20 Best Beaches in FLORIDA to Visit in 2024 (+MAP)

Whether on a family trip, backpacking, cross-country US road trip, or flash-packing around the world, you must check out the best Florida beaches on the East & West Coast. 

Are you dreaming of white sands, the sound of the ocean, and taking a nap under a palm tree? Do you want nothing more than to spend all day splashing in the saltwater and searching for seashells?

It sounds like it’s time you take a trip and explore some of the world-class beaches in Florida. You don’t need to take a fancy Caribbean vacation or to hop on a cruise to visit a tropical paradise.

Florida is the Sunshine State for a reason, and with over 660 miles of beach, you can be sure you will find exactly what you’re looking for.

The hard part is just picking which of the many beautiful beaches is right for you!

Best Beaches in Florida MAP

best florida beaches map

TOP Beaches Florida Overview

🏖️ Prettiest Beach in FLSanibel Island Beach
🌊 Clearest Water BeachesClearwater and Panama City Beaches
🐚 Best Beach for FamiliesCocoa Beach
💑 Best Beach for HoneymoonKey West
💍 Best Beaches for WeddingsSt Pete’s Beach, Siesta Key, and Amelia Island

Here we go: Best Florida Beaches

1. Panama City Beach

best beaches in florida

The Panama City Beach features 27 miles of white sand beaches and is also home to St Andrews State Park and Camp Helen State Park. The beach has many public beach access points and legendary attractions.

The Panama Beach waters are famous for scuba drivers and anglers who enjoy the dozens of artificial coral reefs located offshore.

The coastline of the beach angles slightly to the west, which makes it possible for you to view the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.

2. Destin Beach

Image by – Stephen Kubiak / Visit Florida

If you drive across the state horizontally from St. Augustine to the West Coast, you basically end up in Destin Beach.

Although all the Florida beaches on this list are lovely, there’s something particularly special about Destin.

The water here feels warm and welcoming for most of the year, it’s crystal clear and the waves are calm, and the sand is super white.

Destin is also a popular boating and fishing destination. You can hire a deep-sea charter to take you out and maybe come back with a big enough fish to feed the whole family!

3. Mexico Beach

Mexico Beach in Florida is in Bay County and located 25 miles southeast of Panama City. The beach was damaged by Hurricane Michael in 2018 but is now open for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Mexico Beach is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. The sugar-like white sand contains evenly sized quartz crystals. There are no silt-bearing rivers in Mexico Beach which keeps the sand pure and white.

Fishing is highly popular in Mexico Beach. You can fish for grouper, Spanish mackerel, or pompano and have a great time on the boat. The marina, charters, and canal access to the Gulf of Mexico is waiting for you.

If you are looking for fresh-caught seafood or live entertainment, the restaurants on Mexico Beach are some of the finest in Florida.

In addition, there are vacation rental communities, campgrounds, Gulf Coast vacation rentals, and some of the best Florida’s RV parks.

4. South Walton Beaches

Deer Lake State Park, South Walton County, Florida. Boardwalk to the beach. Sugar white sand dunes

Finding the beach of your dreams is the easiest thing in the world when you have more than 50 beaches and bay access available in one single place. 

Each beach along the 26 miles of shoreline that make up the South Walton Beaches has its own style. So make sure which one you wanna visit before you go. Some of them are more family-oriented, some are a better fit for couples, and others work better for backpackers who want to relax inside their camping tents. 

But, whichever you choose, you can be certain you will be visiting an immaculately clean beach by both the State and the local public services. 

If you are a wildlife enthusiast, you can’t miss the sea turtle season! The conservation department employees will be handy and willing to provide you with information and tips to enjoy the place while protecting the fauna. 

Keep in mind that tents larger than 10×10 are not allowed to avoid crowding and keep social distancing. Also, no charcoal grills or glass containers are permitted on the beach for the safety of all visitors. 

5. Amelia Island

best beaches in florida east coast
Image by visittheusa.com/destination/amelia-island

What if you’re more of a sunrise person than a sunset-chaser? Not to worry. All you have to do is head to Amelia Island and you can enjoy both!

This pristine beach destination is not too far from the city of Jacksonville on the east coast of Florida. But, depending on where you are during the late afternoon, you can enjoy a beautifully-painted sunset sky then wake up the next morning and watch the sun come up on the beach.

