Our favorite Florida beaches

Our family loves the beach. Wherever we go, we want to visit a beach if that’s possible.

When we visit Z’s grandparents, who are fortuitously located on the east and west coasts, respectively, we always end up at the beach.

In fact, even when I try to take us to other great places – like Disneyland, for example – we often still end up at the beach!

We’re really very lucky, because Florida and Cali both have some world-class beaches. In this post, we’ll share some of our favorites in Florida. Perhaps we’ll do a similar post with our favorite West coast beaches next.

  • Daytona Beach is quite popular and touristy, but it’s awesome because you can drive right onto the white sand, find a spot to park and you’re there. This is great if you like to haul a lot of stuff to the beach with you. Some people don’t like the cars being on the beach, but there’s just something so essentially Florida about cruising down the beach – especially in Z’s Grandpa’s cool, aqua ’57 Chevy. Daytona is great for beach walking, people watching and wave jumping – but there are no shells here.
  • Cocoa Beach is another pretty spot in the central Florida area. White sugar sand, perfect waves and of course, always that warm Florida sunshine. Like Daytona Beach, you won’t find a ton of shells here but it’s great for waves, relaxing and swimming. There’s also a cute little seaside town if shops and restaurants are on your agenda.
  • New Smyrna Beach is the central Florida beach our family has spent the most time at, which is funny because it’s considered the shark bite capital of the world. That said, we’ve all splashed and swam here for years and never had any problems at all, despite very common reports of shark bites just off shore. The little village of NSB, as it’s known, is a perfectly hip surf town and we just love it.
  • Sanibel Island, located a few hours south of the beaches above, may be my favorite beach in Florida because of its amazing shells. Sanibel is considered the best beach in the world for shelling, and with good reason. We spent a few days here and found an unbelievable selection of gorgeous shells, many of which still adorn our home. This is a can’t miss beach if you love finding shells.
  • Caladesi Island is a state park near Tampa with gorgeous, wild beaches. Part of the reason it’s so untouched is that you have to take a ferry to get there. As an added bonus, we even saw wild dolphins up close while waiting for the ferry! This beach is also great for shelling – we found sand dollars and more. If you’re ever in the Tampa area, Caladesi Island is a must do.

So there you have it – our favorite thing to do while in Florida is go to the beach, and these are some of our very favorite beaches. Whether you’re into swimming, boogie boarding, sea gull chasing, walking along the beach looking for shells or just planting your feet in the sand and your butt in a beach chair to watch the waves, these beaches will not disappoint.

What’s your favorite beach – in Florida or elsewhere – and what’s your favorite thing to do there? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below or over on Facebook.

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About the author

Proud and loving midlife mama. Lucky and devoted wife. Dog, cat and snake mom. Travel nut. Natural born writer. PR and social media pro by day - tattoo doula by night.


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