Top Villas’ take on the top 5 best beaches in Florida to lay down your towel.
Florida may be best known for its theme parks but the Sunshine State has a lot more to offer than roller coaster rides. Florida boasts year-round sun and some of the best beaches in the world.
Most famous for its bounty of jewel-like seashells, this is without doubt the best place in Florida for shelling. So many people crouch down to search for shells that the posture even has its own name, the ‘Sanibel stoop’. Located 14 miles west of Fort Myers and 40 miles north of Naples, Sanibel is Orlando’s understated cousin. There are no theme parks, neon signs or high-rise condos here; Sanibel is more famous for its well-preserved wildlife, gopher tortoises and ‘gator’ crossings on the bayside. Sanibel Island boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida, some of the best are at Sanibel Lighthouse, which has a fishing pier, and Turner Beach known for its stunning sunsets.
South Beach, Miami
Affectionately known as SoBe, the Art Deco District and the American Riviera, South Beach is popular with the rich, famous and fashionable. This international playground is the embodiment of excess, offering non-stop nightlife, sandy shores, unique architecture and plenty of beautiful people. South Beach is the place to see and be seen, with a beach so wide they play polo on the sand. There are water sports galore, luxury yachts, gaming cruises and all sorts of activities on offer. Wet Willies is one of the best beachfront water holes in South Beach, serving some of the wildest and most potent drinks in town. Try the Attitude Improvement or Call a Cab cocktail but beware, these drinks are deceptively strong.
The Florida Keys
Consisting of Key Largo, Islamorada and Key West the islands of the Florida Keys are teeming with activities for visitors of all ages and interests. Dive to explore ship wrecks or spot shoals of tropical fish on a snorkel trip. Visit the many local museums and galleries. Feast on fresh food at fine restaurants. Shop for souvenirs – or just hang out on a hammock, the choice is yours.
The fine white sand on Siesta Beach is so soft it feels like you’re walking on talcum powder. It’s actually pure quartz crystal and even on the hottest days the sand is so reflective that it feels cool underfoot. Siesta has earned numerous accolades as one of the nation’s best beaches, and lives up to its name as the perfect place to take a nap. The shallow water depth along the shore together with year-round lifeguard protection makes this one of the safest beaches in the country and ideal for small children.
Caressed by crystal clear waters, soft sea breezes and miles of sugar-white sand, Clearwater’s beaches are consistently ranked among America’s most beautiful. Here you’ll find an endless supply of natural beauty plus plenty of activities and entertainment. Meet Winter, the world’s most famous dolphin, soak up the nightly sunset festivals at Pier 60 and embark on an array of water sports. Numerous restaurants and shops can be found along the adjacent Beach Walk, equipped with drinking fountains, showers and bicycle racks. Para-sailing, jet skiing, dolphin tours, mini golf, and pirate ship charters are just a few of the things to do.