Florida's best beaches

Here, our favorite swaths along the Sunshine State’s 1,197-mile coastline, from the Panhandle to the Keys.

There's no shortage of powder-fine sand, national parks, and scenes that are both cocktail-friendly and kid-friendly.

1) South Beach

Why we love it: Art Deco, A-listers, hot hotels, some of the best cocktails in the U.S. … Florida’s most famous beach is more about the “scene” than the warm waters and golden sands (which are also Instagram worthy).

2) Fort Lauderdale Beach

Why we love it: The Pabst Blue Ribbon–strewn sands, Hawaiian Tropic oil slicks, and packed motels of yesteryear’s spring break capital are no longer. Nowadays, uncluttered stretches of sand, sparkling blue waters, upscale resorts, and mega-yachts are rewriting the beach’s history.

3) Blowing Rocks Preserve

Why we love it: An ethereal, 100,000-year-old limestone shelf and crystalline waters underscore the natural grandeur of this Nature Conservancy–protected beach on Jupiter Island. No wonder it’s a favorite nesting ground for loggerhead sea turtles.

The beautiful white sandy beaches of Caladesi Island.

The beautiful white sandy beaches of Caladesi Island. (AP)

4) Caladesi Island State Park

Why we love it: Accessible only by ferry from nearby Honeymoon Island State Park, this completely untouched, 3.5-mile-long island feels like a giant sandbar saved for the lucky few. Here, cerulean water meets radiant white sand with mounds of beautiful seashells.

5) Siesta Key Beach

Why we love it: This incredibly wide beach along the Gulf of Mexico flaunts “the world’s finest, whitest sand”—more than 99 percent pure quartz, keeping cool even under blazing temps—and there’s plenty of it to go around.

Check out more of the best beaches in Florida. 

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