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24 Florida Gulf Coast Beaches: Sun, Sand, and Serenity

On some days you can look for miles both ways and not see anyone on the beach at St. George Island.

Welcome to paradise! If you’re dreaming of sparkling white sand, clear turquoise waters, and an escape from the everyday hustle and bustle, look no further than the Florida Gulf Coast beaches.

With its stunning coastline stretching over 1,350 miles, Florida boasts some of the most picturesque beaches in the world. The Florida Gulf Coast beaches provide all you could ask for in beautiful beaches.

Whether you’re seeking a relaxing retreat, a fun-filled family vacation, or an adventure in water sports, the Gulf Coast has it all.

From the powdery sands of Siesta Key Beach, consistently ranked as one of the best beaches in the United States, to the remote and untouched beauty of Caladesi Island State Park, there is a stretch of sand to suit every traveler’s taste.

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Get ready to soak up the sun, immerse yourself in nature, and let the stress of everyday life melt away. From the clear waters of Pensacola Beach to the tranquil shores of Marco Island, the Florida Gulf Coast beaches offer a little slice of paradise for everyone.

So grab your sunscreen, pack your flip-flops, and prepare to discover sun, sand, and serenity on Florida Gulf Coast beaches. Your dream beach getaway awaits! Just choose your paradise.

Florida gulf coast beaches Siesta Key Beach
Siesta Key Beach is a highly-rated Florida Gulf Coast beach that families love.

Top Beaches on the Florida Gulf Coast

When it comes to the top beaches on the Florida Gulf Coast, there are plenty to choose from. We start with the most popular Florida Gulf Coast beaches and then move on to lesser-known Gulf Coast beaches in Florida.

Siesta Key Beach

One of the most popular is Siesta Key Beach, located just south of Sarasota. Consistently ranked as one of the top beaches in the country. With its powdery white sand that feels like walking on silk, Siesta Key Beach is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

The beach offers a range of amenities, including picnic areas, volleyball courts, and even a playground for the little ones. Whether you’re looking to relax on the sand, take a dip in the crystal-clear waters, or enjoy a game of beach volleyball, Siesta Key Beach has it all.

Things To Do Near Sarasota

Hotels Near Siesta Key Beach

Clearwater Beach

Another highly ranked beach on the Florida Gulf Coast is Clearwater Beach. Known for its stunning sunsets and lively atmosphere, Clearwater Beach offers something for the whole family.

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Take a stroll along the famous Pier 60, where you can catch street performers, browse local shops, and enjoy live music. For those looking for adventure, try your hand at jet skiing, parasailing, or taking a dolphin-watching cruise.

With its wide sandy shores and warm Gulf waters, Clearwater Beach is the perfect place to unwind and create lasting memories.

Authors Note: We live here and truly enjoy watching people come to our beach year-round. Our slight prejudice leads us to believe this beach is the best family beach in Florida on the Gulf Coast.

Things To Do Near Clearwater Beach

Hotels in Clearwater Beach

Florida Gulf Coast Beaches Pensacola Beach
Pensacola Beach is really a cool beach despite the bad weather when this photo was taken.

Pensacola Beach

You won’t find any clearer waters or a better beach than Pensacola Beach and its next-door neighbor Navarre Beach. Both are located on the same barrier island and share the same sterling clean waters and miles of sand.

These beaches are in the far western reaches of the Florida Panhandle and some 650 miles from Marco Island we explore below. There are plenty of attractions and things to do in the area along with the Gulf Islands Seashore National Park that separates Pensacola Beach from Navarre Beach. The Park has its own spectacular beach.

Things To Do in Pensacola

Hotels Near Pensacola Beach

The Florida Gulf Coast Beaches of Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island, located off the coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico, boasts some of the most picturesque beaches in the state. Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect:

  • Anna Maria Beach

This is the main beach on the island, offering soft white sands and clear turquoise waters. It’s a perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, or simply strolling along the shore. The beach is relatively quiet and less crowded compared to some of the more touristy spots in Florida.

  • Bradenton Beach
Gulf coast beaches in Florida anna maria island
All the beaches of Anna Maria Island look like this one at Bradenton Beach.

Situated on the southern end of the island, Bradenton Beach is known for its charming Old Florida feel. It has a long stretch of sandy shoreline, dotted with picnic areas and shaded spots under Australian pine trees. Visitors can also enjoy water sports like kayaking and paddleboarding here.

  • Coquina Beach

This beach is famous for its stunning sunsets and excellent amenities. It features picnic areas, playgrounds, and ample parking, making it a popular choice for families. The beach is also equipped with showers and restrooms for convenience.

  • Bean Point Beach

Tucked away at the northern tip of the island, Bean Point Beach offers a more secluded and tranquil experience. It’s a great spot for shell hunting and birdwatching, with panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay.

  • Holmes Beach

Located in the center of the island, Holmes Beach is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. It offers a wide expanse of sand perfect for sunbathing and building sandcastles. The beach is also home to some beachfront cafes and shops where you can grab a bite to eat or pick up souvenirs.

Overall, Anna Maria Island’s beaches are characterized by their natural beauty, laid-back atmosphere, and stunning sunsets, making them ideal for a relaxing getaway or a fun-filled day by the sea.

Things To Do in Anna Maria Island

Places to Stay in Anna Maria Island

gulf coast beaches of Florida st pete beach
St. Pete Beach with the historic Don CeSar Hotel in the background.

St. Pete Beach

St. Pete Beach, located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, is renowned for its wide white sand beaches and vibrant atmosphere. The main beach area, aptly named St. Pete Beach, features miles of soft sand lapped by the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Visitors can relax under the shade of umbrellas, take leisurely strolls along the shore, or engage in activities like beach volleyball and paddleboarding. Aside from its natural beauty, St. Pete Beach boasts a bustling waterfront scene with a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.

Sunset celebrations are a highlight, with crowds gathering at waterfront venues to witness the spectacular colors painting the sky as the sun dips below the horizon. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or excitement, St. Pete Beach offers a quintessential Florida beach experience that keeps visitors coming back year after year.

Things To Do in St. Pete Beach

Places To Stay in St. Pete Beach

The Beaches of Route 30A Florida – A Florida Scenic Highway on the Gulf Coast

The Beaches of Route 30A Florida, located along this designated Florida Scenic Highway, offer a charming and laid-back coastal experience along the Gulf of Mexico. This stretch of road runs for about 28 miles through several picturesque beach communities along the Emerald Coast The beaches of Route 30A Florida include:

  • Seaside
  • Rosemary Beach
  • WaterColor
  • Grayton Beach
  • Alys Beach
Beaches on the Gulf Coast of Florida Rosemary Beach
This is Rosemary Beach but it could be any of the beaches on Route 30A Florida.

Each of these beach towns has its own unique character and appeal, making the journey along Route 30A Florida a delightful exploration of Florida’s coastal beauty.

The beaches along Route 30A Florida are renowned for their pure white sands, clear turquoise waters, and scenic dune landscapes. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities, from swimming and sunbathing to kayaking and paddleboarding.

Many of the beach communities along 30A also offer charming town centers filled with boutique shops, art galleries, and gourmet restaurants, perfect for leisurely strolls and casual dining. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, outdoor adventure, or cultural immersion, the Beaches of Route 30A Florida offer a quintessential Gulf Coast experience that captures the essence of coastal Florida living.

Things To Do Along Route 30A Florida

Places To Stay on Route 30A Florida

Continue exploring

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This article originally appeared here and was republished with permission.