The 15 Best Beaches in Florida to Visit in 2023
Last Updated on December 16, 2022 by Dana Berez
Best Beaches in Florida
Table of Contents
One thing is for sure, Florida boasts miles and miles of beautiful beaches, featuring sugar-white sand, emerald waters, and delicious fresh cuisine. There are endless options of Florida Beaches to choose from spanning from the Panhandle, Gulf Coast, South, throughout the Atlantic.
Here are the Best Beaches in Florida for the ultimate beach day. The top 15 Florida Beaches to put on your bucket list.
And before you go, be sure to check cheap flights to Florida. Now let’s get into the list.
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Starting at the Panhandle along the coast of Florida. Contains Affiliate Links.
Pensacola Beach, Florida
Welcome to the Western Gate to the Sunshine State. Pensacola is located in Florida’s panhandle and features 18 miles of beautiful white-sand beaches, emerald green waters, Gulf Coast seafood cuisine, and 343 days of sunshine, perfect for any getaway.
There are plenty of activities on Pensacola beach including watersports like paddle boarding, parasailing, sunset dolphin cruises, visiting Fort Pickens, and the Gulf Islands National seashore.
You’ll also find great dining options right on the beach from beachfront patios like Casino Beach Bar to upscale dining at DRIFT and Bonsai for Japanese cuisine.
Some popular places to stay right on the beach include the Holiday Inn or the Hilton Pensacola Beach for fine-dining and Gulf-front views.
Destin Beach, Florida
With 24 miles of soft-sugar-white sand, Destin-Fort Walton Beach Florida is a must-visit in the sunshine state. Here you will find clear, emerald green water right on the Gulf of Mexico making this spot unique throughout the Floridian coastline.
In Destin, you’ll find plenty of museums, open-aired shopping, restaurants, water activities, boat cruises, and more.
Take advantage of the gorgeous water and stay right on the beach at Embarc Sandestin or at The Henderson, a Salamander Resort.
Grayton Beach, Florida
Welcome to Grayton Beach, a quintessential laidback beach town located in South Walton Florida. This artsy, funky Graytown Beach neighborhood is perfect for anyone who wants to escape convention and live the beach lifestyle.
Grayton is more than just a cool beach town, it’s also home to Grayton Beach State Park, home to a vastly diverse ecosystem, and is a haven for fishermen, boaters, and beachcombers.
The neighborhood bustles with life and is home to art galleries, a world-famous funky dive bar The Red Bar, and of course sugar-white sand and turquoise water. A cool sight to see is the Western Lake, a rare coastal dune lake.
Hotels: Places to stay right where the action is are Hibiscus Coffee & Guesthouse, a quaint B&B.
Panama City Beach, Florida
With over 27 miles of beautiful coastline, Panama City Beach offers plenty of gorgeous white sand beaches to choose from. There are plenty of things to do and discover in Panama City Beach like St. Andrews Park, Panama City Dolphin Tours, great regional cuisine, nightlife, and visiting Shell Island.
Plus, you’ll enjoy 320 days of sunshine per year, where late spring, summer, and early fall offer some of the warmest air and water temps.
Check out the Anderson Seafood market for the best local shrimp & Buddy’s Seafood Market for fresh fish.
And finally, stay at the Sheraton Panama City Golf & Spa resort packed with amenities and a coveted waterfront location.
Clearwater Beach, Clearwater, Florida
Named the best beach in the USA on TripAdvisor for 3 years, this beloved beach is one of the best in Florida. You can find sugar white-sand beaches that feel like walking on powdered sugar. And you won’t need to wear your shoes walking on it, the sand cool to the touch, even during the day.
Another plus, the Gulf-Waters are warm throughout the year, making a swim in Clearwater feasible even in winter. You’ll find plenty of water activities and things to do on the beach, making Clearwater a perfect getaway destination.
You will also find plenty of accommodations from luxury resorts to boutique hotels. Some of my favorites include The Sandpearl, 4-star beachfront property with a spa. And Fenway, a 1920’s Meditterianain styled hotel located a few miles from the beach, but offers seaside views and just went under a 30 million dollar renovation.
St. Pete Beach, Clearwater, Florida
Located just a few miles south of Clearwater Beach, St. Pete’s beach is another best beach in Florida. With a record-breaking 361 days of sunshine a year and home to 35 miles of white-sand beaches, St. Pete is one of the top-ranked beaches in the world from TripAdvisor.
With so many beaches and outdoor activities like swimming with horses, see-through kayaking with manatees, and kiteboarding, you can also indulge in culinary delights. Visit the Gulp Coast Craft Beer Trail and the multitude of restaurants of Central Avenue in downtown.
And for the ultimate place to stay, book the pink palace perched atop wind-swept dunes with expansive oceanfront views. The Don Cesar is the iconic pink palace where your stay will be filled with old-glamour & sophistication.
Another salmon-hued option is the Vinoy, situated in St. Pete’s vibrant downtown district overlooking the bay.
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Siesta Key Beach, Sarasota, Florida
Siesta Key is a fan favorite and was ranked the #1 Beach and #11 in the World by TripAdvisor’s 2020 Travelers Choice Awards. Just like the other beaches along the Gulf Coast, you will find nearly 100% quartz-crystal sand that never gets hot. Feels just like walking on a cloud.
The white-sand beaches, along with warm water from the Gulf plus plenty of watersports, restaurants, and bars make Siesta Key a relaxing getaway.
