Florida is a beautiful state that has great weather almost all year round. There are so many great beaches and beach towns to check out in Florida. We wanted to share some of our favorite beaches in Florida along with a couple that are on our bucket list. Now that we are living in Florida, we are able to travel to different beaches in the state and discover different places. Make sure to follow us along on here for our different Florida adventures.
Most East coast beaches are different than West coast in Florida, but as you travel down further on the East coast they do start to look more like the west coast. The East coast side of Florida faces the Atlantic Ocean and the West coast faces the Gulf of Mexico.
East Coast Beaches
Growing up, my family and I always ventured to the East coast side of Florida and also explored some of the Keys as well. One of our go to spots growing up was Cocoa Beach, FL which is a fun spring break spot. It has a family feel, but is also fun and exciting for college students as well.
One of our favorite beaches on the East coast is obviously Satellite Beach as that is where my parents live so we visit often. Corbin and I got engaged at Paradise Beach so it holds a special place in our hearts. The beaches there are much quieter than touristy areas, but still offer a lot of things to do. There are several restaurants and condos along the beach strip there. If you want to find a place to stay, I would recommend checking our Airbnb or VRBO in that area since it’s mostly condos or residential. As you get closer to Melbourne beach, there are a couple of hotels and also several closer to Cocoa Beach as well. These are great beaches to surf at as well and you are only an hour drive from Disney World and the Orlando area making it a great location. Our favorite beaches to go to along that strip are High Tower, Pelican, and Paradise Beach. All of those beaches have nice restrooms and showers as well as lots of food options close by.
Vero Beach is another favorite to visit on the East Coast. If you are looking for a classy vacation environment (aka a little more expensive) then Vero Beach is the place. They have a couple of really nice resorts to stay at and I’m sure places on airbnb. There is quite a bit to do there as well. They have lots of restaurants, shopping, night life, and fun places for families to go. The water is very light blue here as well making this beach very beautiful.
Palm Beach is also a great beach area to check out on the East coast. It has a very classy feel to it as well. They have several resorts and hotels along the beaches there. There is lots of shopping and restaurants to visit. We have not stayed in Palm Beach yet, but it’s on our bucket list to visit this year after baby is born.
Ormond Beach is another favorite of ours, especially for a day trip from Ocala. It’s only an hour and a half drive from Ocala, so we visit this one often for day trips. We had our wedding in Daytona Beach which was nice, but honestly wouldn’t recommend Daytona Beach as a vacation spot unless you are into Nascar. It’s not as much of a family vacation spot since it’s an older city. But we do love the Ormond area and there is definitely a lot more to do there including a great ice cream shop out near the beach that we love to visit.
St. Augustine also needs to be on your list since it’s a very historic area. There is definitely a lot to do there family wise and seeing lots of old castles and buildings. We have not stayed there yet, but that is also on our list to check out this year. Plus they have a really beautiful Christmas light event to check out. So it’s a great area for a family to vacation to.
West Coast Beaches
The West coast has some really beautiful beaches and if you’re looking for that white sand and crystal clear blue water then this is the coast you want to check out. We still have several beaches on the west coast we want to visit, but going to share some of our favorites we have visited.
Madeira/Seaside are beaches are by far our favorites on the west coast. They are a 6 hour drive from us in Ocala and are located in the Panhandle area. These beaches are so beautiful and have the whitest sand and crystal clear light blue water. We love visiting this area in October as the weather is so nice and it’s way less crowded at that time. This area is very touristy and definitely offers a lot for families to do. We typically find an airbnb or vacation rental in this area as that’s mostly what they have to offer. We highly recommend this area and any of the beaches along that area are beautiful. We try to avoid Destin and Panama City as they are a little more of the over touristy areas and often crowded by people.
Sand Key Beach is another favorite of ours and only 2 hours from Corbin and I in Ocala. You want to avoid Clearwater Beach as it’s super touristy, crowded and you pay a ton for parking. If you’re staying at a resort on the beach it’s not so bad, but that would be the only reason I would go to Clearwater Beach. Sand Key Beach is literally 5 mins south of Clearwater and has a ton of parking. Plus they also have chairs and umbrellas you can rent for the day. It’s definitely a favorite of ours. Plus there are a ton of restaurants and things to do being so close to Clearwater.
Fort Desoto Beach is another great beach on the west coast side of Florida. They have lots of parking, great bathrooms, and there is a lot to do there since it’s a park. It’s located south of St. Pete Beaches.
A couple of other beaches we want to visit on the West coast of Florida include Sanibel Island, Honeymoon Island, and Marco Island. All of these beaches are on our list to visit including the Florida Keys as well. We absolutely love Florida and love the beaches here and can’t wait to visit more. Follow us along on here as we share more Florida adventures and visit more Florida beaches.