand, gaze out over the sparkling Gulf of Mexico on Siesta Key—just a short drive from downtown Sarasota. Talk about relaxation. Spend the day strolling the beach looking for shells, or rent a kayak and venture out into the blue, calm waters.”
2. South Beach, Miami
Three separate boroughs make up Miami Beach. South Beach is the best known of the three, home to sandy beaches, swaying palm trees and the pastel colored art deco structures that symbolize this unforgettable place and make it so undeniably picturesque.
Conde Nast Traveler offers tips on where to avoid the hustle and bustle: “The busiest — and most touristy — section runs parallel to Ocean Drive (between 5th and 15th Streets), so locals tend to stick to the quieter ones.” stop spots south of Fifth Street. South Pointe Beach is particularly popular in this area, thanks to minimal development (read: less shadow from high-rise hotels) and easy access to the hiking trails and sunsets at adjacent South Pointe Park.”
Additionally, South Beach in Miami has been voted one of the best beaches in Florida by many expert websites, not only for its gorgeous views and wide beaches, but also for its vibrant culture and endless opportunities to have fun.
The New York Times writes that South Beach is the most talked about beach in the country because “the beach is wide, white, and lapped by warm aquamarine waves. Palm-lined Lummus Park separates the sand from Ocean Drive’s traffic with its volleyball nets and chickee huts for shade. The beach also has some crazy lifeguard stands you will ever see, pop stars making music videos and visitors from all over the world.”
3. Clearwater Beach
Located on a barrier island, Clearwater Beach offers beautiful turquoise waters, pristine sands, and a lively downtown scene.
According to US News, “Although it only takes a few minutes to drive from the mainland to the city, you will feel a world away from the big city atmosphere you are leaving behind. This laid-back area is known for its beautiful coastline—US News ranks Clearwater Beach as one of Florida’s top beaches—but you’ll also find a few other attractions worth visiting.”
As one of the best places to travel in Florida, Clearwater Beach is known for being family-friendly and having some of the best beaches in the state.
There are plenty of activities to do, notes HGTV. “One of America’s finest white-sand beaches, Clearwater Beach spans a narrow, 3-mile stretch of the Pinellas Peninsula on the Gulf Coast. Clearwater’s proximity to Tampa offers visitors numerous activities, including beach volleyball, parasailing, a dolphin-watching cruise, and a fun fishing trip.”
4. Naples Beach
Centered on the Naples Pier, Naples Beach is a stunning stretch of sugar-sand shoreline. Naples Beach is known for its breathtaking views, vibrant culture and endless opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.
According to Travel + Leisure, “Naples is known for its pearly white sands – a feature you’ll find in abundance at Lowdermilk Park. You can focus on nature – especially the rolling waves and sandy beaches – or stroll along Millionaires’ Row in the Old Naples area and pick your dream home.”
No wonder Naples Beach is known as one of the best beaches in Florida. Locals and tourists alike flock to this stunning stretch of coast to enjoy the calm waters, beautiful views and vibrant culture.
US News writes, “Filled with golf courses, fine-dining restaurants and boutique shopping, Naples offers travelers an upscale Florida retreat. However, the luxury resorts and pricey activities can make a vacation in Naples quite expensive. But fortunately almost all beaches are completely free. At Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, vacationers can snorkel, spot wildlife, collect shells and more.”
The beaches listed in this article are among the best beaches in Florida. However, individual preferences may vary and it is always important to do your research before visiting a beach.