The FL Gulf Coast is one of the five states that are fortunate enough to have beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. With its promises of green lakes and white-sand beaches, Florida draws millions of tourists every summer. Even better, the bulk of these beaches have gorgeous, turquoise water and sugar-white, powder-soft sand, making them the ideal setting for a relaxing day at the beach. You’re likely to find something you enjoy on the Gulf Coast, whether you desire a remote beach where there are more turtles than people or a more popular strand with water activities and facilities.
With this list of the top beaches along the FL Gulf Coast, you can choose which beach (or beaches) to visit during your vacation.
#1. Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island, which is situated in southwest Florida along the Gulf of Mexico is one of the FL gulf coast beaches. It is well known for its stunning sunsets, opulent resorts, and recognizable lighthouse. Tarpon Beach, Bowman’s Beach, Blind Pass Beach, Captiva Beach, and the Causeway Beaches are just a few of the island’s gorgeously stunning and undeveloped beaches. However, the profusion of seashells on Sanibel Island is its main claim to fame; it has received several honors for consistently ranking among the greatest shelling locations in the country.
The island has a lot more to offer than simply shelling; it has amazing seafood restaurants, adorable stores, and comfortable cafés. Days at the beach are ideal for swimming, building sand castles, tanning, and other enjoyable water sports.
#2. Pensacola Beach
Beautiful Pensacola Beach is located on Santa Rosa Island, a barrier island in northwest Florida. Pensacola Beach has often been ranked as one of the top beaches in the nation, and with good reason. Each visitor has a wonderfully tranquil treat for their toes and eyes thanks to the exquisite white sand’s ability to stay cool to the touch even on the hottest days. Even the most hesitant beachgoers are drawn to the shallow, emerald-colored waves for a peaceful swim.
The famous Pensacola Shore Pier, which extends an amazing 1,471 feet out over the Gulf of Mexico, is another prominent landmark of the shore. The Portofino Boardwalk, which has a variety of stores, informal eateries, and outdoor bars, is another place that visitors have to check out.
#3. Clearwater Beach
On Clearwater Beach Island, a barrier island off the coast of Florida, there is a relaxed beach called Clearwater Beach. Millions of people visit the beach every year for a little fun in the Florida heat because of its famed silky, white sand. For stand-up paddleboarding, parasailing, and jet-skiing, the calm, green waters of the Gulf are perfect just off the beach. The curving beachside promenade is packed with people strolling, rollerblading, and cycling; it is also flanked by a variety of charming cafés and unpretentious seafood eateries.
Visitors can enjoy a lively evening celebration at Pier 60 with artisan merchants and street entertainers when the sun finally sets.
Destin is a charming Gulf Coast city that can be found in the Panhandle region of northwest Florida. Meanwhile, the city is well-known for its several championship golf courses, immaculate white-sand beaches, and Destin Harbor Boardwalk. In Henderson Beach State Park, where the broad beachfront is bordered by oak and pine trees that serve as a home for animals, charming nature trails go through the dunes. Visitors can also practice stand-up paddleboarding, float weightlessly in the Florida heat, or enjoy calm baths in the emerald-hued waters.
The towering waterslides, cascading waterfalls, as well as glistening pools of Big Kahuna’s water park will appeal to those searching for a little change of pace from beach life.
#5. Cape San Blas
On Florida’s northwest Gulf Coast, Cape San Blas is a stunning beach that is situated at the southernmost point of a peninsula. The St. Joseph Peninsula State Park is located there, and Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, better known as “Dr. Beach,” rated it “the best beach in America” in 2002. Cape San Blas, located on the Florida Panhandle’s Emerald Coast, presents a genuine getaway paradise. Miles of pure, deserted white sand beaches, as well as sloping dunes, can be found here.
Additionally, Cap San Blas is home to the historic Cape San Blas Lighthouse, family-run restaurants serving the freshest local seafood, and pet-friendly vacation rentals.
#6. Anna Maria Beach
On Florida’s Gulf Coast, on Anna Maria Island, there is a breathtaking white sand beach called Anna Maria Beach. The beach completely encircles the island’s tip and provides guests with stunning views of the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. This beach is great for some alone time in the Florida sun or a tranquil swim because it is relatively quiet compared to the other beaches on the island. Wandering the smooth sands of the beach during a gorgeous dawn or sunset is possible for visitors.
If kids work up an appetite while there, the adjacent seafood restaurant, Rod & Reel Pier, is usually a great option.
#7. Bonita Beach
In southwest Florida, on Little Hickory Island, a barrier island positioned between Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, sits the expansive beach known as Bonita Beach. In addition, Bonita Beach is situated south of Fort Myers Beach, between Naples and Vanderbilt beaches.
Visitors will discover an affluent beach neighborhood instead of a seemingly endless length of resorts and hotels, complete with a large number of contemporary beachfront homes and a few condominiums tucked away amid sea grapes, coconut palms, and other tropical greenery. The beach is nearby and a great place to spend the day swimming, sunning, as well as collecting seashells.
#8. Bradenton Beach
On Anna Maria Island, which is part of Florida’s Gulf Coast, lies a tiny town called Bradenton Beach. However, close to the surrounding towns of Bradenton and Sarasota, Bradenton Beach is famed for its eateries on the sand, charming shops, sugar-sand beaches, fishing piers, and the profusion of family-run businesses. The city has a calmer way of life, as seen by the prohibition of drive-through eateries.
