11 of the Best Beaches in Florida – The Gulf Coast
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Some of the best beaches in Florida are right around the Gulf Coast. Florida’s Gulf Coast is an excellent place for a sunny beach vacation. They have some of the calmest, quieter beaches around. It’s a great place to escape and have a relaxing holiday.
The Gulf Coast beaches have powdery white sands and crystal clear turquoise water that will have you thinking you’re in the Caribbean. Whether you are looking to be surrounded by nature or want to take up some water sports, you’ll find it on the shores of the Gulf Coast of Florida.
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The Best Beaches In Florida for Your Family Vacation
Add some of these fantastic Florida destinations to your dream board the next time you’re looking for somewhere close to home that’s great for a family vacation. Florida has so many tourist attractions it’s sure to check off what your family wants for a vacation.
The breathtaking emerald green waters of Florida’s Pensacola Beach will leave you amazed. The soft white sandy shores span 8 miles, and the Gulf Islands National Seashore surrounds the entire beach. There are two massive sandbars offshore, making the waters here calm and tranquil. You can paddleboard or swim in the gorgeous green waters or explore the nature around you. This protected area is beautiful and has an abundance of wildlife, including turtles, stingrays, and seabirds. Sure to take your breath away.
Henderson Beach – Destin
Destin is a charming Florida Gulf Coast gem filled with soft white sand beaches and is known as the ‘World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,’ the fishing here is fantastic. If you love fishing try catching one of the native red snappers, bluefin tuna, or tarpon. For the best beaches, head to Henderson Beach State Park, where you’ll find towering dunes, some are as tall as 30 feet! This Gulf Coast beach also features dazzling white sands against an emerald green coastline. Hike a nature trail and keep your eyes peeled for turtles, dolphins, and birds. Thanks to being made of quartz, the sand at the beaches in Destin never gets too hot!
Siesta Key – Sarasota
Siesta Key has voted one of the ‘best beaches in the United States’ time and time again. You’ll understand why as soon as you set foot on the warm white sands and take in the crystal clear shoreline. There’s also a lifeguard on duty at this beach for your family’s safety. Try snorkeling in these clear sparkling waters or kayak near Turtle Beach. The beach is 8 miles long and perfect for family walking and exploring or sunbathing by the shore. Families love this beach for the shallow calm waters, and the sand is ideal for building sandcastles with the kids.
Venice Beach – Sarasota
This beautiful beach is known for being the shark tooth capital of the world! Find shark teeth along the dazzling white sands of Venice Beach. Just a heads up, the best place to find them is on the Venice Jetty. You can also enjoy plenty of watersports, including fishing and boating. This beach is perfect thanks to being maintained by the Clean Beaches Coalition. Turtles are also known to nest between May and October. A great place where nature meets family fun.
Panama City Beach
Although this beach is famous for its crazy Spring Break reputation, don’t let that stop you from visiting. Panama City Beach has 27 miles of shimmering white sand beaches and tons of family-friendly attractions. Panama City Beach is perfect for sunbathing and relaxing on incredibly soft quartz sand. Play in the sand or enjoy the beautiful ocean; this place will take your breath away.
Clearwater Beach in Florida is known as one of the best family beaches. You’ll find this beach perfect, thanks to the gorgeous emerald waves that lap upon the powdery quartz shoreline. The ocean water is calm and shallow, making them perfect for the whole family to splash in. Lifeguards are on duty year-round making Clearwater Beach a great destination at any time of the year. Send your kids to the playground, while adults can take a relaxing stroll along the Beachwalk. Head to Pier 60 to spot some dolphins or check out the Clearwater Aquarium with the family.
Fort Myers Beach
This Gulf Coast beach is the perfect combination of beach paradise and historical landmarks, and family-friendly attractions. You won’t be bored of things to do at Fort Myers Beach, between the shopping, restaurants, and activities on one side and the emerald coast on the other. Try snorkeling, parasailing, or kayaking along the coastline. Or find shells along the sugary ivory sands of this beautiful beach. Nature lovers will enjoy Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium, where you can spot bald eagles, hawks, and owls.
Navarre Beach is surrounded by the Gulf Islands National Seashore and offers amazingly soft ivory sands and gorgeous emerald waters that will make you never want to leave. The fascinating wildlife will have you searching the shores and skies during your visit. Navarre Beach is also home to the largest fishing pier on the Gulf Coast at an impressive 1,545 feet long. There is a small $7 fee to walk the dock but it provides unparalleled views and a chance to fish. Relax and suntan on the soft sands, play volleyball or walk the stunning dunes.
The elegant city of Naples, Florida, is known for its glamor and expensive restaurants and bars. If you’re looking for a quiet and stylish beach on the Gulf Coast, then Naples Beach is the spot for you. The beaches in Naples are immaculate and relatively slow compared to most regions of the Florida coastline. Try snorkeling, paddleboarding, or kayaking in the calm waters. Enjoy fishing off of Naples Pier for your chance at reeling in a big one!
Marco Island is a gorgeous barrier island off the Gulf Coast of Florida. There are two beautiful scenic beaches with soft dazzling white sand; these beaches include South Marco Beach, which is a small slice of paradise. You’ll notice the tropical island vibes as you enter the palm-lined shores. Tigertail Beach Park is a soft white sand beach ideal for beachcombing, tide pooling, and bird watching. Both beaches are family-friendly and Tigertail is known for its epic technicolor sunsets.
St. Pete Beach is a picturesque barrier island just west of St. Petersburg, Florida. This is the home of the longest stretch of undeveloped beach in Pinellas County, Pass-Grille Beach. The sugary white sands and gorgeous clear water present excellent opportunities for enjoying watersports. Indulge in an adventure with kiteboarding, windsurfing, or paddleboarding. Relax on the beach and sunbathe or collect shells. If you’re interested in amenities, this beach is lined with world-class resorts if you’re interested in amenities. It also has a wide variety of galleries, restaurants, and funky shops.
Anna Maria Beach
Anna Maria Beach is a small barrier island on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The 7 mile stretch of beautiful ivory sand beaches is surrounded by the warm crystal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. You’ll find Anna Maria Beach on the northern tip of the island. If you want seclusion and tranquility, then this beach is perfect for you. Anna Maria Beach is expansive and not at all crowded, making you feel like you have the beach all to yourself. Keep in mind there are no amenities available here. The quaint nearby towns have old-world Florida charm and restaurants and shops.
There you have it, the best beaches in Florida. No matter which one of these beautiful Florida beaches you choose you’re going to love the relaxing atmosphere, the water sports, beautiful weather, and shops.