Florida is full of one-of-a-kind vacation destinations, especially during the warm summer months. The Sunshine State has a coastline that stretches more than 360 miles, with a diverse array of sun-and-sand options suitable for the entire family. There’s no shortage of charming getaways and fishing meccas in Florida, but it can be a challenge trying to navigate the coast on your own. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the best east coast beaches in Florida, so you know exactly where to go for a stellar tan or relaxing day on the water.
If you like surfing, you’ll want to visit Cocoa Beach during your Florida stay. Also known as the quintessential beach town, Cocoa Beach is just an hour’s drive east of Orlando and offers an endless array of recreational and leisure activities. As one of the most affordable vacation spots in all of Florida, Cocoa Beach is the perfect place to plan a deep sea fishing trip or a kayak tour with the kids. This incredible beach is open 24/7 all year round, with warm southern waters and an average daytime temperature of 73 degrees Fahrenheit.
Before you visit Cocoa Beach, it’s important that you read up on beach rules and etiquette before busting out the bubbly and bringing the family pooch. There are a few rules to abide by to ensure you protect the beach and its surrounding environment, including:
- Keep Off Of The Dunes – These big mounds of sand may look like fun, but we encourage you to stay off of the dunes while you visit Cocoa Beach. These dunes are actually barriers used to protect the property from high tides and storm surges.
- No Vehicles – Tempted to bring your four-wheeler on the beach? Think again. Unless you have an emergency or public service vehicle, your automobile or motorcycle will not be permitted on the beach for any reason.
- Do Not Bring Glass – If you’re celebrating your anniversary on the sandy dunes of Cocoa Beach, keep the champagne and wine bottles at home. While consuming alcoholic beverages on the beach is fine, bringing glass bottles to your beach site is against the law.
- Leave The Turtles Alone – There’s a good chance you’ll see sea turtles near the water. It’s important to note that these are endangered species, and you could get in trouble for touching them. Be sure to admire turtles from afar during your Florida stay.
The city of Vero Beach is situated roughly 190 miles south of Jacksonville and 135 miles north of Miami on Florida’s beautiful east coast. When you walk along the white sands of Vero Beach, you’ll likely encounter pelicans, sandpipers, and turtles. In fact, over a fourth of the world’s sea turtles nest in the Vero area, so we’re almost positive you’ll see some! Some popular beaches worth visiting include:
Seagrape Trail Beach
Location: 8302 North A1A, Vero Beach, FL
If your main goal is to relax, Seagrape Trail Beach is the perfect low-key beach destination for you. Access to the beach is approximately ½ mile south of County Road 510. This beautiful and secluded beach is the best place to find buried treasure along Florida’s east coast. In fact, many silver coins from the 1715 sunken Spanish Fleet have been recovered along this beach. You’ll be delighted to know that there is a paved parking area with a nice boardwalk to the beach. This beach is open to the public from sunrise to sunset.
1704 Ocean Dr, Vero Beach, FL
This popular Vero Beach location offers wide-open, sandy beaches from sunrise to sunset. You can find this wide open beach at the end of 17th Street, and there are usually lifeguards on duty from 9:20 am to 4:40 pm. There is paved parking, restrooms, showers, and even covered pavillions where you can enjoy a picnic with the family.
Sebastian Inlet State Park
9700 S Hwy A1A, Melbourne Beach, FL
Don’t let the name fool you—the Sebastian Inlet State Park is one of the most popular surfing destinations along Florida’s east coast. Located just seven miles north of CR 510, the Sebastian Inlet State Park offers novice and professional surfers with some of the most consistent breaks in Florida. This park is also a favorite among fishermen and anglers, and is known for redfish, bluefish, and Spanish mackerel. Swimming, scuba diving, and snorkeling are also some favorite outdoor activities at this park.
Clearwater Beach is an award-winning beach that is less than an hour drive away from St. Petersburg and Tampa. Offering the perfect blend of white sand beaches and clear crystal waters, Clearwater is an ideal summer getaway destination for couples and families alike. This incredible beach stretches roughly three miles long and three blocks wide, drawing roughly four million visitors a year! It’s no wonder the Tampa Bay Times named this spot “the Disney World of beaches.” If you plan on visiting the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, you’ll find a famous dolphin by the name of Winter, who starred in the movie Dolphin Tale in 2011.
The beaches of Fort Lauderdale are a long-time favorite for families looking to lounge on the beach. With seven miles of white sand, this is the ideal Florida destination for those who want a little peace and quiet while they relax under the sun. Some of the most popular Fort Lauderdale Beaches include:
Fort Lauderdale’s northern most award-winning beaches can be found in Deerfield Beach. The waters are near pristine and they are completely open to the public. You’ll find a variety of outdoor activities near this beach including wakeboarding, surfing, scuba diving, and sailing.
Another popular beach in Fort Lauderdale is Dania Beach. This beach is home to some of the most gorgeous stretches of ocean in Florida. The Dania Beach Ocean Park offers a wonderful fishing pier where you and your loved ones can enjoy delicious seafood and panoramic views of the water.
Near the southern end of Fort Lauderdale, you’ll find Hallandale Beach. The perfect place for a guy’s getaway, this beach offers a diverse array of outdoor sports. From golf to swimming to boating and saltwater fishing, there’s plenty to do at this incredible Florida beach.
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