Furthermore, Pine Avenue, which is home to tiny art galleries, handcrafted clothes, specialty olive oils, and French-milled soaps, is located close to the island’s northernmost point. Visitors can spend the day swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, and sunbathing on any of the city’s beautiful beaches.
#9. Carabelle Beach
A wonderful beach called Carrabelle Beach can be found in northwest Florida, not far from State Highway 98. The beach has simple parking, covered picnic areas, bathrooms, as well as outdoor showers. Visitors can view a historical sign honoring the Camp Gordon Johnston training facility on the beach. Visitors can use a walking trail that crosses State Highway 98 and takes them a short distance west to the famous Crooked River Lighthouse. While spending a day at the beach, guests can play with their dogs, sunbathe, swim, paddleboard, kayak, and participate in a variety of beach sports.
#10. Grayton Beach State Park
In northwest Florida, Grayton Beach State Park is a sizable state park with views of the Gulf of Mexico. Use of the cleanest and most stunning beaches in the FL gulf coast has long been Grayton Beach. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities on the park’s beach, such as swimming, hiking, and bicycling. Campgrounds, cabins, campfire rings, picnic pavilions, disability restrooms, and playgrounds are some of the park’s features.
Visitors can also engage in various water sports, including kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, boating, and fishing.
#11. Marco Island
Beautiful Marco Island is a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico in Southwest Florida. Just south of Naples, a neighboring coastal city, two different bridges connect the island to Florida’s mainland. Two gorgeous, soft-sand FL gulf coast beaches on Marco Island are open to the public. Also, South Marco Beach is a one-acre beach with a luxuriant sabal palm and other tropical greenery around the entry. The beach is great for families, and there are several upscale hotels nearby.
Meanwhile, Tigertail Beach Park is a stretch of white sand beach that’s great for bird-watching, shell hunting, and tide-pooling. It’s also the best location to watch the sunset.
#12. Miramar Beach
In Northwest Florida, between the Gulf Coast towns of Destin and Seaside, is where you’ll find Miramar Beach. A hive of activity, Miramar Beach is home to a variety of restaurants, vibrant boutiques, family-friendly resorts, and beachfront residences. Visitors can take pleasure in sunny days on the sugar-sand beaches while unwinding under an umbrella and enjoying tropical-themed beverages. The turquoise-emerald waters of the Gulf urge beachgoers to float weightlessly beneath the sky’s deep blue expanse.
The mild water’s temps are perfect for a variety of exciting water sports, such as paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, and jet skiing. Additionally, visitors should make sure they see one of the famous sunsets at Miramar Beach.
#13. Panama City Beach
Award-winning Panama City Beach is located in northwest Florida near the Gulf of Mexico. Eight kilometers of silky, sugar sand are anchored by a lively park and pier on the beach. Pier offers stunning views of the Gulf’s emerald seas. From parasailing to body surfing, castle building to sunbathing, this place has it all when it comes to surf and sun. The park next to the water comes with paths, pavilions, and little lakes.
Visitors can engage in other water sports such as surfing, jet skiing, stand-up paddle boarding, and snorkeling.
#14. Seagrove Beach
In the northwest of Florida, near the Gulf of Mexico, sits the picturesque beach community of Seagrove Beach. Oak, magnolia, as well as pine trees, abound in the area, making for incredibly attractive hikes. Along with miles of sugar-sand beach, two coastal dune lakes, and a lovely state park. Visitors can take in breathtaking views of the blue seas of the Gulf while enjoying a dreamy picnic on the beach in the warm Florida sun.
Visitors to the beach are encouraged to take leisurely dips in the warm seas, practice stand-up paddle boarding, or experience the thrill of jet-skiing. Away from the beach, travelers can find a ton of upmarket stores and laid-back cafés.
#15. Venice Beach
Just south of Sarasota, FL Gulf Coast beaches is Vince Beach, a Certified Blue Wave Beach. On the beach, there is a distinctive pavilion in the form of a sail that has been a recognized landmark since 1964. There is a nearby concession stand where guests can quickly get something to eat or drink. Parking is also free, and lifeguards are constantly on duty. The Venice Public Fishing Pier, which protrudes out over the Gulf’s green waters, can be seen from Venice Beach in a lovely setting.
More so, Dolphins are frequently spotted playing in the ocean, and from May to October, sea turtles lay their eggs on the beach. Two beach volleyball courts, picnic spots, and boardwalks provide additional features.
#16. Siesta Key Beach
On Florida’s Gulf Coast, on the barrier island of Siesta Key, lies Siesta Key Beach, a spotless, white-sand beach. The beach has tennis and volleyball courts, picnic spots, a playground that is shaded, and neighboring concession stalls where guests can get a quick snack or drink. This is a perfect beach for vacationers taking the whole family because of the shallow, emerald-colored seas, as well as the year-round lifeguards.
For swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking, floating, fishing, boating, as well as jet-skiing, the warm, welcoming seas are ideal. In addition, visitors can explore the many cafés, restaurants, and stores in Siesta Key Village, which is close to the beach.
Where is Florida’s Gulf Coast?
Florida’s 770-mile Gulf Coast spans from Perdido Key and Pensacola at the far western end of the Panhandle south to Naples and Marco Island at the far southern end of the Everglades. Given the ample space, it should come as no surprise that Australia’s west coast offers some stunning beaches.
Which Part of Florida is Miami?
A significant American city is Miami, which is located in southeast Florida. Miami and the neighboring metropolitan region are located between the Everglades and the Atlantic Ocean on the northern side of Biscayne Bay.