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Top 10 Beaches in Florida

  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 11 August 2020
  • Revised 01 September 2023
Top 10 Beaches in Florida
  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 11 August 2020
  • Revised 01 September 2023
Top 10 Beaches in Florida
  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 11 August 2020
  • Revised 01 September 2023
From the vibrant Atlantic coast to the tranquil Gulf shores, Florida boasts a coastline that's as diverse as it is breathtaking. Whether you're a beach lover seeking solitude, a water sports enthusiast chasing waves, or a family yearning for the perfect sandscape to create lasting memories, there's a stretch of paradise here that's waiting just for you. Get ready to pack your swimsuits, sunscreen, and a sense of wonder as we uncover Florida’s stunning beaches to visit in 2024.

Siesta Beach, Siesta Key

Siesta Beach is central Sarasota’s gateway to the glittering waters of the Gulf of Mexico, an island with a charming atmosphere and relaxed vibe. Currently holding the prestigious second position on Tripadvisor's Best of the Best Beaches in the USA in 2023, Siesta Beach has a long history of receiving accolades and recognition. It previously clinched the top spot in Tripadvisor's Best USA Beach category in 2015, 2017, and 2020, and currently boasts an impressive global ranking, securing the 14th position on Tripadvisor's list of the world's top beaches.

Famed for its 99% quartz sand that stays cool under the sweltering sun, feel the soft sand between your toes and a delightful crunch from every step. A number of public events are held on the beach throughout the year. The most popular is the Siesta Key Crystal Classic Sand Sculpting Competition, where you can witness awe-inspiring sand sculptures of all kinds. When you’re done sunbathing in the luxurious heat, there are bundles of activities to keep you busy, from volleyball and tennis to playground equipment and an outdoor gymnasium.  Siesta Beach caters for everyone’s needs.

Clearwater Beach, Gulf Coast

Another Gulf Coast gem is Clearwater Beach, an award-winning stunner boasting snow-like sand, gentle turquoise surf, and an atmosphere that blends relaxation and charm. Rated America’s Number 1 Beach by Tripadvisor in 2016, 2018, and 2019, it’s easy to discover why this bay of brilliance melts the hearts of all who visit.

At Clearwater Beach, you can fully immerse yourself in everything it offers. Embark on dolphin cruises for a trip of a lifetime and enjoy the nightly Sunsets at Pier 60 festival to be captivated by the sunset, music, magic and fun. And families with young children should not miss the swashbuckling Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise for an imaginative sail blending pirate tales, treasure hunts, and scenic views of the Gulf of Mexico. 

With a selection of vibrant restaurants to choose from, Clearwater Beach provides an endlessly rich supply of quality entertainment, natural beauty, and a multitude of activities both on land and at sea. This vibrant beach community also offers heightened relaxation which comes naturally on such a beautiful and scenic stretch of shoreline.

St Pete Beach, Gulf Coast

Merely 19 miles south of Clearwater Beach lies the radiant shores of St. Pete Beach, guarded by the opulent flamingo-pink architectural masterpiece, The Don CeSar. What makes Tripadvisor’s Number 1 USA Beach in 2021 so popular is its 7 mile pristine coastline, where relaxation, family fun, and adventure flow in abundance. 

For Old Floridian charm and laid-back vibes, frequent Pass-A-Grille Beach, the southernmost point of St. Pete Beach. While those with an adventurous spirit and a desire to surf the swells should head to St. Pete Beach’s northernmost shore, Upham Beach. Here, you'll experience a true sense of escape, as the absence of towering beachside resorts is replaced by rolling sandy dunes, creating an idyllic setting.

Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island

Nestled on the serene enclave of Anna Maria Island, just a short drive away from Bradenton and Sarasota, you'll find Bradenton Beach. This charming small town is renowned for its inviting fishing piers, hidden sugar-sand beaches, and a picturesque strip adorned with a delightful array of shops, restaurants, and cherished family-owned businesses.

