Photo credit by Daniel Ray
Perhaps Florida is most famous for its beaches. With thousands of miles of coastline, Florida is a beachcomber’s dream. In fact, with so many beaches to choose from, you have the rare opportunity to be selective and pick from among only the best beaches in Florida.
Let’s take a look at some of the best beaches in Florida; where they’re located, and how you can be able to make the best out of your trips to these splendid slices of paradise. While you can find a nice beach almost anywhere you stop along Florida’s seemingly endless coastline, below is a list of some of the best beaches in Florida that you’ll be sure to love.
Located on West Central Florida’s coast are the soft white sands of Clearwater Beach. Clearwater Beach is well known by tourists from all over the world. However, the crowds that descend on this beach during the summer and winter are well worth contending with to enjoy the incredible sunsets off Pier 60 and the warm, balmy coast layered in some of the most beautiful sand you will ever see. Clearwater Beach is located about 30 minutes west of Tampa. Parking for Clearwater Beach can be found off Coronado Drive and South Gulfview Boulevard.
The international tourist mecca in Florida is, hands down, Miami Beach in South Florida. Miami Beach is decked out with world-class hotels, restaurants, clubs, bars, and – of course – the beautiful strip of warm sand facing the deep blue waters of the vast Atlantic Ocean. Miami Beach stretches for over 100 blocks and can be accessed from numerous points along Ocean Drive and Florida A1A/Collins Avenue.
Fort Jefferson Beach at Dry Tortugas
Located dozens of miles from mainland Florida is Fort Jefferson Beach in the Dry Tortugas. The Dry Tortugas are located about 80 miles west of Key West and are reached by boat. The Dry Tortugas are located in the Gulf of Mexico and consist of a few small areas of land that provide visitors a true sense of escape from the rest of the world. Traveling to the Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson Beach is no small task, requiring literally a full day for the round boat trip which starts and ends near Key West. However, for the beachcomber who is looking for a truly unique experience, a trip to Fort Jefferson Beach in the Dry Tortugas will always be rank among favorite memories.
Where Interstate-4 ends on the east side of Florida is one of the most famous beaches in Florida – Daytona Beach. It might be Spring Break Central and the headquarters for NASCAR auto racing. However, when visited during quieter times of the year (such as late spring or early-to-mid fall), Daytona Beach is one of the best beaches in Florida thanks to its prime location along Florida’s gorgeous Atlantic Coast.
Daytona Beach’s 23 miles of white sandy coast are convenient from Interstate-95 and Florida A1A. While you may not be able to race your car along the beach like NASCAR drivers did before the current race track opened in 1959, there are certain parts of Daytona Beach where it’s permissible to drive your car on the sand.
Panama City Beach
Any of the pristine beaches along Florida’s Panhandle make a fine place to visit, but one of the most renowned beaches in Northern Florida is Panama City Beach. Panama City Beach boasts incredible vistas of the northern Gulf of Mexico from the vantage point of the fine white sandy shoreline. The longest pier on the Gulf of Mexico, Russell Fields Pier, extends 1,600 feet into the water.
Panama City Beach can be reached by Front Beach Road (State Road 30). Panama City Beach is 100 miles southwest of Tallahassee and about 100 miles east of Pensacola. The main interstate route through the Panhandle is Interstate-10.