Cruise down Ocean Boulevard to check out plenty of fun restaurants, bars, and sunsets. And, if you’re there on a Sunday, don’t miss the weekly drum circle, where artists, dancers, locals, and tourists join together for a night of dancing, music, sand, and sunsets right on the beach!
Tropical Breeze Resort is a perfect resort for families offering a kitchenette right near the beach.
Bahia Honda, Florida Keys, Florida
Escape to nature at Bahia Honda, a Florida State Park located on an island the Florida Keys between Marathon and Key West.
This park offers palm-lined beaches, clear waters, and magnificent sunsets with balmy sea breezes perfect for the ultimate beach day. You can find plenty of water activities like kayaking, excellent snorkeling, and boat trips to the reef for even more snorkeling excursions.
Because Bahia Honda is a state park, it’s an excellent place to observe wading birds and shorebirds, and you’ll find a plethora of island plants and animals.
This park is open from 8 AM until sundown every day, and there is an $8 fee per vehicle to enter.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Florida
Located a few miles south of Miami, just 20 minutes from Downtown Miami, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park offers a natural getaway for any beach and nature lover.
Enjoy Cape Florida’s 1.25 miles of natural beach with access to beach chairs & umbrella rentals for the day. Plus you can rent kayaks and hydro bikes thanks to the calm waves due to a reef 6 miles offshore.
And the Cape Florida Lighthouse is not to be missed. Built in 1825, this lighthouse is the oldest structure in South Florida, and you can tour the lighthouse 5 days a week. (Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays)
Open from 8 AM until sundown 365 days a year, plus an $8 fee per vehicle to enter.
South Beach, Miami, Florida
Miami Beach is one of the most iconic beaches in the USA for its vibrant culture, Caribbean blue waters, and the long stretch of sand that runs 35 miles long.
South Beach offers an eclectic mix of world-class hotels, restaurants, and rooftop bars making this beach town lively and upbeat. The skyline of Ocean Drive features the iconic art deco architecture, in addition to views from South Pointe Park at the tip of South Beach are local’s favorites.
This destination is perfect for a girl’s trip in the sun with endless things to do, and is one of my favorite places to visit!
Related: 18 Best Hotels in Miami for Every Budget
Fort Lauderdale Beach
In Fort Lauderdale, you’ll find 23 miles of Atlantic Beaches, and 300+ plus of Intracoastal waterways making this the “Venice of America” yachting captial.
With blue skies all year round, Fort Lauderdale Beach makes a perfect vacation spot all year round. Plus, Fort Lauderdale is easily accessible by International Airport just a few miles from the beach.
The Beachfront Promenade is a must to stroll down. Check out the variety of beachfront hotels for a quick cocktail and bite like the W Fort Lauderdale, the Ritz Carlton, or the Westin Fort Lauderdale where Lona Cocina Tequileria is a must for incredible Mexican fare in an adorable colorful outdoor beachfront setting.
When you are ready to check out the beach, you can relax in the sun or partake in a paddleboarding tour with SUP PUP Paddle, or learn how to surf at Hang Loose Surf School.
Vero Beach, Florida
Vero Beach has a different feel from most beaches in the Sunshine State. Here you can fin 26 miles of well-kept beaches that are uncrowded, scattered with seashells, birds, and unobstructed views.
This quaint and friendly seaside town with posh resorts, sophisticated eateries, and one-of-a-kind boutique shops just steps away from the ocean.
Vero Beach’s motto “sunrises, not high rises” shows its commitment to showcasing the area’s natural beauty, without construction. This is the perfect getaway for pure relaxation.
Cocoa Beach, Florida
Just an hour’s drive east of Orlando, Cocoa Beach has been called the quintessential beach town, offering endless ways to enjoy recreation and relaxation. This beach has the perfect blend of warm sun, gentle sea waves, and natural habitats.
Cocoa Beach is perfect for all kinds of travelers including a family beach vacation, leisure travel, weekend getaway, or just a day at the beach. You’ll find plenty of exciting things to do from deep-sea fishing or an eco-tour adventure on a kayak or airboat ride. Plus you can see the Kennedy Space Center nearby and might be lucky to see a rocket lift-off!
Neptune Beach, Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville is home to 22 miles of beaches, offering the perfect escape to the beach. Now, these beaches are not your average beach. You can come surf, kayak, paddleboard, swim, dive, boat, and fish Jacksonville’s unique shorelines.
Neptune Beach has a cute downtown area featuring boutique stores, coffee shops, quaint restaurants, and bars making it a lively neighborhood for a fun getaway.
Stay at Hotel Palms, a renovated motel just steps from the beach featuring modern decor, or One Ocean Resort & Spa for a luxury getaway right on the beach.
Amelia Island, Florida
Last but not least on the list is Amelia Island, Northeast Florida’s coastal treasure. This island is a barrier island rich in colorful history and gorgeous beauty. The beaches on Amelia island have pristine water and abundant wildlife.
Check out Fernandina Beach, once a vibrant Victorian seaport village, now a charming downtown destination filled with eclectic boutique shopping, attractions, and eateries making this a perfect stop for a girl’s trip.
Read More Florida Posts:
- Miami to Key West Road Trip: Fun 5 Day Itinerary
- 18 Best Hotels in Miami for Every Budget
- The Only Miami Travel Guide You Need
- 29 Best Girls Trip Destinations in the USA
- Tampa: Best Things to do in Tampa Florida for a Weekend Getaway
- St. Pete/Clearwater: Best Things to do in St Petersburg / Clearwater Florida
- Jacksonville: Jacksonville Florida Travel Guide & Things to do
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