Best Florida West Coast beaches: Lido Beach in Siesta Key, Sarasota, Florida Panhandle. Photo by Michael LoCascio.
Best Florida West Coast Beaches
Destin Beach, west Florida
Another superb beach destination, with fast-growing, lavish resorts on pristine sand. Apart from getting a death-defying tan visitors come to Destin to play golf and all kinds of watersports – sailing, diving, but particularly fishing for its famous fishing fleet, the state’s largest.
The best beach is probably unspoilt Henderson Beach State Park with squeaky suger-white sand and crystal clean water, though nearby public beaches are almost as good as the Park but without the fee!
Near Destin, another fine spread of sand worth mentioning is Fort Walton Beach.
Fort De Soto Park, near St Petersburg
The park comprises five islands covering 1, 000+ acres, with shallow waters and three miles of soft white sandy beaches, attracting more than 2. 7 million visitors annually. It offers two main swimming centres at North Beach and East Beach, with modern facilities, as well as a dog beach. Dogs can roam freely along a prime stretch of beach near the park’s pier.
There’s also an adjacent fenced field complete with dog facilities – fire hydrants and garden hoses with spray nozzles.
The park is well supplied with outdoor activities as it embraces a 6. 8 mile walking trail, a 2. 5 mile canoe trail, several nature trails, a boat launching facility and a large camping area.
Get there via I-275 south to exit 17 (Pinellas Bayway) and west at the second stop light. 3500 Pinellas Bayway South.
Caladesi Island State Park, near Dunedin
This 3 mile length of wide, flat and undeveloped white sandy beaches on Florida West Coast is a no-vehicle area, just grassy dunes, birds and calm Gulf waters, excellent for swimming, kayaking, snorkelling and shallow-frying yourself.
Get there via a ferry from Honeymoon Island SRA, 30 miles west of Tampa.
Clearwater Beach, north of Dunedin is another splendid beach on the Gulf Coast. Clear water (of course! ), wide and white sands, safe for little kids, great for walks or jogs, commercial and consequently well-manicured.
Keewaydin Island beach, Southwest
Only accessible by boat, this hidden gem of Florida West Coast beaches is located just off the luxurious resort of Marco Island, 2 hour west of Miami. The spectacular white sandy beach is a shell paradise and offers peaceful walks with great view of Marco Island. Marco is also home to some lovely public beaches such as Tigertail and South Marco, in case you have no boat.
Keewaydin Beach has warm water but strong currents.