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Top Ten Best Beaches in Florida for Families

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Any vacation in Florida is not complete without visiting the state's world famous beaches. With 1,100 miles of beaches, it's no wonder Florida has to offer at least one beach to suit every visitor. Whether you're interested in shelling, surfing, treasure hunting, people watching, snorkeling, history or romance, Florida has a beach to suit you. For example, if you want to see a bird sanctuary, St. Pete Beach is the one for you. If you are looking for a tropical beach, Bahia Honda State Park is the beach for you. If you want to collect shells, Sanibel Island is the one. If you want an all-rounder, sightseeing and be seen, South Beach in Miami offers everything. The best beach for families with kids is the Siesta Public beach in Sarasota, florida. Florida has three of the top 10 beaches in the country including the number one of 2008, the Caladesi Island State Park and beach.

Here's my top ten list of beaches in florida:

10. Pensacola beach

Pensacola beach, florida

Pensacola beach, florida

Pensacola Beach is a hot favorite with college and high school goers - making it a teenager's hangout or rather chill out zone! However don't be gloomy if you don't happen to fit into that age bracket; as men and women of all ages hit Pensacola Beach in Florida for a fun filled day of surfing and swimming. The gentle breeze is still soothing just as the crystal-clear waves roll in from the emerald sea. The flawless white sand is just as soft as before, and the sea oats still dance for a glowing sun. In fall and winter, Pensacola Beach's "Secret Season" returns with mild temperatures, fewer crowds and incredible deals. Snowbirds know this secret and return to the area year after year. Whenever you visit, you're sure to find yourself relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated.

9. Cocoa beach

Cocoa beach Florida

Cocoa beach Florida

Cocoa beach has been called the quintessential beach town, and Cocoa Beach, an hour's drive east of Orlando on Florida's beautiful Space Coast, offers endless ways to enjoy recreation and leisure. Whether you are planning a family beach vacation, leisure travel, a business trip, a weekend getaway, or just a day at the beach, you'll find everything you need in Cocoa Beach and the Space Coast area to make your stay one to remember.

One of the more affordable vacation spots in all of Florida, there is never a lack of exciting things to do and see in and around Cocoa Beach. Besides offering the best of "sun and fun," while on the Space Coast you can go deep sea fishing or parasailing, try your luck aboard a casino cruise ship, or take a fabulous eco-tour to get up close and personal with Florida's awesome wildlife.

And, in addition to being the closest beach to Orlando, Cocoa Beach is situated just minutes from Florida's fastest growing port - Port Canaveral - where you can embark from the world class cruise terminals aboard affordable cruises to exotic destinations. Disney Cruise Line makes its home in Port Canaveral, as well as Carnival and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

8. Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach, FL, "The Beach Lovers Beach," is best known for its sugar-white sand beaches and clear, emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrews Bay. Located in the Northwest portion of the state, Panama City Beach boasts over 27 miles of award-winning beaches and has been recognized by the Travel Channel, Southern Living Magazine and Dr. Beach as a top US beach destination.

Be sure to surf our website for lots of details on our area attractions and parks, wide variety of accommodations, championship golf courses, sporting events, watersports, great dining and shopping for your family.

The golden sunshine, southern hospitality and quaint beachside charm you've always experienced in Panama City Beach is nothing new. What is new, however, is almost everything else! A new skyline of distinctive architecture fills the horizon, and a collection of enchanting eateries, exhilarating attractions and chic retail are arriving daily. New museums, theaters, galleries and parks are on their way. The new Panama City-Bay County International Airport will be completed in 2010, opening travel channels throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia, and making Panama City Beach one of the most sought-after travel destinations in the world.

7. Daytona Beach

Daytona beach, florida

Daytona beach, florida

Spend a day relaxing on "The World's Most Famous Beach" Daytona beach and get away from it all. Our 23 miles of sandy, white beaches are open to pedestrians 24/7 with free access!

