5 of Florida’s Best Beach Towns

MelissaCredit: Ashley Morton 

Florida is home to some of America’s finest beaches with pristine white sands and warm currents along the gulf that draw millions of visitors each year. But if its beaches are what attract visitors, it’s the surrounding amenities that make them stay. Every beach town is slightly different offering any combination of shopping, golf, history, entertainment, lodging and food for every traveler, budget and appetite. Check 5 of Florida’s Best Beach Towns and see for yourself.

 

Naples
Credit: Captain Kim

Naples

Beaches in Naples run the gamut from those lined with full facilities and water sport rentals to chic shopping centers to natural preserves and state parks. The sandy coastline runs along the Golf of Mexico with Bonita Beach lying to the North and Ten Thousand Islands in the south. The pristine sandy beaches are dotted with wildlife and sea shells much to visitors delight. 

 

Sarasota Beach
Credit: Rick S.

Sarasota 
Just south of Tampa on Florida’s Gulf Coast lies the once winter home of the Ringling Brothers Circus, Sarasota. Today the city is known for miles of coastline, sandy beaches and shallow waters at gems like Lido Beach and Siesta Key Beach. Sarasota also boasts an active nightlife, golfing, great fishing, plenty of seafood and the Ringling Museum of Art, which showcases old masters and modern art.

Key West Beach
Credit: Joe P.

Key West

Paradise is located just off the coast of mainland Florida — and it’s called Key West. In addition to shopping, boutique hotels, active nightlife and restaurants a stones throw from anywhere on the island, Key West is also home to one of Florida’s most beautiful locations, Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. In addition to its wide stretches of sugary sand and tranquil waters, outdoorsy visitors will find a schmorgesborg of activities in abundance. Snorkeling, glass bottom kayak rentals or hiking are a few options. A bike rental will allow you to traverse the shipping channel and around the fort; offering up prime picnic locations and an abundance of wildlife. 

ST Pete Beach (2)
Credit: Visit St. Pete

 

St.  Petersburg
Gorgeous, laid-back St. Pete Beach is home to the longest undeveloped stretch of public beach in the county at it’s southern most point in the historic district, Pass-a-Grille Beach. The city is known for its mild weather and is a popular destination for golfing, boating, fishing and beach going. Its waterfront parks host the Dali Museum, featuring surrealist works of art; the Museum of Fine Arts, with works ranging from ancient to contemporary; and Mahaffey Theater, home of the Florida Orchestra.

Anna Maria Island
Credit: David S.

Anna Maria Island

At a quaint 7 miles long Anna Maria Island, is known for its sugar-white coastline, emerald Gulf waters and chic shopping districts. Despite being no larger than a few blocks wide visitors are graced with so much to do there is no reason to leave with amenities like pristine beaches, fishing, wildlife watching, snorkeling, surfing performing arts and shopping. Travelers are treated to award-winning restaurants and a variety of lodging for every budget and traveler. 

36 thoughts on “5 of Florida’s Best Beach Towns”

  1. Si,Si,Si, and a great big ESO!!! Babushka loves her homestate and agrees with your post 100%! Our beaches truly are worthy of visiting, and most of them are nice and warm most of the year.

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  2. I have never been to a Florida beach before, only the ugly Texas ones, lol. But, these beaches look just gorgeous!

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  3. So beautiful – Need to visit Florida!! Thanks for sharing!

    I also wanted to mention that I’m having a link-up this Sunday (Sunday’s Simple Homemaker) on my website and would love if you drop in to link up – Each link gets a comment and I’ll be giving away a week of free advertising as well!

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  4. As I sit here planning a trip for my husband and I on March Break I am more and more enticed to go to Florida!!! Flights are just really expensive from where I live ;-(

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  5. Florida is such a beautiful place to visit! I have not done a lot of exploring in Florida but I have visited Sarasota and loved it.

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  6. I lived in Florida during high school Naples looks familiar. If I ever go back to visit I will have to check these awesome beaches out.

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  7. I really want to go to Key West. I did enjoy Daytona Beach as well. I liked that you could drive on the beach.

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  8. I have lived in Florida my whole life and haven’t been to any of these. I prefer more local beaches, but these sound great. I’m adding Anna Maria Island to my “must see list”!

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  9. I’m jumping out of my chair with excitement. SCORE! I just booked my first trip to Key West and I can’t freaking wait. I’ve never nothing but great things about it.

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  10. My hubby has been begging me to plan a trip to Florida for years now and I think you’ve given me a starting place with these destinations! They all look amazing!

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  11. I’d love to visit more towns in Florida. Naples sounds lovely. I’m hoping to make a trip down to Florida with the family sometime this year!

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  12. Oh my goodness, these pictures are just gorgeous! Makes me want to hop on a plane and fly down right now! I’d probably choose Key West if I had to pick just one!

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  13. I’ve been to Sarasota and Key West. We want to go again but this year it looks like it’s Pensacola or Perdido Key! Love the Florida beaches.

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  14. Growing up in south GA, vacations were always spent in some part of Florida. Now that I’m all grown up, FL holds such special memories and we visit as often as we can. One day I’d love to retire in one of these beach towns.

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  15. Beaches are really beautiful, it’s my dream to have a staycation in beaches like these. I wish I could visit one of beach in Florida.

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  16. I want to take my trio to Florida in the next couple of years, glad to have a list of towns that we should look into visiting there.

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  17. I grew up in Tampa and have had the pleasure of visiting all of these beach town. I think you nailed it with this list.

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  18. The only one of these beaches that I have visited is Key West. My favorite beach area in Florida is Islamorada in the Keys. It was absolutely beautiful and so relaxing!

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  19. Ah. Wouldn’t I kill to be at any of these right now. I’ve never been to Florida. But it’s always been a dream of mine to go and hang out on the beaches there. Looks amazing.

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  20. It’s hard to imagine there are so many beautiful beaches in the world, alone one state. I need to visit each and every one of those Florida locations.

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  21. We took a vacation two years to Florida and enjoy the beaches and State Parks. It was one of our favorite trips. We loved the beach near Fort De Soto Park, we saw a lot of armadillos on a trail near there.

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  22. I have visited Florida numerous times and always enjoy my stay, but have never made it to any of these beach towns. Few things in life top fresh ocean air and feet in the sand.

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  23. I love visiting Florida- especially when it’s cold here in Ohio. I’m hoping my husband and I can visit Key West this year.

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  24. I have always wanted to go to Key West. I have heard that it is an awesome place to visit. I love going to Florida for vacation.

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  25. These are all on my family’s travel list. We’re working our way through all of these every time we visit Florida.

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