Top 25+ Florida Beaches

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From the Panhandle to Key West, Florida has some of the world's best beaches, and that's official. The Sunshine State constantly gets a mention in the Top 10 Beaches in the World, including Sanibel Island, Siesta Key Beach, Barefoot Beach Preserve and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

Florida has 825 miles of gorgeous sandy beaches along the calm Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic-facing East Coast. The Panhandle beaches boast emerald Gulf waters and white sand that actually sparkles due to a high content of quartz. For shelling, Marco Island is hard to beat while Caspersen Beach is the place to find fossilized sharks' teeth that regularly wash ashore.

On the Atlantic east coast Cocoa Beach aka "Surf City" celebrates the relentless surf although the best breaks are south of Sebastian Inlet and on Palm Beach's Reef Road. Miami Beach is all about the "beautiful people", but the sand is pretty gorgeous too.

For crystal clear waters it's hard to beat The Keys, a chain of low-lying islands connected by 42 bridges along the Overseas Highway. The powder-soft white sand and lack of waves delivers clear aquamarine waters that are a mecca for snorkeling, scuba diving and sport fishing.

The Most Beautiful Beaches in Florida

  • 1. Miami South Beach // South Florida

    Miami South Beach
    © sborisov / 123RF

    South Beach is perhaps the ultimate urban beach. It has it all; history, style, quirkiness, class and as much partying as you want, not to mention a vast swathe of white sand beach bordering clear blue ocean. This is where the beautiful and rich come to play in the sunshine before hitting the nightlife of Ocean Drive after dark. South beach is brash, colorful and even a little crazy -… read more »

  • 2. Santa Rosa Beach

    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… read more »

  • 3. Barefoot Beach // South Florida

    Barefoot Beach
    © lunamarina

    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… read more »

  • 4. Fort Lauderdale Beach // South Florida

    Fort Lauderdale Beach

    Fort Lauderdale beach is a beautiful stretch of white sand that runs alongside the crystal clear blue waters of the ocean. It is quieter than Miami, with more of a family-friendly feel than a wild college party destination. The promenade that runs behind the beach is lined with palm trees and there is always plenty going on.

    This beach at Fort Lauderdale is clean with generally calm waters that are… read more »

  • 5. Caspersen Beach // South 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… read more »

  • 6. Haulover Beach // South Florida

    Haulover Beach

    White sand, clear turquoise sea - nothing unusual there for a Florida beach. Oh, and clothes are optional! That's right, the northern third of Haulover is an officially sanctioned nude beach.
    But there is more to Haulover beach than getting naked - this beach has a fantastic array of amenities and things to do making it one of the best family beaches in the Miami area. Along with acres… read more »

  • 7. Bowman's Beach Park // South Florida

    Bowman's Beach Park
    Mark Sherman

    Several miles in length, Bowman's Beach sits on the Gulf of Mexico on the southern shores of Florida's Sanibel Island. Situated on one of the quieter parts of island, with just one main road heading north, Bowman's Beach is close to both JN Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge and the lagoon-like waters of Clam Bayou.

    Roughly ten minutes on foot from the nearest car park, the path leads through the grassy… read more »

  • 8. Grayton Beach

    Grayton Beach

    Located on the Florida Panhandle, Grayton Beach faces south into the crystalline waters of the Gulf of Mexico. A Blue Wave beach (similar to the better-known Blue Flag scheme in Europe), it is a delightful strip of level white sand. The beach is part of a historic coastal village of the same name, and via its grid of streets, with Grayton Beach State Park.

    A popular spot year-round, Gulf of Mexico… read more »

  • 9. Miramar Beach

    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… read more »

  • 10. Smathers Beach (Key West) // Florida Keys

    Smathers Beach (Key West)

    Although Key West isn't famous for its great beaches, Smathers Beach is worth a visit. This gorgeous beach is walking distance from the airport with warm water that stays shallow for quite a distance out into the sea, so it's a perfect place to splash around with the kids. 

    Keep in mind that although the sand feels nice, it tends to get quite hot underfoot in the scorching heat. The… read more »

  • 11. Siesta Key Beach // South 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… read more »

  • 12. Clearwater Beach

    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… read more »

  • 13. Hollywood Beach // South Florida

    Hollywood Beach

    With its gorgeous white sand reaching out to turquoise waters, Hollywood Beach is a South Florida gem. Located between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, the beach here stretches for 2.5 miles along the Atlantic Ocean. A boardwalk runs the length of the beach and is lined with all kinds of cafes, attractions and shops. If that isn't enough, then there is a trolley to take you from the beach… read more »

  • 14. Boca Grande Beach // South Florida

    Boca Grande Beach
    © dpexcel

    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,… read more »

  • 15. St George Island State Park

    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… read more »