Florida Beaches and Shorelines

Head to The Beach!

I'm a native Tallahassean and Floridian. Florida Beaches are a part of my makeup, and I think about sand in my shoes most days!

Florida has almost 700 miles of sandy beaches among over 1300 miles of coastline.  You can start in the west around Perdido Key and wrap all the way around to Amelia Island on the upper east shore. Want to sink your toes in fine, white sand? No rocky shores here! Florida has mangroves and marshes that compose the remainder or the coastline, over 500 miles of them are habitats for crawfish, crab, and serve as fisheries.

The How of Sandy Beaches:

There is alot of sand just offshore in Florida. Waves and the constant surf action brings the offshore sand to the shore and some islands are actually formed by slow, constantly building sand deposits that rise in elevation. Sand is formed by the degradation and erosion of rocks, shells and corral miles off shore. Conversely, big storms that produce large waves can entirely wipe out these sand deposits that forFlorida Beaches - Indian Pass, The forgotten Coast of Floridam islands. 

vailable sand just off.

This has happened many times at St. George Island where I grew up visiting. 20 -30 ft. Dunes were present when I was a kid, but hurricanes and storms have reclaimed these dunes over the years. Florida Parks Services work to rebuild these dunes with silt fences, etc. that promote re-growth of the dunes and beaches.

The sand, this is the draw for most residents and tourists. We LOVE the sand. The gulf Coast and panhandle beaces from Pensacola to Destin, along the Forgotten coast to Apalachicola are white "sugar sand" beaches and have been voted some of the most beautiful in the world.

Further south, the beaches from Marco Island to Tampa and Sarasota are a misxture of small coral and bits of shells. Siesta Key beaches are fine quartz sand and Sanible and Fort Myers are more coarse and filled with broken shells.

The beaches along the East coast of Florida are reddish brown and further north a grayish-white. There are a few rocky areas in the northeast of Florida, but mainly there is sand!

So, how do you choose where to go? First, pick a spot that offers what you desire.

  • Want big waves and surf? You'll find that predominately on the East Coast. The atlantic shoreline of Florida is far more active than the Gulf and West Coast.
  • How about Solitude and Reflection? Try the Forgotten coast. Off the beaten path, rent a home or condo here and just hang out. Not much of a bother with traffic, noise, developement, etc. Plan ahead, arrive early and stock up on groceries, grab a book or a camera then never leave the shore.
  • Family Beach Activiites? Try Panama City, Fort Walton Beach, Manatee County Public Beach, Clearwater Beach, Daytona Beach
  • Looking for beach by day, nightlife after sunset? Miami Beach, South Beach (SoBe), West Palm Beach, Naples, Hollywood
  • Most Romantic Beaches - Sanibel, Captiva, Indian Pass, Palm Island Beaches
  • Historic Beaches- Daytona Beach, Cedar Key,
  • Camping Beaches - St. George's Island, Cayo Costa Beach, Long Key State Park
  • Best Party Beach - Ft. Myers Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami Beach
  • Snorkeling Beaches - St. Andrews-Panama City, Crescent Beach-Siesta Key, Egmont Key, Venice Beach, Red Reef Park-Boca Raton, Biscayne National Park, Bathrub Reef Park-Stuart
  • Want a Tropical Experience - Key West, nothing says tropical like historic Key West!