Trip Advisor just confirmed what Floridians already knew. Our coastlines are paradise. In a recent list of the 25 best beaches in the United States, Florida snagged 8 of the spots, including number one. With sugar sand, palm trees and sparkling seas there are so many locations worth traveling to right here in the Sunshine State.
Number 1: Siesta Beach – Siesta Key, Florida
Siesta Beach has won the honor of top beach thanks, in part, to its dazzling sugar-white sand. It draws kayakers in every year who launch off Turtle Beach in search of relaxation and Florida wildlife. A few steps away, quaint shops and outdoor eateries await.
Number 2: Saint Pete Beach, Florida
Largely undeveloped, St Pete Beach offers many sporting opportunities. You can try windsurfing, paddle boarding, kiteboarding, and parasailing. Tourists can choose between tiny pastel motels along the boulevard, or two world class hotels. The Pink Palace known as the Don CeSar and Tradewinds Island Resort are right on the water and full of amenities. A stroll down gulf boulevard brings you to tiny eclectic shops and delicious dining adventures.
Number 4: Pensacola Beach, Florida
With Emerald waters and sugar sand, Pensacola Beach is a fantastic family destination. A plethora of seafood restaurants offer delectable dishes, or you can catch your own dinner off the Pensacola Beach Pier. The Footprints in the Sand Eco tour teaches visitors about the origins of sugar sand, the journey sea turtles take, and how to identify shells found locally.
Number 5: Clearwater Beach, Florida
Clearwater Beach is a must visit for Families. It’s home to Winter the Dolphin, an aquatic movie star with a prosthetic tail. This beach is full of exciting things to do, scrumptious food and friendly lodgings. Caladesi Island offers true serenity and waterfront beauty. There’s truly something for everyone here.
Number 7: Hollywood Beach – Hollywood, Florida
With a 2 1/2 mile boardwalk, Hollywood Beach brings Florida nostalgia to life. Stroll along the beach or take a trolley to restaurants along the water. Visit the Anne Kolb nature center to learn about Florida Wildlife, or shop at family owned stores along state road A1A. It’s no surprise Fodor names this the “Best Beach for Families.”
Number 8: Panama City Beach, Florida
In this slice of paradise, the turquoise Gulf of Mexico traces 27 miles of white sand along Panama City Beach. Scuba dive along the artificial reefs or fish for a delicious variety of seafood. If you don’t snag your own dinner, waterfront eateries offer fresh seafood caught right offshore. This beach is unique because you can see the sunset 365 days a year, thanks to a westward angle. A spectacular place to visit.
Number 11: St Augustine Beach, Florida
Facing the Atlantic waters, this little city on Anastasia Island offers big fun. You can fish off St John’s County Ocean Pier, play volleyball in the park and entertain kids at a splash zone or playground. Ocean Hammock Park has beautiful picnic spots and nature trails where turtles nest yearly. And don’t forget the food! Feast on fresh seafood at casual restaurants along A1A or cool off with ice cream. St Augustine Beach is wonderful for families and nature lovers.
Number 13: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Santa Rosa Beach is one of a charming string of neighborhoods in South Walton County. Here you’ll find luxurious beach houses and world-class restaurants. Be sure to visit Gulf Place, a unique artist colony. Point Washington State Forest displays 15,000 acres of natural preserves. Everywhere you turn you’ll find natural beauty, soft sand and the shimmering gulf.
How many of these must see beaches do you plan to discover? We have a few nude beaches, too!
Check out our Regions page for more beaches by regions.
**Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).
Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.