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    Florida beaches: from Miami to Tampa, the most beautiful sea in the Sunshine State

    Who I am
    Lluis Enric Mayans
    @lluisenricmayans
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    wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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    Le Florida beaches they don't need big introductions: they are part of our imagination when we think of dream holiday, the one that serves to disconnect from everyone and everything, a journey - which never knows seasons - towards new territories: on Facebook we often envy some of our lucky friends who take a selfie on a Miami beach, while in Spain we are there, suffering from cold December temperatures… To understand something about the best times to visit Florida, we have compiled an easy guide on when to go to Florida: climate and temperatures.



    Index

    • East and South Florida Beaches: Miami to Key West
      • Daytona Beach: a must for those who love the sea and engines!
      • Melbourne: a relaxing stop after Orlando ...
      • Fort Lauderdale: a dip in the sea of ​​the Venice of America
      • The beaches of the Florida Keys
    • West Florida beaches: tropical paradises at your fingertips
      • Naples and Estero Island: escape from the Everglades swamps!
      • Sanibel Island and Captiva Island: beaches strewn with shells and turtle eggs
      • The beaches of Sarasota: the islands of Siesta and Lido
      • The beaches of Tampa: Clearwater Beach and Caladesi Island
    • North Florida Beaches: A truly pristine beach
      • St. George Island State Park

    But what should you expect when taking a Florida beachfront relaxation and roasting tour? Endless and tempting beaches of fine white sand, almost silky for how gently it touches our feet; crystalline waters rich in fish fauna, where to immerse oneself and lose the normal conception of space and time; secret nature reserves, all to be discovered, in which to obtain even a little intimacy, to feel in some way the protagonists of the natural spectacle and identify with the condition of a Robinson Crusoe (with much more ease and comfort); natural contexts of a beauty never seen and imagined, tropical paradises to be discovered and experienced, by forcefully tearing them away from their condition of glossy postcard places ...



    In this article I have decided to try the impossible, that is, to index a dozen of the best beaches in Florida. That's right, I put my hands on, saying it's one mission impossible... after all, the Florida peninsula covers a distance of over 2000 km of coastline between continental beaches, islands, islets, isthmus and peninsulas: we leave it to you to imagine how difficult it can be to make a selection! I tried, and here it is, to follow, complete with a map.

    East and South Florida Beaches: Miami to Key West

    As you will see from this list, most of the best beaches in Florida overlooks the Gulf of Mexico (on the western side of the peninsula) but that doesn't mean it's not worth exploring east coast of Florida. The fundamental point of reference - needless to say - is Miami, which for its fame and the beauty of its beaches deserves a speech in itself, which we have already done in our in-depth article on the beaches of Miami, to which I refer you for ideas and more limited information. Other beaches of eastern Florida to visit are, in order from north to south:

    Daytona Beach: a must for those who love the sea and engines!

    As far as the inhabitants of Daytona Beach they say that theirs is the most famous beach in the world, there are much more beautiful in Florida. So why report it? Daytona Beach it is most famous for the historic NASCAR circuit, but the motor empire has extended far beyond the confines of the racing circuit, reaching as far as the beach. You got it right: in some very specific points (watch out for the signs!) It is possible enter the beach by car and follow it from top to bottom without the swimmers having anything to say.



    Sure, the sand is white flour, the sea is clear, but the atmosphere is chaotic for the crowding of bathers, for the cars and for the surrounding urban context; the prices are above average (even the entrance of the car to the beach has a cost, of course)! In other words: go there if you like the idea of ​​cleaving the Florida sand with your car, otherwise, move on!

    All accommodations available on Daytona Beach

    Melbourne: a relaxing stop after Orlando ...

    After Daytona Beach, I actually could have recommended you Vero Beach and Cocoa Beach, two other kilometers of beaches that alternate along the long coastal stretch north of Miami; the choice falls instead on Melbourne Beach, which is a little less touristy and lively. A nice place by the sea to relax in Melbourne è in 113 Paradise Blvd: Paradise Beach & Park, a beach framed by palm trees and no tower blocks. Melbourne Beach is also a very strategic stop to take a break after or before visiting the parks of Orlando or Cape Canaveral.

    All accommodations available in Melbourne

    Fort Lauderdale: a dip in the sea of ​​the Venice of America

    Fort Lauderdale Beach it may recall one of the beaches of nearby Miami, but it has the advantage of being a little less crowded and touristy: reach the beautiful beach (with ample parking) at 1100 Seabreeze Boulevard, near the marina: the "Venice of America" it will reward you with its elegant, lively and trendy atmosphere. Another well-known and popular stretch of beach is Hollywood beach (Ocean Drive) south of the center of Ford Lauderdale: crystal clear sea and waterfront enjoyable for a stroll. If you're headed to the area, don't miss our tips on what to see in Fort Lauderdale.



    All accommodations available in Fort Lauderdale

    The beaches of the Florida Keys

    South of Miami, in the last stretch of the east coast, there is a priceless treasure, an unmissable stop on a tour of Florida: the archipelago of Florida Keys, crossed by the Overseas Highway, a dream road that leads to the remote and fascinating Key West, the southernmost city in the continental United States. The Miami - Key West itinerary is a classic, and along the way there are some beautiful beaches that are worth visiting, which we already covered in our article on the Florida Keys.

    1) Beach hat: paradisiacal beach in the corner of the so-called Middle Keys, also equipped with green spaces and picnic tables for families. It is found in the locality Marathon, that it is a strategic place to stop for the next beach, Bahia Honda, which is only 15 minutes away;

    All available accommodations in Marathon

    2) Bahia Honda State Park: it is the symbolic beach of the Florida Keys, with crystal clear waters with indefinable shades and white sandy strips framed by palm trees, of which we have talked better here. It is found deviating from the Overseas Highway in the vicinity of Big pine key (36850 Overseas Hwy). If you don't want to stay overnight in Marathon, you can look for accommodation in Big Pine or directly in Key West.

