Florida is known as the Sunshine State, and for a good reason. The southernmost US State has a warm climate and miles upon miles of coastline to explore.
There are tons of pretty beaches in Florida with both the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico shores to uncover, but we are here to talk about the prettiest beaches in Florida.
Of course no matter where you go it will always be a great place to vacation and spend a week on the beach relaxing.
There are tons of beaches to choose from, but why not go to the prettiest.
After living in the Sunshine State for the last 2 years I have spent my time in search for the best beaches in Florida.
I narrowed it down to my favorites and complied this list. So…
Top 9 Prettiest Beaches in Florida
Below you’ll find a list of the prettiest beaches in Florida. The nine cities below have some of the most breathtaking beaches known for their soft, powdery white sand and incredible views.
This will help you narrow down your list of possible vacation spots in Florida since there are so many great places to consider.
Hopefully, one of these beaches catches your attention and gets added to your bucket list.
1. Sanibel Island, Florida
Sanibel Island is located on the Gulf of Mexico and is an island off of Fort Myers, Florida. The beaches here are some of the prettiest in all of Florida, with their seashell-decorated sand and beautiful ocean views.
Seriously, an activity people partake in is looking for unique, colorful seashells. Some of the best seashells are on Bowman’s Beach and Blind Pass Beach.
The island is a tranquil place to be because there is much more of an emphasis on relaxing than partying. Lighthouse Beach is also a pretty option on the island with a fishing pier, 19th-century lighthouse, and boardwalk.
2. Naples, Florida
On the Gulf Coast of Florida, Naples is a luxurious place with golf courses, upscale restaurants, and shopping. The luxury resorts have phenomenal private beaches, but luckily, there are tons of amazing public beaches in Naples.
Clam Pass Park has a beautiful beach within the 35-acre wilderness area. It’s a bit out of the way, but there is a boardwalk that will take you out to the beach, and once you’re there, you’ll notice the private, secluded feel about it. Delnor-Wiggins State Park Beach is another excellent option that is also very undeveloped and secluded.
You can almost ensure you’ll spot wildlife, and there is a ton of luscious, green vegetation.
It’s also a tranquil area with calm, shallow waters, so it’s an excellent place for swimming and offshore snorkeling. The Naples Pier can be a bustling area, but it’s a fun place to hang out if you want to eat or drink right off the beach and enjoy amazing views.
3. Marco Island, Florida
Marco Island is on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of Naples and north of Everglades National Park. It’s accessible by two different bridges from Naples, making it feel like more of a secluded and private place.
It has both undeveloped land and luxury resorts dotting the island. The beaches seem endless and are perfect for relaxing, looking for seashells, and swimming.
Tigertail Beach Park has a tidal lagoon that is great for swimming, paddle boarding, and kayaking because the water is shallow and calm. South Marco Beach is another excellent beach on Marco Island. Take a day trip here, or consider staying on the island for your trip to Florida.
4. Clearwater Beach, Florida
Clearwater is located across from Tampa Bay and is a 3-mile barrier island with fantastic beaches and a large hotel strip.
The body of water between the island and mainland Florida is great for swimming, snorkeling, and other water sports.
Clearwater Beach has a pier more than 1,000-foot over the water that is great for walking along and enjoying the views.
It also has fantastic sunsets. It’s a great place to get away from the crowds and the rush of everyday life. There are plenty of things to do around Clearwater.
It is perfect for taking the time to slow down and to truly relax along its beautiful beaches.
5. Destin, Florida
Destin is located way up in the northwest part of Florida on the panhandle part of the state. The beaches in Destin are located on the Gulf Coast and have amazing white, powdery beaches.
It’s an affordable yet beautiful place to visit. Henderson Beach State Park has 30-foot coastal dunes and hiking trails if you want to relax and adventure a bit.
You may also get to see wildlife, including dolphins, fish, and sea turtles. Miramar is another excellent beach along what’s known around Destin as the Emerald Coast because of the water’s beautiful blue and green color. Again, it’s a great place to visit.
6. The Florida Keys
The Florida Keys consist of several tropical islands off the southern tip of Florida and is the southernmost place in the United States.
The islands have the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, providing a relaxing place to spend your day and the perfect surfing conditions.
Sombrero Beach in Marathon, Florida, is a great natural beach to relax on, and you may even spot sea turtles. Calusa Beach in Bahia Honda State Park has gorgeous untouched beaches and is an excellent place for offshore snorkeling.
There are so many beaches to choose from in the Keys, and they’re all beautiful; pick one!
