Beaches In North Florida: Best 14 Beaches 2023

best beaches in north florida and gulf

Do you imagine yourself lying in a hammock under a palm tree, listening to the waves and enjoying white-sand beaches? Do you only want to splash around in the water and look for seashells all day? Then it’s time to travel to north Florida and check out some of the best beaches on earth. Continue reading to learn more about the best beaches on the north Florida gulf coast.

List of the Best Beaches in North Florida

Below are the best beaches in north Florida :

#1. Amelia Island

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What if you prefer sunrises to sunsets? Not to worry. You only need to go to Amelia Island to enjoy both! This beautiful beach destination is not far from Jacksonville on Florida’s east coast. However, depending on where you are in the late afternoon, you can enjoy a beautifully painted sunset sky before waking up the next morning to watch the sunrise on the beach.

Throughout the day, soak up the welcoming atmosphere of Amelia Island and equally watch your children play freely on a nearly empty beach. This Florida beach is not overly crowded. It’s also convenient if you just want some alone time with the kids.

#2. Destin Beach

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If you drive horizontally across the state from St. Augustine to the west coast, you’ll end up in Destin Beach. Although all of the north Florida beaches mentioned are lovely and beautiful, there’s something special about Destin.

For the most part of the year, the water feels warm and inviting; it’s crystal clear, the waves are calm, and the sand is super white. Destin is also a popular spot for boating and fishing. You can also hire a deep-sea charter to take you out and possibly return with a large enough fish to feed the entire family!

#3. Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

best beaches in north florida gulf
Image Credit: Florida State Parks

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in South Walton is the place to go if you want a beach with a laid-back vibe and incredible views in every direction. Visitors to this beach are equally captivated by the breathtaking views of the dunes. The water is also great for paddling, splashing, wading, and swimming, with gentle waves and crystal-clear shallows. There are some basic amenities here as well, such as restrooms, showers, and changing areas, but there are no concessions or cafes, so bring your own snacks and drinks.

#4. Best North Florida Beaches: Panama City Beach

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With a total length of more than 20 miles, Panama City Beach is one of Florida’s longest beaches. This beach is fascinating because the mood and weather can vary greatly from one section to the next due to its length. There are areas of Panama City Beach that are quite active, with a real party atmosphere and lots to do, while other areas are much quieter and calmer, ideal for visitors who want to relax and unwind. While some areas of the beach are ideal for fishing or shelling, others provide excellent diving conditions.

#5. Navarre Beach

beaches in north florida
Image Credit;Tripadvisor

Visitors to Navarre Beach describe it as a unique location for a peaceful beach stroll. People seeking a place to unwind and slow down should go there. The Navarre beach is undeveloped and uncrowded, and it further offers a charming and natural combination of waterfront attractions. It also provides a wilderness experience for anyone looking to explore one of North Florida’s best beaches.

As the saying goes, a trip to the beach in Florida is a necessity. One of the North Florida beaches you shouldn’t miss is Navarre Beach. The emerald waves are irresistible, and also, it’s a place where you can soak up the sun.

#6.  Grayton Beach

Image Credit: Coastal Dreamin

Due to its emerald green water and breathtaking beach sunsets, Grayton Beach is one of the best North Florida beaches. Visitors find this beach to be quite breathtaking because of its untouched natural beauty, which has persisted even after the surrounding areas have been developed as state forest reserves and parks. The beach was awarded the Blue Wave Beach certification for its outstanding cleanliness and natural beauty.

Additionally, Grayton is ranked as the fourth most beautiful beach in the US. It has a relaxed atmosphere that is ideal for socializing with loved ones and friends. It also provides a lovely setting for activities like swimming, tanning, and even surf fishing. In the vacation rental homes in Grayton Beach, guests can relax and have a great time while making lovely memories.

#7. St. George Island State Park

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St. George Island State Park, which is in the Florida Panhandle, has some of the finest, whitest sand you’ve ever seen. You’ll want to remove your shoes as soon as you step onto this beach to enjoy the unparalleled sensation of your toes sinking into the silky smooth powder. There are also many miles of sand to be explored here, excellent swimming, fishing, sunbathing, and kayaking conditions, and a variety of beautiful hiking and cycling trails in the nearby park.

#8. Beaches in North Florida: Jacksonville Beach

beaches in north florida
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Jacksonville Beach, one of the best beaches in northeastern Florida, is located in the largest city in the state, which makes it a very popular beach. There are also tons of shops, bars, cafes, and upscale restaurants along the nearby city streets, as well as all the other amenities and services you could possibly want. So you can relax on the beach for the entire day before taking a leisurely stroll into town and sitting down to a fine meal. This beach offers some breathtaking views, and you can equally travel to nearby Amelia Island for more sun-filled fun.

#9. Beaches in North Florida: Pensacola Beach

There is more than enough room for everyone to spread out without feeling crowded at Pensacola Beach, which is situated on Santa Rosa, one of Florida’s many barrier islands. You can still keep walking and find a perfectly peaceful spot to sit and relax, even on special occasions like the Fourth of July when the crowds start to build. The Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier is a great place to go fishing, and the beaches here have lots of great amenities like restrooms and lifeguards.

Beaches in North Florida Gulf

The best and top beaches on the North Florida Gulf Coast are as follows:

#1. Clearwater Beach

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One of the most well-known beaches in the Sunshine State is Clearwater Beach, and for good reason. Even the most seasoned beachgoer finds its white-sand beaches alluring, and the area’s crystal-clear waters make for year-round getaways to the beach. Go on a pirate cruise, spend the day searching for shells and taking in the atmosphere of this award-winning beach, and then head to Pier 60 for nightly sunset celebrations and live entertainment.

