The Best Florida Beaches
Florida, the "Sunshine State" is said to have over 350 days of sunshine a year and over 1000 miles of beaches, meaning that you are almost guaranteed sun and truly spoilt for choice with many different beaches suitable for everyone's tastes. This huge choice also makes finding the best Florida beaches for you that much more of a challenge, so in this guide to the best beaches in Florida, we will take a look at what is the best Florida beach in a range of different categories.
Best Beach for Families & Kids
Located along Florida's northwest coast, Panama City Beach was rated America's best beach in 1995 and is best known for it's 27 miles of bone white sandy beaches and clear, emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrews Bay.
Apart from the beach there are plenty of attractions in Panama City Beach that make it the ideal location for families: including water and amusement parks, a zoo (Zooworld), the Gulf World Marine Park, racetrack, miniature golf courses and for the kids a personal playground at Coconut Creek family fun park and nature trail and learning center for kids.
Panama City Beach is also the location for MTV's annual coverage of Spring Break Vacation, every parents worst nightmare, so depending on your age make sure you either miss it or go when it's on!
Best Beach for Families & Big Kids!
Cocoa Beach in Florida is located south of Cape Canaveral between the Atlantic Ocean and Banana River, it is an hours drive east of Orlando on Florida's beautiful Space Coast and is where science and nature live side-by-side, where a pristine nature reserve and it's beaches come face to face with all the excitement of a space shuttle streaking into space!
The beach is just a few miles from the NASA’s Space Center and if you get your timing right you can view a launch, but the real fun of the Kennedy Space Center are the attractions including simulated shuttle launches, meetings with real astronauts, IMAX films and tours of the Center.
On top of this you can go deep-sea fishing in the Atlantic, explore marshy wetlands by airboat, ride a horse on the beach and at the end of the day watch the sun set on the Banana River. Ogh and don't forget to spend some time relaxing on the beach!
Best Unspoilt Beach
Covering more than a mile of beach and voted one of the top ten Beaches in the U.S, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is unmistakable with it's historic Cape Florida Lighthouse, built in 1825, with free daily tours on offer.
Other than the beach: Hire a bike or go for a hike on the guided tours and nature trails that take you through the mangrove wetlands. Play some golf at some of the best links courses in Florida. Also visit the Miami Seaquarium where you can swim with the dolphins so not only will you learn about these intelligent sea mammals, you'll get right up close and personal with them in the water.
Also try: The authentic Cuban Cuisine or fresh seafood at the Lighthouse Cafe by the beach or Boater’s Grill overlooking No Name Harbor.
Best Outdoor & Nature Lovers Beach
With nine miles of beach, 10 miles of bay shoreline, more than 2 thousand acres of parkland and almost 75 miles from the nearest urban center, St. Joseph Peninsula National Park is perfect for those looking to get away from it all and back to nature.
The park's isolated location mean that it never gets busy, there are amenities such as a visitors center, picnicking areas, wildlife viewing and full camping facilities although there are no restaurants or stores, so come prepared.
There are three nature trails and a Wilderness Preserve for you to explore and birdwatching is also very popular at St Joseph's and with more than 240 species of birds including the peregrine falcon, it is easy to see why.
Also try: Rent a Kayak or canoe for the perfect way to explore the shoreline.
Best & Only Official Nudist Beach in Florida
Just north of Miami, Haulover beach is the only legal nude beach in Florida, there are many others where nudism is tolerated, but here the clothing-optional sections are well marked and so you can laze in the sun with your clothes off and without fear.
Haulover beach was designated a nudist beach in the early 1990s and since then the beach has become one of the most popular clothing-optional spots in the US. The beach attracts nudists of every age, shape and sexual orientation onto it's beautiful white sands where you can often find more than a thousand nude sunbathers along this half mile stretch beach in Florida.
Best Unofficial Nudist Beach in Florida
Whilst not designated as a nude beach, it is generally tolerated if you are discrete. Head towards the most northern section of Apollo beach near crossover No.5 where the beach has recently posted signs telling visitors that they are about to enter an area where they may encounter nudity.
Apollo beach is much more than just a nudist beach, with plenty more on offer. The beach is part of the 24 mile long Canaveral National Seashore
You can go horse riding, take a guided fishing trip to Mosquito Lagoon where you will find some of the best fishing in Florida. Hike along some of the many trails including the Eldora Trail where you will discover a turn of the century settlement or the Turtle Mound Trail that will take you to the top of Timucuan Mound.
For golf, you have to play a round at the nearby Apollo Beach Golf Club, the course with water on every hole and the only Robert Trent Jones Sr. Signature Golf Course On Florida’s West Coast.
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