Clear blue skies, beach sand and warm waters, sounds like Florida! Tourists and locals are known to routinely visit the beach. With a coastline that stretches over 360 miles, the Sunshine state offers a diverse play in the sand options. How do you choose? We did the work for you and cultivated a list of beach destinations that are a MUST visit.
Cocoa Beach is best known for its great surfing waves and come-as-you-are vibe, with chill waterfront bars and a fishing pier. For the most pristine beaches, away from the high rise buildings, head to 13th Street South (or Patrick’s Air Force Base), where you’ll find a strip of beach known as “Second Light.” (It’s also where the area’s second traffic light is.)
This central stretch of Florida coastline is called the Treasure Coast for good reason; several Spanish galleons from the 1715 Treasure Fleet, lost in a hurricane, have yet to be recovered in these waters just off Vero Beach. Every few years some lucky beachcomber turns up an 18th-century rosary or dazzling emerald in the beach’s coarse, white sand.
During the summer, when wealthy denizens of this beach town like Donald Trump and Jimmy Buffet head back north, you’ll find the beaches blissfully uncrowded. Don pastels and khakis for a visit to The Breakers Palm Beach, the historic hotel inspired by 15th-century Italian architecture, where American families such as the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts once vacationed during winter months.
Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach are the kinds of places you can blend in like a local. About a 30-minute drive east of downtown Jacksonville, this beach area has just a few low-rise hotels scattered between residential bungalows. It’s all within walking distance of an area called “The Corner,” home to shops, restaurants and bars.
A bold, brash blend of South American sexiness and pure Florida frivolity, Miami Beach is the place for people watching! With the Art Deco facades of Ocean Drive as your backdrop, watch the toned bodies play volleyball and sun themselves bronze. Coffee shops, a local institution that attracts a mix of beach bums and business types on hiatus. And enjoy a refreshing beverage poolside under the impossibly tall palm trees in South Beach, where you may just spot a celebrity or 2.Florida’s many beaches are certainly diverse, but one constant remains wherever you go: sunshine, and lots of it. So pack the highest SPF, an umbrella, then hop on US 1 for a beach road trip with a bit of everything.