For a chance to witness dolphins in their natural habitat, venture to the southernmost point, Coquina Beach, where these playful creatures often make appearances. If you're more inclined toward active pursuits, explore the lush trails of Leffis Key Preserve, to admire the natural beauty of the area. And for those seeking ultimate relaxation by the beach, treat yourself to a beachside massage at Sea-renity Beach Spa & Bou-tiki, where you can effortlessly melt into a state of restful repose.

Cocoa Beach, Space Coast

One of the closest beaches to Orlando, Cocoa Beach’s powder-soft shores are a mere 60 mile drive from the world’s theme park capital. Its convenient proximity makes it an ideal destination for thrill-seekers who want to unwind after an adrenaline-filled theme park adventure. While Cocoa Beach is renowned for its powder-soft shores, it also holds a distinguished title as the East Coast's Surfing Capital, thanks to its impressive swells.

What sets Cocoa Beach apart, though, is its unique connection to space travel. Situated on the shores of the Space Coast, Cocoa Beach offers an incredible opportunity to witness NASA rocket launches from the nearby Kennedy Space Center. Yes, you read that correctly - it's a prime spot for space enthusiasts. Beyond the allure of surfing and space exploration, Cocoa Beach boasts pristine sandy shores against the backdrop of a calming ocean, creating an ideal setting for relaxation and beachside enjoyment.

Sanibel Island, Southwest Florida

Sanibel Island has everything you could wish for. From excellent accommodation and restaurants to amazing golf, tennis and boating facilities, this Tropical Island and expansive beach is beautiful in every way. Imagine watching pelicans and herons while you lay between swaying coconut palm trees and lush tropical foliage. The crystal deep sky blue water and feather soft sand places you in paradise. Sanibel Island is world renowned for its shelling beaches and is a top destination spot for family vacations, weddings and honeymoons.

South Beach, Miami

Known for its lively sandy shores and unique architecture, South Beach is an international playground. The man-made beach stretches along the Atlantic Ocean and is perfect for those early morning runs and all-day sunbathing. Glittering with life, it offers a trendy and quirky environment that makes it a fun place to stay. South Beach attracts the rich and famous from all over the world and is recognised as being one of the best attractions in Florida. Play tennis, fish and even golf while you enjoy the historic architecture and fine oceanside dining.

Fort Lauderdale Beach, Gold Coast

Fort Lauderdale offers a unique beach experience distinct from many others. Its greatest strengths lie in its serene atmosphere and uncrowded stretches of shoreline. This makes it an excellent choice for families and those on a budget, as it caters to a wide range of interests and preferences. Along the beachfront, you'll find a selection of luxurious hotels, providing an ideal base for your stay. Additionally, the area boasts a diverse range of shopping and dining options, offering cuisine from around the world to satisfy every palate.

Whether you want to dive into the Atlantic Ocean's refreshing waters or explore the untamed beauty of the Everglades, Fort Lauderdale provides opportunities for adventure. For those looking to stay active and maintain their well-being, the resort spas and gyms in the area offer excellent options to help you keep fit and healthy during your visit.


Bahai Honda Beach, Florida Keys

Escape to the Conch Republic in Florida to fully experience the Sunshine State's unspoiled natural beauty. Here, you can dive into the blissful blue waters on a snorkeling adventure alongside graceful turtles, observe water birds skillfully catching their prey, and as the day winds down, keep an eye out for playful dolphins and majestic whales while you bask in the warm glow of pastel-hued sunsets. This coastal paradise features picturesque scenes of swaying palm trees and glistening sands, and for a touch of unique character, the abandoned Bahai Honda Railroad provides a striking backdrop against the backdrop of the Florida Keys' heavenly sunny skies.

Daytona Beach, Gold Coast

There is one place that can instantly stir feelings of fun in the sun. Daytona Beach has gone through bundles of exciting developments over the years from new attractions, shopping centres, hotel properties and entertainment venues. However Daytona Beach really peaks during Daytona 500 and spring break, the atmosphere generates electricity and the fun can be enjoyed by all ages. Visit the historic Daytona Beach Pier and enjoy nearby roller coasters, Ferris wheels, surfing and other entertaining attractions and facilities.

Fancy yourself a Florida beach break? Why not check out our Beach Holiday Deals and give one of our Travel Specialists a call to book your next Florida holiday today.

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