7. Saint Augustine, Florida
On the Northeast coast of Florida, Saint Augustine is one of the oldest cities in the US and is known for its Spanish colonial architecture.
Saint Augustine Beach and Crescent Beach along the Atlantic Ocean are two of the city’s most popular and prettiest beaches. Enjoy relaxing on the beach while gazing at 17th-century architecture.
The beaches in Saint Augustine are laid back but offer tons to do like fishing, swimming, snorkeling, visiting shops or restaurants, and even playing beach volleyball. Consider the pretty beaches in Saint Augustine, Florida for your next trip.
8. Cocoa Beach, Florida
Cocoa Beach is along the Atlantic Coast and a barrier island just off mainland Florida. Not only does it have pretty beaches, but it’s also a great surfing town.
It’s a laidback place, yet not far from Orlando and other things to do. Cocoa Beach Pier is a beautiful stretch of beach and is famous for its surfing conditions.
It’s a great place to people watch surfers or try the sport out for yourself. There are also many restaurants and shops on the pier to check out.
9. Amelia Island, Florida
Amelia Island is located on the Atlantic Ocean and is the northernmost barrier island in Florida. There are 13 miles of white beaches known as uncrowded sanctuaries.
There are luxury hotels and resorts but still much undeveloped and natural land to enjoy. The main beaches on the island are Fernandina Beach and Main Beach, which are both great for seashell searching and relaxing.
Why Visit Florida
Florida is known for its top-notch beaches and warm weather in the United States. The soft sand, vacation vibes, and fun environment make it a great place to visit.
Any experience you’re looking for, you’ll find in the Sunshine State. You can find spring break-themed parties, quiet relaxing sanctuaries, adventure, diverse landscape, and unmeasurable beauty.
Best Time of Year to Visit Florida
Florida is a warm place year-round, so the temperature isn’t too much of a concern when planning your vacation.
The temperature dips slightly in the winter months from December to February, but it only gets as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
January is usually the coldest month in Florida, so it’s best to avoid visiting at this time. The summer months from May to October are very humid, and it can even be unbearable at times with temperatures in the high 80s or low 90s Fahrenheit.
July is usually the hottest month of the year and averages 82 degrees Fahrenheit each day, so keep this in mind when choosing your vacation dates.
The other thing to consider is if you’re visiting during wet or dry season. May to October is known as wet season, and there are very high humidity levels and the possibility of daily thunderstorms.
Unfortunately, this is also the time of year that hurricanes and other tropical storms can occur. Most major storms occur in August and September, so it’s best to avoid these months.
On the other hand, dry season occurs from November to April when there is less humidity and precipitation.
The ultimate best time of year to visit Florida is either in the spring or the fall. To avoid spring breakers, choose to visit late March or early April.
This is also right before wet season, so the air is less humid and hasn’t gotten too unbearably hot yet. The fall is also a good time of year around November.
Hurricane season and wet season are coming to a close, and the air is still warm enough before the temperature drops in the winter months. Consider all of these factors when planning your trip to Florida.
Which Side of Florida to Visit
Florida can mainly be broken up into two parts, including its East Coast, located on the Atlantic Ocean, and its West Coast on the Gulf of Mexico.
The East Coast has almost 1,200 miles of coastline, and at least half of that is dedicated beaches for people to enjoy.
The West Coast, or the Gulf Coast, has arguably the most beautiful beaches in Florida. The water is crystal clear, and the sand is a soft, powdery white.
The Western side also gets impressive sunsets and is an excellent place to vacation and relax. The Eastern side is the hub of water sports in Florida, and the Atlantic Ocean pushes out much better waves for surfing.
Visiting the beaches on the East Coast is usually less popular than the West Coast unless you’re a surfer or enjoy other water sports.
You can expect fewer crowds on the Atlantic Ocean side of Florida. The southern tip of Florida is also a popular tourist destination, and just off the tip are the Florida Keys, a string of islands that makes up Key West and have a Caribbean vibe.
Florida is a popular tourist destination with laid-back vibes.
If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation laying out on the beach, consider visiting the West Coast of Florida.
On the other hand, if you’re hoping to hang out along the coast but also try your hand at surfing or other activities, visit Florida’s East Coast.
Conclusions on the Prettiest Beaches in Florida
Hopefully, this list of the prettiest beaches in Florida will help you narrow down your list and help you decide on a final vacation spot.
There are many beautiful beaches to choose from, and Florida is full of sandy sanctuaries, colorful seashells, and turquoise-blue coastlines.
The Sunshine State has terrific weather and fantastic beaches. So go out, pick one, and enjoy!