Feel like going to some of the best beaches around, but don’t want to travel too far? We can’t all jump on a plane to Brazil or Greece. That’s okay though, there are many outstanding beaches right here in Florida. Be sure to pack some sunscreen, ‘cause the sun is only going to get hotter as the days go on.
Clearwater Beach has made it to the top of “Best Beach” lists for years, and in 2017 it was ranked the fourth best beach in the U.S. by TripAdvisor and fifth best beach by the Travel Channel. Located in the Tampa Bay metro, Clearwater Beach is a 3-mile stretch of beach along the Gulf of Mexico. Visitors can spread out in the white sand, get a little competitive with some beach volleyball, rent a fishing boat, go parasailing, or just get a room at the nearby hotel. Frenchy’s Grill is located right on the beach and it’s a favorite place for a grouper sandwich and a drink to watch sunset.
In 2017, Siesta Beach was ranked the number one beach by Dr. Beach, a professor at Florida International University, and Trip Advisor’s Top 25 Beaches in the U.S. Siesta Beach is located in the little beach town of Siesta Key, which is about 20 minutes from Sarasota. Beachgoers that prefer more peace and quiet will want to go earlier because it can get a little more crowded in the afternoon and evening. What can you expect? It’s the summertime and people are looking to cool off.
St. Pete Beach
Rated number three on Trip Advisor’s Top 25 Beaches in the U.S., St. Pete Beach makes it to the top of many travel lists for those looking to spend a day in the sand. Only about a 20 minute drive south of Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach is gorgeous and spacious and there are many hotels with an ocean view. In the last few years, St. Petersburg has grown quite a bit, and aside from the beach, there are a variety of neighborhoods to venture out to including John’s Pass, Treasure Island, and downtown St. Pete.
Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, and Marco Island
Known well for writers as the location for the Sanibel Island Writers Conference, Sanibel Island is also the home of one of Florida’s best beaches. That and Marco Island are top spots for families, lovers getaways, or just to get away from the busy city and island hop to spend the day at the beach or near the water. Many of the usual activities can be found - snorkeling, parasailing, riding on a jet ski, etc. If you’re heading north of Sanibel, look for Captiva Island. This place is like a little secluded paradise with white sand beaches for miles and plenty of local wildlife, from dolphins to different species of birds.
Know of any other good spots for sunbathing and beach bumming? Let us know on social media of some favorite spots.