#2. Fort Walton Beach

Fort Walton Beach, with its 24 miles of picturesque shoreline, is a dreamy Gulf Coast destination situated on Florida’s Emerald Coast. This hassle-free beach is a great place to soak up the sun. It has white sand beaches and emerald green waters, and it is also family-friendly. At this year-round fishing destination, dine on mouthwatering Gulf-to-table seafood at nearby eateries, take the kids to see the marine life at Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, or go on a boating excursion.

#3. St. Pete Beach

Best Beaches in North Florida Gulf
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St. Pete Beach, a Gulf Coast gem in north Florida, offers a good portion of undeveloped beaches. This family-friendly location is only a short drive from Tampa and equally offers pristine sugar-sand beaches and a picturesque coastline. Enjoy the abundance of things to do, whether you want to participate in water sports, visit the nearby Dali Museum for some culture, or take in the lush vegetation at the Florida Botanical Gardens. People who like to shop will want to stroll down Corey Avenue to look at the shops, eateries, and also galleries.

#4. Sanibel Island

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One of Florida’s most picturesque towns, Sanibel Island, provides tourists with a variety of outdoor activities and scenic attractions. It is among the best beaches on the gulf coast of north Florida. Sanibel Island, which has 15 miles of beach and more than 250 different kinds of shells, exudes a small-town charm without chain restaurants, streetlights, or traffic lights. People come from all over the world to the “Shelling Capital of the World” to search the beaches early each morning for the variety of unusual objects that have washed ashore.

#5. Sarasota Beach

best beaches in north florida gulf
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Sarasota beaches is a year-round vacation hotspot with a string of eight beautiful islands tucked away on the Gulf Coast of north Florida. Finding the ideal beach area to suit your needs is incredibly easy, and family-friendly attractions like Marie Selby Botanical Garden and Mote Marine Laboratory will keep the kids occupied. Head to Lido Key for a day of sunbathing or get out on the water to go deep-sea fishing, dolphin watching, or sailing. It’s a favorite for its eco-tourism philosophy and breathtaking sunset views.

Are There Beaches in North Florida?

Some of the state’s top beach cities include Naples, Miami, Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Cape Coral. However, North Florida also has a huge number of fantastic beaches. Some of North Florida’s beaches rank among the best in all of North America.

Which Side Of Florida Is Best for Beaches?

Which Florida side has the best beaches is the only discussion that is worthwhile. There are many different water sports available along the Atlantic coast. They benefit from better waves and consequently experience more action. However, those images of soft, sand beaches and clear water are a result of Florida’s Gulf Coast.

What Is the Number One Beach in Florida in 2022?

Destin, a city that fronts the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, is located higher up on Florida’s northwest coast.

What Is The Most Affordable Beach To Visit in Florida?

These Florida beaches are both inexpensive and enjoyable.

  1. Clearwater beaches
  2. Jensen Beach. …
  3. New Smyrna Beach. …
  4. Panama City Beach. …
  5. Marathon.

Which Is The Prettiest Beach in Florida?

From romantic islands to family-friendly locations, here are Florida’s top beaches.

  • Juno Beach Park, Juno Beach. …
  • Bowman’s Beach, Sanibel Island. …
  • Island of Sanibel’s Bowman’s Beach
  • Lummus Park Beach, Miami Beach. …
  • Lowdermilk Park, Naples. …
  • Siesta Beach, Siesta Key. …
  • Miami Beach’s South Beach.
  • Clearwater Beach, Clearwater

What’s The Clearest Beach in Florida?

Destin. Destin is commonly referred to as the Florida beach with the clearest water. Why this beach in particular? This is due to the Choctawhatchee Bay, which serves as a filter, removing the darker sediment and leaving clear waters on top of Destin’s fine quartz sand.

Are There Beaches in Northwest Florida?

There is no denying that Northwest Florida is home to some of the most breathtaking beaches on earth. Our region is home to world-class shopping, Gulf-fresh seafood on demand, plush resorts, picture-perfect parks, and famous emerald water.

Is Amelia Island a Good Beach?

Amelia Island, which is a part of Nassau County, is renowned as a timeless vacation spot with a blend of history and natural beauty. You can enjoy outdoor activities away from Florida’s tourist hive on its pristine beaches because they aren’t overrun with tourists.

What Beach in Florida Is Closest To GA?

Panama City Beach is one of the closest Florida beaches. You can reach the Gulf of Mexico in a little more than five hours by car, where miles of white sand beaches are blasted by warm Gulf breezes.


The length of Florida’s coastline is one of its main draws. Some of the state’s best beaches can be found in North Florida. As you plan your vacation in this area, have it in mind that the weather in this region isn’t quite as warm or sunny as it is in the southern cities. Though, it is still very sunny and sunny throughout the year.

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FAQs on the Best Beaches in North Florida

Is Panama City Beach better than Destin?

Destin is the ideal destination for your family vacation if you want to go fishing, eat seafood, play golf, enjoy a lively nightlife, and go shopping. However, Panama City Beach is the place to go if you want a more relaxed family vacation with top-notch waterfront lodging and lots of kid-friendly activities.

Why is Destin so popular?

Destin is referred to as “the world’s luckiest fishing village” due to its location on the Continental Shelf, where blackfin tuna, grouper, amberjack, and king mackerel congregate.

Which is nicer Pensacola or Panama City?

Pensacola is considerably more tranquil and laid-back than Panama City. With Alabama only 25 miles away, Pensacola is the largest city in the Florida Panhandle that is the furthest to the west. It is less touristy than Panama City because it is a little farther out of the way for the majority of visitors.