Exploring Florida’s Favorite Beaches

Aside from the parks, Florida is home to some amazing beaches. Regardless if you’re looking for something family-friendly, dog-friendly, or a place to surf, Florida has you covered. Let’s dive into some of Florida’s favorite beaches according to the Visit Florida website.

Secluded Beaches

Lovers Key State Park: This 2.5 mile beach inside Caladesi Island State Park is mostly secluded and quiet. It’s located near Fort Myers Beach and a great place for a romantic day on the shore. There are also nature trails, picnic areas, kayaking, and more. Visit https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/caladesi-island-state-park to explore this beautiful beach.

South Walton: This area is made up of 15 beach communities on the Gulf Coast. A lot of this area is owned by the state of Florida and protected from being developed. The beaches here are mostly secluded. If you visit Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, you’ll find a quiet and pristine beach. Go to https://www.visitsouthwalton.com/ to learn more about this area.

Family-Friendly Beaches

Hollywood Beach: Designated as a Blue Wave Clean Beach by the Clean Beach Council, Hollywood Beach is known for being safe and clean. Hollywood North Beach Park has concessions, fishing, volleyball, a picnic area, and observation tower. At Charnow Park, you’ll find playgrounds and an interactive fountain. The Hollywood Beach Boardwalk boasts shops, restaurants, hotels, and is perfect for biking, walking, running, or pushing strollers. Hollywood Beach is located between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. Visit https://www.floridashollywood.org/ for more information.

Panama City Beach: Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Panama City Beach has 27 miles of white sand beaches and beautiful blue waters. It’s also home to two state parks: St. Andrews and Camp Helen. This location is known for its affordability for families and loads of water activities. Nearby, you’ll find the Coconut Creek Family Fun Park and Gulf World Marine Park. Learn more at https://www.visitpanamacitybeach.com/.

Siesta Public Beach: On Siesta Key, an Island in the Gulf of Mexico you’ll find Siesta Public Beach. This place is known for white sand that doesn’t get too hot, and warm, clean water. There are lifeguards year round and shallow water near the shore making it a great place for families with children. In addition, there are lots of family-friendly things to visit like playgrounds, picnic spots, sports, and other activities. Find out more at https://www.siestakeychamber.com/home.

Mederia Beach, Gulf Coast

Dog-Friendly Beaches

Brohard Paw Park and Dog Beach: In Sarasota, you’ll find the prefect place to bring your furry friend for a day at the beach. Amenities include a grassy dog park adjacent to the beach, picnic tables, benches, showers, drinking fountains, and restrooms. Dogs are allowed to play off-leash here. The beach is clean and the water is calm. Check out more at https://www.scgov.net/Home/Components/FacilityDirectory/FacilityDirectory/502/4283.

Key West Dog Beach: This small beach area of also pet friendly. You’ll also find a nearby dog-friendly restaurant, Louie’s Backyard. If you wander a little further, you’ll find Higgs Beach Dog Park. This is not a beach, but a shady dog park. You can learn a little more about the Key West Dog Park here: https://www.whats-at-florida-keys.com/Dog-Beach.html

Bayview Dog Park and Beach: Located in Pensacola, the Bayview Dog Park and Beach is a one-acre area for dogs to play and swim. This area is located inside the 35-acre Bayview Park in the southwest corner. This dog beach is lined with white sand and is fully fenced on all sides except for the shoreline. The beach also has some trees which provides shade and there is parking located by the dog beach. You can find out more here: https://wagwalking.com/lifestyle/beaches/bayview-dog-park-and-beach

Image Source: VisitSarasota.com

Surfing Beaches

The Space Coast: The Space Coast has a lot of areas that are great for surfing. Cocoa Beach, located along the Space Coast is home to the famous Ron Jon Surf Shop. Other surfing beaches along the space coast include Satellite Beach, Melbourne Beach, and Playalinda Beach. Also, the Space Coast is Orlando’s closest Beach and home to the Kennedy Space Center. It’s also a great place for families with lots to do. Check out https://www.visitspacecoast.com/ for more.

Daytona Beach: Because of Daytona Beach having a gentle slop, it is known as one of the best places in the state to learn how to surf. Because of this, you’ll find lots of surfing instructors and surf camps in the area. Many of the beaches here allow driving on them which makes it easier to search for the best swells for surfing. Head to https://www.daytonabeach.com/ to learn more.

Sports Beaches

Fort Lauderdale: At Fort Lauderdale, you will find sporting activities on both the sand and shore. Activities include boating, wind surfing, jet skiing, kite-boarding, volleyball, swimming, walking, jogging, biking, and snorkeling to name a few. There is also a beach fishing pier. Overall, this beach is known for having lots of options for those seeking sports. You’ll find more information at https://www.sunny.org/.

Fort Myers Beach: Similar to Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers Beach offers a variety of sporting adventures. You’ll find similar offerings here in addition to deep-sea fishing, skim boarding, surf-biking, and sailing. There is a lot to do here and you can find out more at https://www.visitfortmyers.com/.

Miami: While this is a large area, there are many sports-oriented beaches . Examples include Virginia Key Beach where you can experience seaplane rentals. Hobie Beach is also known as Windsurfer Beach and offers wind surfing and sail boarding. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is where you can head to find bicycle rentals, hydro-bikes, kayaks, as well as hiking trails and fishing.


There is no shortage of things to do in Central Florida. While researching for this article, I found so many great beaches and experiences I am excited to try and share with you in future articles. This list only encompasses a small sample of the beaches in Florida. What beaches have you found that you love in the Sunshine State? If you are ready to make the move to Florida and take advantage of all the great entertainment opportunities, our Moving to Orlando REALTORS are here to help you navigate the market. Take a moment to fill out our contact form, and someone will be in contact with you!

Amy Krieger

Amy loves all things Disney from the theme parks and resorts to the beloved films. She and her husband, Paul are originally from Wheeling, West Virginia but now lives in Central Florida with their two fur-kids, Odie the greyhound and Hermes the Spanish galgo. As Disney Vacation Club members and Disney World Annual Passholders, they visit Disney World property as often as possible. Amy is a contributing writer for movingtoorlando.com, wdwinfo.com, dvcfan.com, and dclfan.com.

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