Sinking Your Toes in the Sand: Florida’s Finest Beaches

There’s no doubt that Florida is the place to go for fun in the sun. The ‘Sunshine State’ has a seemingly endless coastline, giving locals and tourists plenty of choice when it comes to hitting the beach. But, with so many options, how do you decide just where to go? Here are some ideas:

Clearwater

Clearwater Beach

One of the many Tampa Bay beaches, Clearwater Beach is a gorgeous stretch of sand that lies along the Gulf of Mexico. It’s been called one of the best beaches across the entire nation and with its pristine, white sand beaches, it’s not hard to understand.

In fact, you should drop in and explore the entire Clearwater area, since there are plenty of food and retail options as well as a real community atmosphere. Join the locals every night at Pier 60 to watch the sun go down — an event that always draws a crowd. You can reach the Sunshine State on flights to Tampa from most major cities so there’s really no excuse for not going to this scenic shore.

Caladesi Island State Park

Located on Caladesi Island off the west coast of Florida, this state park is just north of Clearwater Beach. You’ll find a spectacular sandy beach along with a nature trail (keep your eyes out for osprey!), a kayak trail (bring your own or rent one there) and a large picnic area.  Caladesi Island State Park is a great destination for families, so pack up the kids (and the sand toys!) and enjoy the short ferry ride there.

PalmBeach

Palm Beach

The eastern Florida coastline has its fair share of beautiful beaches as well and Palm Beach is simply the crème de la crème. The small island in Palm Beach County boasts luxury hotels, high end shopping and numerous celebrity homes. And even if you strip away all the glitz and glamour, you’ll still find the area to be one of the most spectacular beaches you’ve ever seen. Enjoy the warm water and easy breeze, thanks to the Gulf Stream.

South Beach

‘SoBe,’ as it’s become known, is an area of Miami Beach that is known for its activity, to say the least. Head here for some sunbathing (topless if you choose!) during the day and clubbing through the night. The beauty of the beach can’t be denied and the unique, colorful lifeguard stands, designed by architect William Lane, add to the beauty of the region.

NewSmryraBeach

New Smyrna Beach

If you prefer a quieter stretch of sand, consider planning a trip to New Smyrna Beach, on Florida’s central east coast. The relaxed atmosphere combined with the awesome beauty (and the waves!) of the Atlantic make the beach a hotspot for surfers. You’ll also find more than a few sharks in these waters though, and whilst most are small, it’s best to remain vigilant.

So, from the west to the east, there’s plenty of gorgeous Floridian coastline to discover. Wherever you decide to go, enjoy all the sun, sand and surf this state has to offer!

Images by chez_worldwide, Benson Kua and tonyhuerta45 used under creative commons license.

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