    Tips on where to sleep in Key West

    3) Arrived at Key West, experience the thrill of taking a dip in the ocean on one of the city beaches: one to try is in S Roosevelt Blv and is called Smathers Beach, but also the small one Fort Zachary Taylor Historic Park Beach can offer you a good experience. However, keep in mind that the beaches of Key West are not the best in the archipelago: stopping here is, if anything, an opportunity to be able to say that you have bathed in the southernmost city of the United States.

    Tips on where to sleep in Key West

    West Florida beaches: tropical paradises at your fingertips

    La West Coast offers some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida, especially if you have the patience to search for more locations wild and untouched. Again there is plenty of choice, so I focused on locations such as Naples, Fort Myers / Cape Coral, Sarasota and Tampa, which are the main reference points for visiting some memorable beaches. Here are my favorites:

    Naples and Estero Island: escape from the Everglades swamps!

    You are probably planning a visit to the Everglades, and you are right to explore this wonderful ecosystem; but when you are tired of alligators, aninghe, iguanas, mangroves and tropical plants, you will surely want to return to civilization, feasting your eyes on the crystal clear sea and white sand of the beaches that turn towards the Gulf of Mexico. Mind you, you could also settle for the first city you will meet, Naples, which offers a beach (Naples Beach precisely) immense and suitable for absolute relaxation.

    All available accommodations in Naples

    However, my advice is to go straight along the beautiful panoramic road (Estero blvd) that connects the various islands of the archipelago, towards Estero Island, where is it Fort Myers Beach: with its fine white sand and its fairytale sea, this beach offers moving sunsets. However, we must add that, during the day, the rest can be disturbed by the excessive number of bathers, and that in some points the view is spoiled by the high-rises of the resorts.

    All available accommodations in Estero

    Sanibel Island and Captiva Island: beaches strewn with shells and turtle eggs

    A few miles from Fort Myers are the islands of Sanibel e Captiva, famous for their beaches dotted with shells and for the romantic and wild atmosphere: Sanibel can be reached via a toll bridge, along which you will immediately have a taste of the show that awaits you. After a swim, you reach the famous Sanibel Lighthouse, for a photo of the lighthouse at sunset. Captiva Island it is connected to Sanibel by a short bridge over the sea (called Blind Pass) and offers even more unspoiled nature and beaches; no picnic areas here, but on the other hand you can also see some turtles that come to lay their eggs, or even dolphins.

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    Just in front of Captiva Island, finally lies the fascinating and wild island of Cayo Costa State Park, with white beaches full of shells and clear and sparkling sea. Unlike the previous ones, this island is truly exclusive: it can only be reached by boat from various points, including Captiva Island.

    All accommodations available in the area

    The beaches of Sarasota: the islands of Siesta and Lido

    Sarasota is a lively seaside city with museums and botanical gardens to visit, but the main reasons of interest that can justify a stop here are obviously the beaches of the islands that are immediately in front of the city coast: Siesta Key e Lido Key.

    Apart from high-rises and hotels, you will enjoy the maritime panorama of Siesta Key, which offers travelers the clear and crystalline water of the sea in front of Crescent beach e Siesta beach, beaches famous above all for the whiteness of the sand due to the strong concentration of quartz in the sand. Lido Key (Benjamin Franklin Drive) in turn offers a soft white beach like talcum powder, perhaps a little less touristy than Siesta Beach: the area is equipped with free parking on the palm-lined promenade.

    All accommodations available in Sarasota

    The beaches of Tampa: Clearwater Beach and Caladesi Island

    A few kilometers from Tampa, in Clearwater, there is one of the most famous beaches in Florida: Clearwater Beach. It is a particularly well-kept and well-equipped long beach, which according to many can rival some beaches in Miami. The natural characteristics are always the same: postcard sea, with unrepeatable colors and shades; seabed suitable for diving, rich in fish fauna; soft white sand to the touch. After relaxing under the umbrella, also walk the seafront: it is very enjoyable, with shops, bars, restaurants, service agencies and sports activities for boat trips, snorkeling, etc.

    If you don't like the tourist environment of Clearwater Beach, you can always get to the beautiful one Caladesi Island, a seductive and exclusive paradise of beaches not very frequented by tourists, since it is necessary to take a ferry to reach them: if you decide to go there, know that you will find yourself in a wild and untouched world, where dolphins are more easily seen than humans!

    All accommodations available in Clearwater

    North Florida Beaches: A truly pristine beach

    The northern region of Florida, called Panhandle, it is the least touristy, and it is very difficult to make it part of your itinerary, unless you plan to continue the tour in Louisiana or the other states of the deep South America. Here is a beach that I recommend to reach in case you want to take a relaxing day during the trip:

    St. George Island State Park

    The amount you will have to spend to enter this beautiful nature reserve in North Florida is certainly not high (about $ 5). The water won't be crystal clear like in Tampa, Sarasota, or Key West, but the beach really is uncontaminated e "Authentic". In such a non-touristic context you will find yourself at ease (just like the birds and animals that populate the dunes), and you can walk along the beach leaving the lighthouse behind. You will only see the sea and, on the promenade, some shabby villas with a view - constructions totally different from the high-rises of the tourist regions.

    So here are my tips regarding the beaches in Florida: I hope I have enticed you to leave. If you come back with any other suggestions to give us, well, don't hesitate to write them down in the comments!

     

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