Spring Break in Daytona Beach is a tradition that dates back to... well, a long time. With 23 miles of sandy beaches filled with Spring Break activity, pool deck parties and lots of hot Daytona Beach Clubs like the Ocean Deck, Razzles, and 600 North ready to rock, Daytona Beach is a great choice for your Spring Break. If you are a college student trying to decide where to go, just check out some scenes from past years in Daytona Beach, and comments from students who can't wait to come back. If it's a party you want, choosing Daytona Beach is a no brainer.

Daytona International Speedway and daytona 500 is a major highlight NASCAR. The great american car race.

6. Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Clearwater beach is located in Pinellas County on the west coast of Florida in the US. Close to everything, yet miles away. A beautiful peninsula located on Florida's West coast, the area is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the west and by Tampa Bay to the east. Visit their website for more details.

5. Bahia Honda State Park

Henry Flagler's railroad to Key West turned the remote island of Bahia Honda Key into a tropical destination. Today, the island is home to one of Florida's southernmost state parks, known for beautiful beaches, magnificent sunsets, and excellent snorkeling. Visitors can picnic on the beach and take a swim, or simply relax and enjoy the balmy sea breezes that caress the shores year-round. Anglers can fish from shore or bring a boat and launch at the boat ramp. The park's concession rents kayaks and snorkeling gear and offers boat trips to the reef for snorkeling excursions. Bahia Honda is an excellent place to see wading birds and shorebirds. The nature center can introduce nature lovers to the island's unique plants and animals. Full-facility campsites and vacation cabins are available. Located 12 miles south of Marathon.

Activities: fishing, snorkeling, diving, swimming, picnic area, nature trail, parasailing.

4. Palm beach

One of the best top 10 beaches in florida to visit. West Palm Beach oozes with elegance, history and luxurious comfort. Its palm-fringed streets and golden sunsets are subdued, but elegant.

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Picturesque waterfront views, quaint shopping districts, outdoor festivals and concert halls can fill your days. If, like most West Palm vacationers, you're looking for nightlife, scorching dance clubs and cozy pubs can keep you hopping till dawn. Because most of the island's best beaches are fronted by private estates or resorts, public beach space is hard to find. Artist lofts, sidewalk cafes, bars, restaurants, consignment shops, and galleries dot the street from Flagler Drive to Rosemary Avenue. Most nightspots are open until 3 or 4 a.m.

3. Siesta Key Beach

Siesta Key Beach, Florida

Siesta Key Beach, Florida

Siesta Key has a youthful spirit that is drawn to the glassine waters and quartz-crystal white sands, which have been officially ranked as the "finest, whitest sand beach in the world." Siesta Beach is energized ... plenty of Frisbee throwing, volleyball, jogging, beachside tennis, biking, and picnicking. Best of all, though, is giving in to afternoon "siestas" in the sun, either swaying on comfy floats atop gentle waves or on shore near the lapping waterline. Just steps away is Siesta Village, a spirited medley of different sides of Sarasota, from candlelit dining to beach boutiques and cool daiquiris. And speaking of spirited medley, be sure to experience the Siesta Key Drum Circle, held almost every Sunday evening. Visitors become one of the family as the spontaneous rhythm of drums, bongos,and maracas fill the evening air.

2. South Beach in Miami aka Miami beach

South Beach aka Miami beach, florida

South Beach aka Miami beach, florida

Miami beach has become the destination of choice for fashion shoots and films on beaches. Sharon Stone, Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Marisa Tomei, Angelica Houston, Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Woods, Jamie Lee Curtis, Whitney Houston, Kevin Costner and Sean Connery have all appeared in films shot in Miami in recent years. Fashion and commercial photo shoots are commonplace throughout South Beach.

During the day, models, vintage cars, Harleys, and rollerbladers of all ages parade past tourists who are relaxing and people watching from one of Ocean Drive's many outdoor cafes. By night, the clubs sizzle. Provides a lot of exciting night life with bars and clubs and fancy restaurants.