Throughout the day, bask in the homey setting of Amelia Island and watch as your kids roam free on a practically empty beach.

This Florida beach doesn’t get too crowded. It’s nice if you just want some alone time with the kiddos.

6. St. Augustine Beach

best beaches in east coast florida

St. Augustine is the small-town alternative to going to Cocoa. The surf here is also pretty good if you know where to go. It’s best in the very early morning and there are some days when the waves aren’t too high, but it gets the job done.

Old St. Augustine is home to a few laid-back surf shops and if you pop in, the locals will give you some hints on what part of St. Augustine Beach to go to.

While you’re in town, enjoy the historic fort, the street shops, and the delicious food. There’s a charm in this old town unlike anywhere else in Florida.

7. Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach Florida

Daytona Beach is one of the rare beaches that blends the best of a sunny, relaxing day at the beach sipping Mojitos with the adrenaline of its many racing events.

In the last three decades, Daytona Beach has become famous for its high-speed automotive races, which have made it a paradise for racing fans, particularly those flocking to the city every year for the internationally renowned Daytona 500.

Aside from that, the beach at Daytona Beach is just breathtaking. The water is warm, and the waves are Instagram-worthy. Fishing, boating, surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, dolphin watching, and historic river cruises are just a few of the water activities available.

The beach also offers walking trails, restaurants, beach bars you can miss when in town!

8. Cocoa Beach

best beaches in florida
Image Credit: Tripadvisor

For those who are seeking a bit of adventure, the best place to go is Cocoa Beach.

This is where Florida’s surfing crowd loves to go to catch a few waves. It’s where you can count on decent swells throughout the year, and sometimes, some pretty high waves are available on a good day.

You’re definitely gonna have a great time here!

9. Fort Lauderdale beach

Fort Lauderdale beach in Florida

Fort Lauderdale is undoubtedly worth a visit for its gorgeous white sandy beaches and crystal blue waters, elegant yachting excursions, exhilarating water sports, romantic Gondola rides along the river canals and a wealth of riverfront fine-dining restaurants that cater to every taste.

This beach is a Blue Wave-certified public beach with 4 miles of gorgeous shoreline. Everyone, from families to couples to celebrities, comes here to admire its exquisite beauty.

This beach is recommended for its crystal clear, calm and shallow waters. In addition, the neighborhood offers a lively mix of cozy cafes, interesting cultural places, and luxury boutiques.

Fort Lauderdale is increasingly losing its status as a popular place for spring break and is becoming a favorite spot for unforgettable honeymoons, as well as a fun and exciting beach destination for family vacations.

10. Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach is a gleam of impeccable beaches as well as inviting waters. Clearwater Beach has many attractions, family-friendly lodgings, fine restaurants, and offers exciting beach activities.

The atmosphere in Clearwater Beach is inviting. At its marine aquarium, you will come across Winter the Dolphin, the star of a Dolphin tale movie.

Clearwater Beach is worth it with attractions like this and the numerous beach activities such as air tours. The innumerable options Clearwater offers will make the whole crew happy when you visit.

11. Vero Beach

Image by verobeach.com

Ranked as the #4 happiest seaside city in the US!

Vero Beach is a discerning city located along the Florida Atlantic coast. It’s a sanctuary for many activities like water sports, fishing, and golf.

Peaceful museums, beaches, nature tours, and a wide range of hotels, make Vero Beach a formidable destination for vacations. Art galleries and parks in Vero Beach offer access to attractive river networks and inlets where manatees roam. Vero Beach also offers delectable cuisine.

12. Pass-a-Grille Beach, St. Petersburg

Pass-a-Grille is a quiet beach located in one of the state parks near Tampa Bay. It’s a place you wouldn’t know about unless someone from Florida told you about it, but it’s definitely one you need to check out.

The waves at Pass-a-Grille are almost always small. It’s a calm place where all the locals know each other and the dive bars treat you like family. You can enjoy the art market on the weekends or come on a weekday to enjoy having the beach practically all to yourself. 

As you can see in the video above, Pass-a-Grille has a lovely & relaxing family vibe.

Plan to stay for the sunset here. You won’t regret it.

