With Florida’s miles of coastline, you are never too far from a beach, many of which vie annually for the honour of being named one of America’s best beaches. Florida has such a wealth of sun, sand and sea to offer, that finding the best of the best when it comes to beaches, is often a matter of preference. Each is unique; some oriented to families, while others are great places to party, surf, watch a sunset, swim, snorkel or enjoy a secluded romantic getaway. These are some of the top rated beaches in the state.
Fort De Soto State Park’s beaches
Consistently ranked among America’s top beaches, Fort De Soto State Park’s beaches, near Tampa Bay, offer beachgoers two very different experiences; the East Beach with soft white sand and crystal-clear water and the sheltered North Beach with a sand bar and a large shallow lagoon perfect for families with small children. The historical state park has miles of trails, a fishing pier, an old fort, and even a beach exclusively for dogs, where they can romp in the blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Close to the tip of Florida, in the tropical paradise known as Key West, you’ll find Smathers Beach, the largest beach on the island. It is a near waveless beach perfect for swimming and snorkeling and is a gathering place for those who want to see and be seen. When not sunbathing on the beach, visitors will find that this tiny island offers an endless variety of things to see and do.
Located just off the coast of Sarasota, lies the eight-mile-long Siesta Key barrier island with its remarkable Siesta Beach. This beach boasts the finest, whitest sand in the world, and has been ranked #1 on America’s Best Beach list. The sand is super soft and as fine as sugar, composed of almost pure quartz crystal which is always cool to the touch, no matter how hot the sun is. The island itself is teeming with wildlife and is famous for its breathtaking sunsets.
Caladesi Island State Park Beach
If you are looking for a beach that’s never crowded, the Caladesi Island State Park Beach is the perfect choice. Ranked Best Beach in 2008, it is located on a five hundred acre island in the Gulf of Mexico north of Clearwater, accessible only by boat or ferry service. The white sand and clear water on this unpopulated island is pristine, appealing to sunbathers, swimmers and fishermen.
Sebastian Inlet State Park Beach
Those looking for a great surfing beach should grab their surfboards and head for the Sebastian Inlet State Park Beach, located on Florida’s Atlantic coast near Melbourne. Considered the best surfing on the Atlantic Seaboard, it is known for its consistent surfing breaks, with areas suited to both beginners and more experienced surfers. A popular pastime for visitors is lying on the beach and catching some rays while watching the surfers ride the waves.
Sanibel Island Beaches
Attracting visitors from all over the world, the Sanibel Island Beaches are known for the wonderful variety of seashells that wash up there. Located off Florida’s west coast, near Fort Myers, this barrier island has a unique east/west orientation and is part of a large plateau that extends out into the Gulf of Mexico, which results in shells gathering up on its Gulf-side beaches. Sanibel is home to the world’s only museum dedicated to the study of seashells.
“The Sunshine State’s” exceptional beaches are one of the reasons why it is the second most visited state in America. So whenever you are looking for some fun in the sun or just want to kick back and relax in a beautiful setting, take the opportunity to visit one Florida’s sun soaked beaches.