White sandy beaches, pristine sea waters, warm sun and a gentle breeze: what more could you ask for? If you’re looking for a beach getaway without leaving the east coast, look no further than Florida. With so many options available on where to go, it can be challenging to figure out which vacation spot in Florida is the best beach for you.
Even those who love luxury often prefer going to the beach to relax and soak in some sun. Some like to just frolic around in the sand and dip their feet in the warm water. After all, what’s not to love about beaches? Florida is known for its beautiful white sandy beaches and with good reason! Whether you want a quiet spot to relax or a bustling beach with plenty of activities, there is something for everyone here.
These are probably why Florida welcomed about 122 million tourists in 2021, a growth of 54.1% from 2020. There are beaches all around Florida: in the panhandle or those protected in national parks; those in western Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, known for their stunning sunsets; and beaches along the Atlantic known for their surfable waves.
In fact, the beach is so popular, people are even turning to virtual “vacations” if they need to get away for an hour or two. One recent study even shows how simply experiencing the views of a beach virtually can reduce pain. British researchers say that hooking dental patients up with a virtual reality beach setting during their procedure not only lowered anxiety for them, but it even decreased levels of pain!
But no matter what type of beach you prefer, have fun. After all, it’s hard not to be happy when you’re on the beach in Florida. Looking for a relaxing vacation to one of the best beaches in Florida? StudyFinds is here to help. We visited 13 “expert” websites that review Florida beaches and came away with the four most recommended vacation spots across their reports.
The List: Best Florida Beaches According To Experts
1. Siesta Key Beach
There’s a reason why Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota was mentioned in most of the top “Best Beach” lists: it’s just that good! This beach features white sands that are 90% quartz and crystal clear waters, perfect for swimming or simply lounging on the sand.
Southern Living claims that “this tropical key is an easy place to keep the whole family entertained, thanks to tennis and volleyball courts, beachside concession stands, and year-round lifeguards. You may even be able to sneak in a siesta.”
Siesta Key is also a known shopping destination, with various unique shops and plenty of delicious food to try. No wonder people flock to this beach.
Travel + Leisure explains that “you don’t have to fly to the Caribbean to experience white-sand beaches. On Siesta Key — a short drive from downtown Sarasota — you’ll find yourself looking out over the glittering Gulf of Mexico with a cocktail in hand. Talk about relaxation. Spend the day walking the beach and looking for shells or rent a kayak and venture out into the blue, tranquil waters.”
2. South Beach, Miami
Three separate districts make up Miami Beach. South Beach is the most well-known of the three, home to sandy beaches, swinging palms, and the pastel-colored Art Deco structures that have come to symbolize this unforgettable location and make it so indisputably picturesque.
Conde Nast Traveler hints where to avoid the bustle, saying “the busiest—and most touristy—section runs parallel to Ocean Drive (between 5th and 15th Streets), so locals tend to hang around the quieter patches south of Fifth Street. South Pointe Beach is particularly popular in this area, thanks to minimal development (read: fewer shadows from high-rise hotels) and easy access to the walking trails and sunset views within adjacent South Pointe Park.”
Moreover, South Beach in Miami has been named one of the best beaches in Florida by many expert websites, not only for its gorgeous views and wide beaches but also for its vibrant culture and endless opportunities to have fun.
The New York Times writes that South Beach is the most talked about the beach in the country because, “the beach is wide, white, and bathed by warm aquamarine waves. Palm-fringed Lummus Park, with its volleyball nets and chickee huts for shade, separate the sand from the traffic of Ocean Drive. The beach also has some funkiest lifeguard stands you’ll ever see, pop stars shooting music videos and visitors from all over the world.”
3. Clearwater Beach
Perched on a barrier island, Clearwater Beach boasts beautiful turquoise waters, pristine sand and a lively downtown scene.
According to U.S. News, “though a trip to the town from the mainland takes just a few minutes, you’ll feel worlds away from the big-city atmosphere you’re leaving behind. This laid-back area is known for its beautiful coastline – U.S. News ranks Clearwater Beach as one of Florida’s best beaches – but you’ll also find several other attractions worth checking out.”
As one of the best travel spots in Florida, Clearwater Beach is renowned for being family-friendly and having some of the best beaches in the state.
There are plenty of activities to do, notes HGTV. “One of America’s finest white-sand beaches, Clearwater Beach spans a narrow, 3-mile stretch of the Pinellas Peninsula on the Gulf Coast. Clearwater’s proximity to Tampa offers visitors ample activities, including beach volleyball, parasailing, a dolphin-watching cruise, and a fun fishing excursion.”
4. Naples Beach
With Naples Pier as its focal point, Naples Beach is a stunning stretch of sugar-sand coastline. Naples Beach is known for its breathtaking views, vibrant culture, and endless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
According to Travel + Leisure, “Naples is known for its pearly white sand — a feature you’ll find plenty of at Lowdermilk Park. You can focus on nature — particularly, the beach’s rolling waves and sandy shores — or walk along Millionaires’ Row in the Old Naples area and pick out your dream house.”
No wonder Naples Beach is known as one of the best beaches in Florida. Locals and tourists enjoy flocking to this stunning stretch of coastline to take in its tranquil waters, gorgeous views, and vibrant culture.
US News writes, “overflowing with golf courses, gourmet restaurants and boutiques, Naples offers travelers an upscale Florida retreat. However, the luxury resorts and costly activities can make a Naples vacation quite expensive. But luckily, nearly all of the beaches are completely free to enjoy. At Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, vacationers can snorkel, spot wildlife, go shelling and more.”
- U.S. News
- Conde Nast
- Travel + Leisure
- CNN Travel
- New York Times
- Family Destination
- 365 Atlanta Traveler
- Miami New Times
The beaches listed in this article are some of the best beaches in Florida. However, individual preferences may vary, and it is always important to research before visiting any beach.