13. Fort De Soto Park, Tierra Verde

best beaches in wesrt coast florida

Put Fort De Soto Park at the top of your list if you want to go camping while on a trip to Florida. This is an outdoor experience like no other.

Camping on the beach means you get to fall asleep to the soothing sounds of the ocean and wake up to watch the tide roll in.

It’s a beautiful way to discover a new connection to the ocean and a bigger appreciation for nature as a whole.

14. Anna Maria Island

Florida Beach the 4 of July. People enjoying the beaches in Anna Maria Island.

This seven-mile-long island on Florida’s Gulf Coast is one of the best-kept secrets of the Sunshine State. It’s particularly popular for its sugar-sand beaches, nature trails, and laid-back atmosphere.

Explore the wonders of the island on foot, bike, or rollerblades, and join both other visitors and locals in scuba diving, snorkeling, or fishing. Feeling tired? Sit back and relax under the shade of an umbrella and just wait for a breathtaking sunset.

Anna Maria Island not only boasts spectacular beaches but also offers a plethora of unique dining spots, shops, and galleries. No wonder it’s been a popular hideaway of many celebrities.

15. Longboat Key

Up next on the list is Longboat Key. Not too far from the charming city of Sarasota, Longboat Key awaits to welcome visitors to paradise. This is the place to be if you never want to go further than a few blocks while on vacation.

The island has everything you could want. Staying at a beach resort here puts you front row for all the beautiful sunsets and for early morning beach runs. Throughout the day, you can hang out at one of the many beach bars and restaurants, then dress up for fancier dining in the evening.

16. Siesta Key, Sarasota

Just up the road from Longboat Key is a special little place called Siesta Key.

This is one of the most popular beaches in Florida; it welcomes thousands and thousands of tourists and Florida residents each year.

A day at Siesta Key feels like taking a trip to the beach and having friends over in your backyard. There’s a strong family-oriented vibe on the beach and plenty for people of all ages to enjoy.

There are cookout areas and picnic spots as well as volleyball courts and room to play beach soccer or toss around a football.

17. Blowing Rocks Preserve, Jupiter

Blowing Rocks Preserve isn’t exactly a place where you can set up your umbrella and stick around all day. But, it’s definitely worth visiting if you’re in the area.

This part of Florida’s coast is home to a limestone shelf that’s over 100,000 years old. It’s also a popular nesting area for sea turtles every single year. If you come during the right time (and get to the beach early enough) you may see a few new babies crawling their way to the sea!

18. Jupiter Beach

As great as it is to take the whole family to the beach, it’s not as fun if your four-legged family members can’t go. Thankfully, there are plenty of dog-friendly beaches in Florida that accommodate everyone!

One of the best ones to go to is Jupiter Dog Beach. This beach is the largest on the east side, with a total of 2.5 miles for your furry friends to frolic and meet other dogs. Meanwhile, you can get to know other owners or enjoy all your favorite classic beach activities.

19. Boca Grande Beach

Boca Grande Beach, located on Gasparilla Island, offers a serene and picturesque coastal getaway. Known for its crystal-clear waters, gentle waves, and soft white sand, the beach provides a quiet escape from the busier tourist spots.

Visitors can enjoy swimming, shelling, and strolls along the shore, with the historic Gasparilla Inn adding to the area’s charm. The beach’s calm atmosphere makes it ideal for families and those seeking a relaxed day by the sea.

20. Captiva Island

Hands down, the most pristine beaches you’re gonna find in the area. The turquoise waters and sugar-white sand beaches are definitely worth the USD $25 per 2 hours or $40 per day.

Captiva Island is located near Fort Myers off Florida’s Gulf Coast and it’s all about outdoor activities. If you are into biking, sailing, birdwatching, swimming and other water adventures, look no further!

But, if you are more of a slow-traveler looking for leisurely-paced adventures, and don’t want to return home more exhausted than when you left, you probably should consider booking a room at the South Seas Island Resort. It encompasses a beautiful Gulf and 330 acres of natural beauty on the tip of Captiva Island.

This place also has 2.5 miles of beaches, a great restaurant, and even programs for children so you can make the most of your stay. 

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Best beaches in Florida
Best beaches in Florida - East & West Coast