sunbathers on Daytona Beach

While Florida has become particularly well known for its theme parks, there is so much more to this diverse, vibrant and beautiful region than roller coasters and dancing seals. Boasting a year round tropical to sub-tropical climate, Florida is the warmest state in the U.S. and an extremely popular destination for tourists the world over. After all, they don’t call it the Sunshine State for nothing!

Check out our list of Florida’s best beaches:

Daytona Beach

Situated on the east coast, Daytona Beach is home to a 23 mile stretch of soft white sands lapped by the turquoise waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is a family friendly resort, however during Spring Break hundreds of American university students descend on Daytona Beach to take a break from their studies and to party by the beach. Throughout the rest of the year, visitors can enjoy a more relaxed pace and the bars and restaurants along the seafront are far less crowded.

Fort Lauderdale Beach

While Daytona may be the “in” place to be among Spring Breakers, this title once belonged to Fort Lauderdale. Now that the students have migrated north, Fort Lauderdale has blossomed into a stylish and sophisticated city with a gorgeous shoreline. Fringed by swaying palm trees and hemmed by waters perfect for surfing, Fort Lauderdale Beach offers visitors an ideal spot to relax, unwind and soak up the laid back lifestyle.

 

Jacksonville Beach

Tucked into the corner of Florida’s northeast, Jacksonville Beach has evolved into a bustling beachside community with a fantastic cultural scene. Along the twenty mile stretch of shimmering sands you’ll find great opportunities for a selection of watersports, including surfing, windsurfing and waterskiing. The seafront is also home to a 1000 foot long pier; perfect for a spot of fishing or people watching.

 

Fort De Soto Beach

Over on Florida’s west coast lies Fort De Soto, a beautiful island in Pinellas County and home to arguably America’s best beach. The park plays host to a range of recreational activities including swimming, biking, hiking and kayaking, but if your idea of a good time involves copious amounts of relaxation, you’ll be pleased to hear that there the entire islands is lined by pristine sands, so you’re never too far from beach bliss.

Photo credit:  From the personal collection of Mary Jo Manzanares

Author:  Ian Williams is a travel writer who left the corporate grind and set off to see the world.  As a solo traveler. Ian now enjoys sharing his travel experiences, writing about independent, free spirited travel.