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  • Bowman Beach in Sanibel, Florida

What are Florida's Top Beaches?

Discover the best and top-rated beaches of Florida by region.

Whether you're considering moving to Florida or simply planning your next family vacation, learn about Florida's top beaches per region. For your convenience, we overview the best and most popular beach destinations in the Florida panhandle, the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Coast.

Top Beaches in the Florida Panhandle

  • Pensacola Beach, FL

    Pensacola Beach

    Pensacola Beach, located just 25 miles east of the Alabama state border, is top destination for beachgoers in the Florida panhandle. Pensacola Beach was recently named as the #1 Best Florida Beach by USA Today (2018) and a "Top 10" Florida beach by TripAdvisor in 2017, 2019 and 2021. Discover the Pensacola area.
  • Destin Beach, FL

    Destin Beach

    Destin Beach, located in the heart of Florida's Emerald Coast, is the principal city in the Crestview–Fort Walton Beach–Destin, Florida, metropolitan area. Destin Beach, a popular vacation destination to relax with its sugar-white sand and emerald-hued waters, was recently named as the 3rd Best Beach in the Country by U.S. News & World Report (2022).
  • Panama City Beach, FL

    Panama City Beach

    Panama City Beach is a popular waterfront and beach town in the Florida panhandle. Panama City Beach consistently ranks as a top Florida beach by nataional review publications and was recently named as the #2 Best Florida Beach by USA Today (2018).

Top Beaches on Florida's West Coast

  • Clearwater Beach, FL

    Clearwater Beach

    Clearwater Beach is Tampa Bay's top-rated beach destination. It was recently named as the #1 Top Beach in the US by TripAdvisor in 2018 and again in 2019. Beachgoers enjoy beautiful white sand views from the famous Pier 60 and casual seafood restaurants which line the shore. Discover the Tampa Bay area.
  • Siesta Key Beach, FL

    Siesta Key Beach

    Siesta Key Beach is Florida's top overall beach and as has consistently received more accolades and awards than any other beach in the sunshine state. With is powder-like, white sugar sand, Siesta Key Beach was mostly recently named in 2023 as the #2 "Best Beach in the U.S." as well as the #11 "Best Beach in the World" by Trip Advisor. Discover the Sarasota area.
  • Sanibel Beach, FL

    Sanibel Island

    Sanibel Island has long been a popular vacation destination on the Lee Island Coast of Florida. Sanibel Island offers residents and tourists alike some of the most amazing beaches views in all of SW Florida and is a popular destination for shelling, the art of locating, observing and collecting sea shells. Discover the SW Florida area.

Top Beaches on Florida's East Coast

  • Miami Beach, FL

    Miami Beach

    Miami Beach, located just each of downtown Miami, is home to several popular beaches including North Beach, Mid Beach and South Beach. South Beach, the best known of these for its iconic art-deco architectural backdrop, was recently named as a "Best Beach" in the US by TripAdvisor (2019). Discover the Miami, FL area.
  • Fort Lauderdale Beach, FL

    Fort Lauderdale Beach

    Fort Lauderdale Beach, located in the heart of Florida's Gold Coast, has received many accolades in recent years as a Top Florida beach. It was named as the 9th best beach in Florida by TripAdvisor (2019) and a "Best Beach in Florida" by US News & World Report (2019). Discover the Fort Lauderdale area.
  • Daytona Beach, FL

    Daytona Beach

    Daytona Beach, which has long been a popular beach destination for college spring breakers, is also known as the World's Most Famous Beach with its historic Daytona Beach Pier and nearby Daytona International Race Speedway.
  • Amelia Island Beach, FL

    Amelia Island

    Amelia Island, located in NE Jacksonville just south of the Georgia state border, has long been a popular vacation destination for many with its gorgeous sandy beaches and natural dunes lined with luxury resorts, bed-&-breakfast inns and golf courses. Discover the Jacksonville, FL area.

Florida Beach FAQ's

What is Florida's top beach?

Siesta Key Beach in the Sarasota, FL area claims the #1 spot as Florida's top beach as it has consistently received the most accolades and awards over the years (as rated by actual travelers on popular review sites) for its white, powder-like sand which is composed mostly of pure quartz. This unique composition allows the sand to stay cool to the touch even on the hottest of summer days. Below are recent accolades received.
  • #2 Best Beach in the U.S. - TripAdvisor (2023, 2022)
  • #1 Best Beach in the U.S. - TripAdvisor (2020, 2017, 2015)
  • #1 Best Beach in America - Dr. Beach (2017)

Close-Up View of Florida Beach Sands

The following close-up images compare Siesta Key Beach sand and texture to that of other beaches in the Suncoast area.
Texture of Siesta Beach, FL Sand Siesta Beach Sand
Texture of Lido Beach, FL Sand Lido Beach Sand
Texture of Longboat Key, FL Sand Longboat Key Sand
Texture of Venice Beach, FL Sand Venice Beach Sand

Which coast of Florida has better beaches?

While this question is open to interpretation of what makes a great beach, in general, there are several variances amongst the Florida's gulf coast and Atlantic coast beaches. The gulf coast beaches typically have a brighter white sand, the water is calmer and typically a few degrees warmer. The Atlantic coast beaches typically have a darker tan-colored sand, more wave action and the water temp is slightly cooler.

Which Florida coast is best for surfing?

Florida's Atlantic coast is by far the best coast if you're looking to catch a wave and "hang ten." The most popular surfing destination is an area known as Florida's Fun Coast, which spans the counties of Flagler and Volusia, and includes New Smyrna Beach, Daytona Beach and Ormond Beach.

Which Florida beach is best for sea shells?

The beaches of Sanibel and Captiva, just west of Fort Myers in the the Lee Coast of Florida, have long been a popular destination for shelling, which is defined as the art of locating, observing and collecting sea shells. Due to the irregular, curved shape of these barrier islands, they are able to collect sea shells. Bowman’s Beach and Lighthouse beach on Sanibel are top destinations to locate sea shells.

Which Florida beach is best for shark's teeth?

The area beaches of Venice, FL have long been a popular destination for finding shark's teeth. Casperson Beach, located about a mile south of the Venice Pier, is known as "Shark Tooth Capital of the World" and is a top Florida beach for locating fossilized shark teeth.