When many people think of Florida, they think of sunshine and beaches. In fact, the state's official tourism board reports that visiting the beach or enjoying waterfront activities was one of the top reasons why visitors said they visited the Sunshine State. With 825 miles of sandy coastline to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go for a fun-filled Floridian getaway. These five Florida beaches are a great launching point, whether you're wanting to swim with manatees or simply relax with a good beach book.
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1. Miami Beach
Located in South Florida, this beach has one of the most recognizable names in America. In fact, HGTV's travel critics ranked it as Florida's #1 beach. Miami Beach is a popular destination for travelers across the world who want to experience miles of white sand beaches, captivating people-watching opportunities, and unlimited attractions and activities.
From browsing the more than 200 shops and boutiques along the fabled Lincoln Road to exploring enchanting art galleries, there's something for everyone. Other exciting activities include snorkeling off the coast with dolphins or parasailing over an oceanfront view like no other!
2. Siesta Key
Traveling with kids? Nestled just south of Sarasota along the warm Gulf Coast, Siesta Key is well-known for its family-friendly atmosphere, and its tranquil currents and on-duty lifeguards year-round make it a safe locale for beachgoers of all ages. It also has "the world's finest, whitest sand (it's more than 99 percent pure quartz, which keeps it cool even under blazing temps)," reports the beach guides at Condé Nast Traveler magazine.
If you and your family are feeling adventurous, rent a jet ski or other watercraft from the many vendors along the beach. Then, refuel with a bite to eat at dozens of restaurants that line the coast. Strolling the nearby Siesta Key Village is a must, offering up numerous shops and cafes wrapped in a small-town tropical ambiance.
3. Clearwater Beach
Although it's a bit of a drive from major cities like Tampa or St. Petersburg, Clearwater Beach's long stretches of white sand and stunning emerald water make the drive worth it. In fact, as reported by ABC Action News - Tampa Bay, Clearwater has won recognition in multiple years for being one of Florida's top beaches (and was even ranked as one of the top 10 beaches in the entire world).
It's the perfect spot for a mix of adventure and leisure. Popular activities at Clearwater Beach include parasailing or fishing alongside deep sea experts or simply taking a stroll along its iconic Pier 60. Don't miss the sunsets on the pier! Other attractions, such as beach concerts, are also available throughout the summer season, bringing even more life to this popular destination.
4. Marco Island
Marco Island is one of the only inhabited islands in the Ten Thousand Islands — a chain of several hundred mangrove islets and islands in southwest Florida. U.S. News and World Report rank Marco Island as one of Florida's top three beach getaways, saying that it "entices visitors with its unique mix of high-end resorts and unspoiled habitats" with boating being one of the most popular reasons to explore this island.
Spending time here means having a chance to tour this beautiful city with plenty of historical attractions nearby, such as museums and monuments dedicated to Native American cultures. You have two main beaches to choose from — South Beach and Tigertail Beach — each renowned for having warm water all year long. Once you're done relaxing in this island's green waters, go on a dolphin tour, and rent kayaks or paddleboards to choose your own adventure.
5. Cocoa Beach
Surfers will not want to skip Cocoa Beach, which Travel + Leisure magazine rates as one of Florida's best beaches for those who want to hang five. "Long called the surf capital of the East Coast, Cocoa Beach has produced several big-name surfers, including Kelly Slater, an 11-time world surf champion," reports the magazine.
While here, visitors can experience all that the nearby city offers, from luxurious resorts to breathtaking views along miles of golden sand beach. If you're lucky, you can even witness spectacular rocket launches at the nearby Kennedy Space Center (many locals gather on Cocoa Beach to watch the space center's launches)! On your way to or from Cocoa Beach, don't forget to book boat tours around Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge where you can take in Florida's wildlife, including manatees.
As you can see, Florida's beaches each offer their own set of unique activities and attractions for visitors and residents no matter what type of adventure you're seeking. If you currently live in Florida, or you're seeking to relocate to the Sunshine State, many residents who live along the coastline want easy access to Florida's oceans. Duncan Seawall can help. From boat lifts or docks, there's a reason we're the area's largest and most respected marine construction company. If you want excellent service and quality marine workmanship, contact Duncan Seawall today!