Beautiful white sugary beaches. Cool, azure water with foamy waves washing up on shore. Palm trees waving softly in the trade winds. And, at the end of the day, gorgeous tropical sunsets that feed the soul, and leave you wanting to come back 24-hours later for more.
What's not to like? That's the promise of the most beautiful beaches in Florida, America's "Sunshine State."
Unless you're in Alaska or Hawaii (with its abundance of great beaches, that's understandable), any American is within six hours of a Florida coastal paradise, and millions take advantage of that proximity to visit Florida, with its 1,350 miles of mostly pristine coastlines.
With that much geography involved, it's not easy to choose the best beach town landing spots in the Sunshine State. Whether it's biking, sun-worshipping, surfing, or just settling for a cold beer under a beach-side tiki hut, Florida beaches offer a welcoming experience to visitors.
Which Florida beaches belong on anyone's bucket list? Let's list some fast facts first, then get right into seven seaside vistas that certainly qualify as the best beaches in Florida.
Fun Facts About Florida Beaches
Here's a few entertaining factoids about Florida's beautiful beach life:
- Benjamin Green, a Miami Beach pharmacist, invented the first suntan lotion in 1944.
- St. Petersburg-Clearwater boasts 361 days of sunshine every year.
- Islamorada, in the Florida Keys, means "purple island," in Spanish.
- For years, inventor Thomas Edison and auto icon Henry Ford were neighbors in Fort Myers.
- No matter where you are in the Sunshine State you're never more than 60 miles from a sunny beach.
- Florida's beaches are home to 80% of all loggerhead turtles located in the U.S.
- Sunny Sanibel Island ranks in the "Top 10" best beaches around the globe for shelling, with more than 400 species.