Best Florida Beaches, US

Miami South Beach, florida, usa

Miami South Beach, Florida, USA

Best beaches in Florida

The USA‘s Sunshine State of Florida encompasses hundreds of beaches on 1, 100 miles of three coasts– if you count the Florida Keys as the south coast – ranging from popular spring break city beaches such as glamorous Miami South Beach and long, flat, car-friendly Daytona beach, to diminutive tropical beaches in the Florida Keys, or unspoilt National Park beaches such as Canaveral and Perdido Key on Florida’s West Coast.

Compared to America’s Pacific beaches, Florida beaches – especially those on the west or south side – are swimmer-friendly, often with soft, fine white sand (which is frequently composed of fish poo) and warm, calm and clean waters – in season. Florida waters are not warm or necessarily calm in wintertime!

You may find city beaches overcrowded and face an accommodation shortage in the high season from Easter to Labor day, roughly April to September. We have included some famous names that are not on the best beaches list but still warrant inclusion for their activities.

East Coast beaches

Miami South Beach, SE Florida

Miami South Beach, Florida, USA, North America

Miami South Beach looking a little busy in peak season. Photo by Marc Averette.

One of America’s coolest cities, Miami is known as the party place for east-coast celebrities, an up-scale stage for the see-and-be-seen crowd. South Beach is the place for B-listees and wannabees to flaunt their pumped up bodies and sparkling bling. Miami Beach is in fact the city name – the place with the Art Deco District/Ocean Drive – as well as a beach name.

Miami’s certainly one of the best beach areas for nightlife, but tourists are regularly surprised how nice the actual beach is too – very big, clean, soft and safe, unlike some of Miami’s back streets.

Bill Baggs, Cape Florida State Park (SRA), near Miami

Cape Florida beach and lighthouse, Key Biscayne, USA

Cape Florida beach and lighthouse, Key Biscayne. Photo by Ebyabe.

The Bill Baggs State Park located on the most southern tip of the island of Key Biscayne (which is not part of the Florida Keys but is connected to Miami by a road bridge), is known for its historic lighthouse built in 1825 and is excellent for family holidays as its 2km soft sand beach and safe clean Atlantic water offers plenty of marine activities as well as essential facilities, hiking and biking trails and not too many other visitors except for raccoons looking for a sandwich.
Note that the park remains natural so seaweed is not removed as it actually cleans the water and helps the sand stay in place when it breaks down.

Get there from the mainland via US 1 south to Rickenbacker Causeway and across to Key Biscayne, then follow signs.

Haulover Beach Park

Haulover beach, florida, usa

Haulover nude beach. The best place to get naked! And not just for guys!

About half a mile of Haulover Park’s 1. 5 mile length of beach is clothing-optional. The sand is light brown and in good shape (like many of the bodies! ), with sand dunes, convenient concession facilities and life guards (probably ultra-buff). The park is popular with families, particularly for kiting, but also offers tennis courts, marina and plenty of shops. Haulover Park is in North Miami at 10800 Collins Ave, between Surfside Beach and Sunny Isles Beach.

Daytona Beach, NE Florida

Daytona Beach with chopper bike, Florida, USA

Daytona Beach

Daytona is definitely not one of the best beaches in the USA but is special for automobile-race enthusiasts or indeed anyone who wants to fool around with a car or bike on a beach – legally. 18 miles of hard-packed sand is open to drivers for $5 a day, but with a 10 mph speed limit, in a designated traffic lane and only during daylight hours.
However, there is now a one-mile stretch of vehicle-free beach in front of Daytona Beach’s historic Boardwalk, Main St. Pier and Bandshell.

Daytona is a hot Spring Break destination (during March mainly) with plenty of activities organised for the 250, 000 visitors, including pool decks along the Daytona Beach strip. The main action is usually around Main Street Pier. Temperatures are expected to reach highs of 74F and water temperatures around 62F.

Surfing goes well on the north side of Ponce Inlet, while kayaking, canoeing, and parasailing are also popular, but sunbathing in beauty and tranquility? Fergeddaboutit.

Fort Lauderdale’s city beach

Fort Lauderdale city beach, Florida, USA

Fort Lauderdale beach.

Fort Lauderdale is too commercial to be listed among America’s best beaches but nevertheless it’s a sunny and lively destination and thanks to a recent $25-million renovation including a fine Atlantic City-style boardwalk along Hollywood Beach and a wide, clean, palm-fringed strip of sand, it’s now a busy but attractive beach resort of open-air shops, bars, seaside cafes, spas and high-end accommodation.

Canaveral National Seashore between Daytona and Melbourne

Canaveral National Seashore beach, Florida, USA

Canaveral National Seashore, central-east Florida. Photo by Joneboi.

This National Park offers 24 miles of Florida’s longest stretch of undeveloped, natural beaches with grassy sand dunes, pine woodland, lagoon and sea-turtle nests is a nature lovers gem as well as a beach bum’s burn. Although lifeguards are on duty in summer months, Canaveral beaches offer no regular facilities as some say it is ‘just plain nature’.

Great for bird-watching and other recreational activities such as fishing, boating, canoeing, surfing, sunbathing, swimming, hiking on well-organised nature trails, camping and horse back riding on some parts of the beach.

Get to Canaveral National Seashore via U. S. 1, I-95, and Fla 528 (Beach Line Expressway), a few miles past the Kennedy Space Center.

Northern access, Apollo Beach, is on Fla A1A at the southern-most end in New Smyrna Beach.

Southern access, Playa linda Beach in Titusville, is on/ Fla 406/402. Playalinda Beach is reached via Fla 402 (also known as Beach Road). From I-95, the exit number for our north district (Apollo Beach) is 249.

Also see Florida Keys or Florida’s West Coast

Florida weather

The best months for sunbathing, swimming and scuba diving are April-July.
August is very busy, hot, sticky and hit by occasional storms.
The hurricane season begins June 1 and ends on November 30 but storms/rain are most likely mid-August to mid-October. See wet season beaches.

In winter, Miami Beach is one of America’s best resort cities and much enjoyed by hip New Yorkers fleeing icy winds; the weather is in the idyllic mid-70F (20C) even in the coldest months. Miami Beach is an 8. 5-mile-long stretch of white sand that can get crowded even in winter, especially around South Beach (SoBe) in the Art Deco district.

In summertime south Florida average high air temperature is 32C (89F), water temperature 30C (85F), in winter air lows reach 18C (65F). Summer is a great time for bargain hotel rates, but the weather can be oppressively humid.

Sharks off Florida?
According to the shark database International Shark Attack File there have been more unprovoked attacks on swimmers in Volusia County than just about anywhere in the world, though none have ever been fatal.

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