With summer vibes almost all year round, it's no wonder thousands flock to the Sunshine State... and it's definitely not for the alligators! Florida boasts some of the best beaches on the East Coast (though the West Coast has its own highlights too). From the pristine, white sands of Siesta Key in the west coast of Florida, overlooking the Gulf, to the miles of bikeable shores at Cocoa Beach facing the Atlantic, there's a perfect spot for everyone.

Whether you're searching for the best Florida beaches for family vacations or the ideal Florida beaches for couples seeking a romantic getaway, the Sunshine State has it all. Get ready to discover our top 10 best Florida beaches that will surely match your interests and provide the perfect escape.

10 Best Beaches in Florida

1. Clearwater, Florida

Clearwater Beach Pier 61
Clearwater Beach, located on Florida's central west coast, is a magnet for families and adventure seekers. With its sugar-sand and clear, shallow waters, it's perfect for kids and parents alike, making it one of the best family beaches in Florida. Enjoy parasailing, pirate ship rides, and a long pier stretching into the Gulf. The Beach Walk Promenade is ideal for bike rides and rollerblading. When you need a break, visit Clearwater Marine Aquarium to see rescue dolphins, sea turtles, and more. Don't miss the nightly sunset celebration at Pier 60 with street performers. Clearwater Beach lives up to its name, offering an unforgettable, rejuvenating experience for all.

2. Bowman’s Beach, Sanibel Island

Bowmans Beach Sanibel Island
Easily accessible off Sanibel-Captiva Road yet remarkably undeveloped, Bowman's Beach offers a tranquil escape from crowded shores. Known for its pastel-hued sunsets, excellent shelling, and gentle waves, this family-friendly beach is a gem on Sanibel Island. It's also one of the best beaches in Florida for windsurfing, sailing, and canoeing, thanks to the inland waterways west of the beach. Bowman's Beach is a paradise for seashell collectors, attracting beachcombers from around the world. Spend cool mornings curating your perfect stash of shells before basking in the sun. Plus, all Sanibel beaches are dog-friendly, as long as your pet is leashed, making it a perfect spot for a day out with the whole family.

3. Blowing Rocks Preserve, Hobe Sound, Jupiter Island

Blowing Rocks Preserve, Jupiter Florida
Blowing Rocks Preserve on Jupiter Island is a stunning testament to six decades of conservation efforts. This peaceful barrier island sanctuary, renowned for large-scale native coastal habitat restoration, is home to endangered species like loggerhead, green, and leatherback sea turtles. Named for its rocky Anastasia limestone shoreline—the largest on the Atlantic coast—the preserve offers a spectacular sight at high tide when waves force saltwater plumes up to 50 feet into the air. Visitors can stroll the mile-long beach, marvel at the 100,000-year-old limestone formations, glimpse sea turtle tracks, and experience the natural splendor of Old Florida. While it's not a sunbathing spot, Blowing Rocks Preserve provides an unforgettable encounter with Florida's natural beauty.

4. Siesta Beach, Sarasota

siesta key sarasota florida
Siesta Key Beach, along the Gulf of Mexico, boasts the world’s finest, whitest sand—99 percent pure quartz, keeping it cool even in blazing temperatures. This wide beach is the highlight of the 8-mile-long Siesta Key Island, popular with sand sculpture artists, couples, and families. Just a short drive from Sarasota, one of Florida’s hottest emerging cities, award-winning Siesta Key offers watersports, snorkeling, and a charming village with affordable restaurants and shops, all accessible via a trolley.

5. New Smyrna Beach

New Smyrna Beach, Florida
New Smyrna Beach, an East Coast surfers' paradise about an hour from Orlando, offers prolific breaks thanks to offshore rock ledges. This top surf spot also features a vast shoreline, abundant wildlife, and a lively dining scene. Visitors can watch bottlenose dolphins play in the surf and enjoy bird-watching for sanderlings and snowy egrets. With its old-school Florida charm, long beaches perfect for biking, and numerous hotels and vacation rentals, New Smyrna Beach caters to families and couples alike. Unique stays like the Black Dolphin Inn add to its appeal, along with airboat tours and pontoon excursions to spot manatees and dolphins.

