Gulf of Mexico Beach Guide

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  • Miramar Beach // Florida

    Miramar Beach

    Positioned on an attractive stretch of Gulf of Mexico coastline, it's no surprise that Miramar Beach in Destin has its fair share of beachside condos and apartments for rent. During the summer months, its permanent population of approximately 6,000 residents is dwarfed massively by visitors keen to enjoy the powdery white sands for themselves.

    Sunbathers looking to soak up the rays of the southern sun are equally at home at Miramar Beach as those wanting to get their heart pounding from on top of a jet ski or by hanging… read more »

  • Santa Rosa Beach // Florida

    Santa Rosa Beach
    ©Barbara Reddoch

    Powdery white sand and the clear waters of the Gulf are all par for the course along Florida's Emerald Coast and Santa Rosa beach is no exception. Situated less than ten miles away from the ever popular beaches of Destin, what you get at Santa Rosa is a more laid back, and dare I say, upmarket experience. You can instantly tell there is money here from the fine beachfront properties and high end restaurants that line sections of the beach.

    Whilst there are plenty of facilities at hand, much of the… read more »

  • Fort De Soto Park // Florida

    Fort De Soto Park
    ©Pinellas County / CC BY

    Fort de Soto Park is more than just a beach. It is a collection of five interconnected keys (islands) just off the coast of St Petersburg in the Gulf of Mexico. The beaches of Fort de Soto constantly appear on lists of America's best beaches, even occupying the number one spot in one poll.

    This is little surprise given the beautiful natural surroundings and range of activities on offer. There are two fishing piers, a host of picnic areas, hiking trails, cycle tracks and a kayak trail around the islands. If… read more »

  • Barefoot Beach // Florida

    Barefoot Beach

    Barefoot Beach is in Bonita Springs on the southwest side of Florida. It is made up of a long white expanse of sand that stretch out along the azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico. These waters are calm and warm, and the beach is set in a preserve surrounded by wildlife and greenery. The Barefoot Beach Preserve is 342 acres of land that is pristine and unspoilt.

    The beach here is a great spot for relaxing in the sun and just admiring the beauty of your surroundings after… read more »

  • Siesta Key Beach // Florida

    Siesta Key Beach
    ©fotomak / 123RF

    Frequently cited as the USA's best beach on account of its brilliant white sand, turquoise waters and laid back feel, Siesta Key is a worthy contender for the title.

    Located on the eight mile long Gulf Coast barrier island of Siesta Key the beach here is made from some of the finest sand on the planet; 99% quartz, the white sand is apparently unusually cool and soft - good enough in fact to have been named "the whitest and finest sand in the world" at one point.

    Like many of the… read more »

  • Clearwater Beach // Florida

    Clearwater Beach
    ©Elena Petrova

    Clearwater is yet another fantastic Florida beach situated on the barrier islands of the Gulf Coast. Located on the Pinellas Peninsula this white sand beach stretches for over 3 miles (5 km) along the calm, clear blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Clearwater beach is one of Florida's best rated family beaches and there is plenty to back this up. Along with the great amenities and safe swimming there are plenty of activities going on; beach volleyball, pier fishing, cruising the Beach Walk promenade.

    At the heart of Clearwater… read more »

  • Caspersen Beach // Florida

    Caspersen Beach

    Florida's Gulf Coast has some of the best white sandy beaches in the world (with the awards to prove it) but Caspersen Beach is rather special. It is known as the "Shark Tooth Capital of the World" for reasons which are explained below.

    Close to Venice, Caspersen Beach stretches along the Gulf of Mexico for 1.5 miles and is a great spot for shelling and spotting wading shorebirds and the trails of nesting turtles.

    Mostly sandy and backed by protected dunes, it has some limestone rocks near the water's edge.… read more »

  • San José Island // Texas

    San José Island
    ©Corey Leopold

    This off-the-beaten-track beach is nestled on its own secluded island. To get here, you'll need to park at Port Aransas and then hop on the ferry to reach San Jose's warm waters and caramel-coloured sands. Early-risers will be happy to know that the first boat leaves at 6:30 am, but the last one back to the mainland is at 6:10 pm, so do keep an eye on the time to make sure you don't get stranded overnight.

    After stepping off of the ferry, you'll be able to enjoy your own little… read more »

  • Sanibel Island // Florida

    Sanibel Island
    ©Noel Benadom / CC BY

    Sanibel Island is a barrier island on Florida's Gulf Coast. Whilst there are several other such islands in the vicinity, only Sanibel has an "east to west" orientation which apparently makes for sandy beaches and helps explain why this beach is considered a shell-seeker's paradise.

    Until the 1960s Sanibel Island was only connected to the mainland by a ferry. These days a huge bridge connects Sanibel to the rest of Florida which has opened the island up to tourism, however strict control of development have preserved the island and it remains… read more »

  • St George Island State Park // Florida

    St George Island State Park
    ©Todd Van Hoosear

    St George Island State Park is on a barrier island off the western coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. The sand is white and soft, and it stretches endlessly along the turquoise waters of the Gulf coast. This is a wonderfully wild place where you watch the most amazing sunsets and then see the stars as they brighten up the nighttime sky.

    During the day, you can enjoy long walks on the beach, collecting shells, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and more. This is a hotspot for nature and if… read more »

  • Panama City Beach // Florida

    Panama City Beach

    Stretching for 27 miles, Panama City Beach has white sands that meet clear turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Along this expansive shoreline are two state parks, waterfront restaurants, and a great range of attractions. You will find scuba divers and fishermen enjoying the artificial reefs offshore, and plenty of people relaxing on the beach.

    Panama City Beach has practically every water sports you can think of, from boating to parasailing to diving and more - although the relatively sheltered waters of the Gulf don't make for great surf. You… read more »

  • Boca Chica Beach // Texas

    Boca Chica Beach
    ©Alexander Hatley

    Federal and state protection has helped ensure that Boca Chica Beach remains undeveloped and untamed despite it being the southernmost point in Texas. It's Spanish name also hints at its location on the Texas-Mexico border where the delta of the Rio Grande meets the Laguna Madre salt flats.

    Part of Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, those who visit will find a spectacular stretch of wild and unspoilt sand stretching for eight miles. If this sounds like too far to walk, don't worry, as long as you're driving a licenced… read more »

  • Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park // Florida

    Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park

    This pristine tropical beach forms a mile long of a seemingly endless stretch of white powder sands which make up a barrier island off the coast of Naples in southwest Florida. With clear blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico to one side and tidal creeks and mangroves the other the 166 acre Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park is both a beachgoer's and nature lover's paradise.

    This is the perfect Florida beach for relaxing, but there are plenty of activities on the water too. It is suitable for swimming, paddle boarding, and… read more »

  • Boca Grande Beach // Florida

    Boca Grande Beach

    Boca Grande Beach is somewhat of an underrated beach destination on Gasparilla Island on Florida's west coast. Bathed by the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, this upmarket resort has a laid-back ambience and old-world charm that's great for families. Couples looking for a romantic escape with a difference will also enjoy time here.

    The light-coloured sands of Boca Grande Beach are accessed via several points on 19th Street, where beachgoers will find limited free parking a short stroll away. Edged by palms and other subtropical plants, the… read more »