Beyond the radiant sun, surf and sand, discover Miami Beach's rich history as an entertainment and cultural destination, from world-famous Art Deco architecture to renowned nightclubs to designer fashions on Collins Avenue and Lincoln Road. There's so much going on in Miami Beach, you'll need an extra hour to enjoy everything that makes this city so vibrant. As the world's elite playground, Miami Beach promises a 25-hour day; and whether you are an arts enthusiast, foodie, shopaholic, socialite or sun worshiper, there are plenty of options for where to spend that extra hour (or at least wish you had).

1. Caladesi beach & Caladesi Island State Park

Caladesi beach, florida

Caladesi beach, florida

Caladesi Island State Park Winner of the 2008 "Top Beach In America Award". Caladesi Beach Florida, on Caladesi Island off the West Coast of Florida is an FL Island and a true adventure. Caldesi Beach is a destination one can only get to by boat! Thankfully, a Caladesi Beach ferry is available on a regular schedule for a small fee. You can expect a paradise at Caladesi Beach, Florida.

Caladesi Island State Park is located in The Dunedin/Clearwater area but is a world away from all the traffic and noise. In fact there is no automobile traffic on the island. A destination only reachable by private boat or ferry rides from Honeymoon Island and Clearwater Beach, it is Tampa Bay's best kept secret. In fact, not many local residents even know of its existence which lends the island and exclusive feel without being pretentious. There are over 200,00 visitors to Caladesi Beach each year and that number is expected to go up after Dr. beach named it the "#1 American Beach" in 2008. But not to worry, there are strict laws protecting one of the few beaches left in Florida that represent what the settlers must have seen hundreds of years ago.

Caladesi Island State Park is a natural beach that looks virtually untouched by human excess and plans to stay that way. Fishing, shelling, and nature studies are all ways to enjoy a visit.


Jimmy Simpson on June 20, 2015:

All those places remind me of my home town - Glasgow in Bonnie Scotland.

We also have weather (not as sunny), ground (not as clean) our fire-fighters are a lot closer to the land. and last bit not least we seem to have a lot more bars than you do.

But it is really great.

See you cousin (same last name anyway) xxx

Shauna from The Beautiful World on November 26, 2014:

Great pictures and very good writing! I definitely need to check out a romance beach :D

Ashley on September 22, 2010:

I can't believe Ft Myers Beach is not on here, I love vacationing there. The PinkShell Hotel is where i stay and it is amazing. I go back every couple months....

sarasota-florida from Sarasota Florida on September 15, 2010:

Dr Beach ranks Siesta Key beach as the 2nd Best Beach in the entire United States for 2010.

StPeteBeachRealtor on March 19, 2010:

Great choices! The only one I might add to the list is Fort DeSoto Beach in St. Petersburg Florida. It is actually a state park and has miles of undeveloped white sandy beaches. It can be a bit of a drive to get to as it is just south of Tierra Verde but that does help keep the crowds down a bit (during season it is always packed though). Thanks!

Betsy Baywatch on June 16, 2009:

I was married there, it's fantastic!thanks for sharing this great hub!

Juliett on June 11, 2009:

I enjoyed Datona Beach but not particular b/c it is a public beach it is kinda lacking. I want to go to South Beach this weekend. Myrtle Beach is great!

Mr.Murph from Sunny,florida on May 20, 2009:

Well writtten very informative and descriptive.I also see we have similar interests in florida it is a very beautiful land.With endless possibilities to inform readers how great a place this is.

Read you soon,


Luv2DnceWithU on April 16, 2009:


I'm sooooooooooooooooo trying to figure out how to transfer to the Sunshine State....where my heart has been since I was born. I'm now a successful single mom of 3 beautifully grown children and ready to roll, but I'm blessed with a wonderful job in Cincinnati. How can I have the best of both worlds? Please help/suggest...........

Big Sunshine-filled Hugs,


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