6. Amelia Island, Florida

Amelia Island Florida
Discover the historic charm and natural beauty of Amelia Island in northeast Florida. This laid-back destination offers miles of wide, quiet Atlantic beaches perfect for kayaking and horseback riding. Explore history firsthand at Fort Clinch State Park or visit the unique shops and eateries in Fernandina Beach. Don’t miss indulging your sweet tooth at Fernandina’s Fantastic Fudge. With 23 miles of dedicated cycling lanes, renting a bike is a great way to explore the island’s remote beaches and quaint downtown. Just north of Jacksonville, Amelia Island is the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure for active families.

7. Cocoa Beach, FL

Cocoa Beach, Florida
Just an hour east of Orlando, Cocoa Beach is a family favorite with abundant, affordable oceanfront accommodations and activities. Surf its gentle waves, explore the historic Cocoa Beach Pier with its restaurants, bars, shops, and live entertainment, or visit the world's largest surf shop, Ron Jon's. Nearby Kennedy Space Center offers tours, astronaut meet-and-greets, and rocket launch viewings. Cocoa Beach is ideal for couples planning a cruise or a theme park visit, with tiki bars, casino cruises, deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, and shopping in historic Cocoa Village.

8. Delray Beach, FL

Delray Beach, Florida
Voted Most Fun Small Town in America by Rand McNally and USA Today, Delray Beach is a charming village with big-city sophistication. Pedestrian-friendly Atlantic Avenue runs from I-95 to the ocean, packed with restaurants, bars, shops, and art galleries. Delray Beach, with its wide, sandy sprawl lined with grass and palm trees, is perfect for alternating between napping and swimming. When you need a break from the sun, lounge at The Ray hotel, explore the shops on Atlantic Avenue, admire the murals and public art in the Pineapple Grove Arts District.

9. Fort Lauderdale Beach, Fl

Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida
Forget what you know about Fort Lauderdale. The former spring break capital has transformed into a refined beach destination with uncluttered sands, sparkling waters, upscale resorts, and mega-yachts. The Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Fort Lauderdale, a recent addition, exemplifies this with its high-design rooms, excellent service, spa, and adults-only pool. Families love the 24 miles of beach and scenic riverfront neighborhoods, with the Pelican Grand Beach Resort offering a private beach, lazy river, and pool. Explore by hopping on the Water Taxi to see mansions and yachts or stroll Las Olas Boulevard’s shops and cafes. Fort Lauderdale Beach now offers a perfect blend of relaxation and sophistication.

10. Bahia Honda, Florida Keys

Bahia Honda, Florida Keys
Bahia Honda Key, a must-visit gem in the Florida Keys, offers palm-lined beaches, clear waters, and stunning sunsets. Located at mile marker 37 on the US-1/Overseas Highway, this 524-acre park is perfect for observing birds, exploring diverse flora and fauna, and enjoying balmy sea breezes. Rent kayaks or snorkeling gear, or take boat trips to the reef. With secluded and popular spots for sunbathing, excellent fishing, and kayaking opportunities, Bahia Honda is ideal for any road trip between Miami and Key West. Don't miss the striking section of Henry Flagler’s elevated overseas railroad, adding historical charm to the scenic beauty.

Florida Beach Vacation

Florida Beaches Experience Gift Concept Gift Cards
Now that you've chosen your Florida beach vacation, it's time to pack your bags, book your flight, find the perfect hotel, and plan your favorite beach activities. Make your loved one's dream trip come true with Experiencegift cards! With access to over 750,000 hotels, 400 airlines, and over 150,000 activities nationwide, they’ll have everything they need for the ultimate Florida getaway. Whether it's relaxing on pristine beaches, exploring vibrant local attractions, or indulging in thrilling adventures, an Experiencegift card ensures an unforgettable experience in the Sunshine State.

Discover the true art of relaxation at the best Florida beaches, and if you're looking for other costal getaways: