Up for some beach tranquillity? Florida is no slouch when it comes to powder-fine sand beaches and sunsets to take your breath away. Check out our favourite beach spots in the Sunshine State. With its 1,197-mile coastline, Florida promises a beach for every holidaymaker – you’ll be seriously spoiled for choice.
For a real slice of paradise, head to Key West, just off the coast of mainland Florida. One of the state’s most stunning spots, Fort Zachary Taylor State Park boasts extensive stretches of sugary sand and serene waters.
It’s a real haven for snorkelling fans who’ll be able to hire two-person glass-bottom kayaks from the concession area.
If you prefer to stay on land, rent a bike and ride down the single-track bike path that snakes towards the Key West shipping channel, across the fort and through a rocky, out-of-the-way beach to numerous picnic areas.
If you love delicious cocktails, Baywatch-style sands, art deco and swanky hotels, Florida’s South Beach is a world-wide playground that’s got it all, from nonstop nightlife and golden sands to balmy waters.
It’s an Instagram-worthy beach with plenty of eye candy – even the lifeguards are art deco masterpieces! If you enjoy an early-morning run or fancy a spot of topless sunbathing, this long, man-made beach that stretches up the Atlantic is just the ticket. As for its pristine waters, they could be mistaken for those in the Caribbean. When night falls, be sure to explore the renowned club scene and take a look at the city lights from the beach – they’re truly amazing.
This beautiful beach has enticed holidaymakers for years, thanks to its wonderful, sandy shores and classy beachfront hotels.
Stretching three miles across the Pinellas Peninsula on the Gulf Coast, Clearwater Beach spans the crystal waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the west of the serene Tampa Bay to the east.
Couples and families can relish in a whole raft of activities, including volleyball, rowing in fishing boats, heading out on a dolphin-watching cruise, parasailing or taking a trip to a mainland museum or aquarium. Or, you could simply soak up some rays and get stuck into a good book.
If you’re the outdoors type, Captiva Island, located near Fort Myers off Florida’s Gulf Coast, won’t disappoint. There are plenty of activities to get stuck into, such as cycling, sailing, birding as well as a wealth of water activities. Often associated with the nearby island of Sanibel to the south, Captiva Island is the home of the famous giant frog, not to mention tiny starfish and the unusual Christmas-themed restaurant, The Bubble Room Restaurant.
Known as one of Florida’s Shell Islands, Captiva is where you’ll discover the larger of the undamaged shells – just be sure to leave any live shells on the beach, or you’ll chance breaching the state’s rigorous shelling laws. South Seas Island Resort on the tip of Captiva Island has an impressive 2.5 miles of beaches and a host of sea-themed children’s programs – including sailing school, mermaid-and pirate-play sessions, on-the-beach day camps and a popular catch-and-release fishing program. When the sun goes down, visit Captiva Beach at the end of Captiva Drive to drink in an outstanding sunset.
With an almighty 47 miles of pristine beaches, Palm Beach County is a beach lover’s paradise. But the crown jewel is, without question, the elite Palm Beach – a 14-mile-long, half-mile-wide island of affluence and luxury. There’s even the chance you’ll spot the likes of the Kennedys, the Rockefellers, the Vandebilts and a number of millionaires, who reside there in the winter. The fine restaurants dotted around the beach and glamorous hotels and shops add further to its elegance.
Located beside the Gulf Stream, Palm Beach benefits from warm blue water and gentle breezes. On John D. MacArthur State Park is a gorgeous beach where outdoors lovers will be wowed by the plentiful marine life, rare plants and nature walks.