Florida is famous for its theme parks and family attractions, but it’s also well-known as one of the United States’ very best beach destinations. The Sunshine State enjoys warm weather all year long, so there’s never a bad time to visit, and it has one of the longest coastlines of any American state, with an immensely long list of beaches to explore and discover. If you’re looking for the very best white sand beaches in the state of Florida, read on to learn all about them.
1. Siesta Key Beach
Also known simply as Siesta Beach, this is the perfect example of a white sand Florida beach. Siesta Key Beach has actually won awards for its sand, which has been rated as being among the whitest anywhere in the world. Scientists have analyzed the sand and found that it is made up of 99% quartz, meaning it's exceptionally pure and feels really soft and smooth as you walk along.
The quartz that makes up Siesta Key Beach can be traced all the way back to the Appalachian Mountains, meaning it eroded over the years and was washed all the way down into the Gulf of Mexico and onto the key. The waters here are also very beautiful and clear, with gentle waves providing perfect conditions for swimming. Lifeguards are always on duty too, and Siesta Beach is ranked as one of the safest beaches in Florida, so it's a nice spot for families to go. Read about the best Florida weekend getaways for a relaxing vacation.
2. Clearwater Beach, Florida
Down in Pinellas County, Clearwater Beach is named after the gorgeous turquoise waters that lap against its shores, but the sands here are also particularly white and beautiful.
The beach stretches out for over 2 miles in length, offering a lot of space for everyone to enjoy, and Clearwater, like Siesta Key Beach, has won awards for its beauty and picturesque nature. There are many great things to do in Clearwater Beach.
Many beach-goers at Clearwater Beach tend to gather around Pier 60, which features a nice play area and fishing pier, as well as live entertainment. Many restaurants and hotels can also be found nearby and there's a beautiful Beach Walk area for evening strolls. Florida day trips offer a great way to explore nearby.
3. Beaches Near Me: Destin Beach, Florida
If you have an angler in your family or want to enjoy some fishing while also appreciating one of the prettiest white sand beaches in the Sunshine State, Destin is the place to be. Nicknamed the 'World's Luckiest Fishing Village', Destin is a hugely popular spot for sport fishing, but is also wonderful for folks who just want to lie back and let the soft, smooth sands envelop them as they sunbathe and relax.
here are many great Destin resorts to choose from.
The warm waters here are just right for swimming and paddling, and there are various fun activities to be found nearby at places like Henderson State Park. Browse our best places to visit in Florida guide for more ideas.
4. White Sand Beaches in Florida: Perdido Key
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One of the most northwesterly coastal points in all of Florida, Perdido Key is a top white sand beach on the Florida Panhandle. This long, slim key has a lot of sand to enjoy, so there's always plenty of room for everyone, even on the busiest of days. Fortunately, the key never really gets too busy anyway, even in the middle of summer, with many tourists preferring to locate themselves further east along the coast or down on the peninsula. The sands at Perdido Key are really smooth and welcoming, and there are various dunes to explore too. Visitors to this beach will also have a great chance of spotting some wildlife, with dolphins often being spotted out in the water. Explore more Florida Panhandle beaches on your trip.
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5. Beach Near Me: Pensacola Beach, Florida
Right by the city of Pensacola on the Gulf Coast barrier island of Santa Rosa, Penscaola Beach is another of Florida's breathtaking white sand beaches.
There are many great things to do in Pensacola.
With crystal clear waters and sand that looks just like sugar, you'll be blown away by the simple sight of this beach and feel right at home as you take your first steps onto some of the softest sand in the world. The Pensacola Beach pier stretches out into the water, offering a great place to sit, relax, and watch the waves or observe the sunset in the evenings. Swimming and snorkeling are very popular here too. Browse our things to do in Florida guide for more ideas.
6. Fort Myers Beach
Undeniably one of the prettiest beaches in Florida, Fort Myers beach is located on a small barrier island called Estero Island, where it offers visitors a great day by the sea. This 7-mile stretch of sugar-white sand along the Gulf of Mexico is popular with just about every beach enthusiasts, whether you are just looking for a good beach to soak up some sun or want to enjoy swimming and water sports. The beach is particularly good for families with young children since the beach slopes gently into the water and there are no unexpected drop-off and no big waves. There are several outfitters where you can arrange fishing charters or rent equipment for water sports. Check out these fun day trips from Tampa to explore the nearby area.
7. Navarre Beach
Navarre Beach nestles at the northwestern tip of Florida, just east of Pensacola, where it offers visitors an extraordinary 12 miles of sugar-white beach to play on. The beach is bookended by the Gulf Islands National Seashore and Navarre Beach Marine Park and is large enough to offer everyone some solitude and serenity. People come to Navarre beach to relax and unwind and to get back to nature. When you are not sun-tanning or swimming, you can take a ride along the scenic bike path or just enjoy a simple picnic on the beach. You could also take long romantic beach walks, fish from the pier or enjoy some fun family water sports.
More ideas: Things to Do in Southern Florida
8. Fort Walton Beach
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Perfectly nestled along northern Florida’s Gulf Coast, between Pensacola and Panama City, Fort Walton Beach is a place of soft powdery sands, calm emerald seas and so much more. The long strip of sand beach stretches for miles along the shores of Okaloosa Island where it attracts thousands of beach lovers each year. While the emphasis is firmly on beach fun, you can also enjoy other activities like fishing and pontoon boat charters, jet-skiing, kayaking, wake-surfing and more. There are also 2 excellent golf courses to keep the golfers happy. You also have a great chance of getting up close to a dolphin in its natural habitat.
More ideas: Things to do in Florida with kids
9. Caladesi Island
Caladesi Island is one of just a handful of undeveloped Florida barrier islands. It offers visitors a wild and pristine stretch of beach where you can totally escape from city life and embrace a Robinson Crusoe-like experience. Within the Caladesi Island State Park you can find meandering paths through the palm trees and dunes, snow-white sandy beaches and a wide array of shore birds to observe and photograph. While this beautiful beach is remote enough to feel like a paradise island, you will not have to do without your creature comforts; the park offers a concession stand, fishing, picnicking, nature studies and a marked kayak trails through the mangrove swamps.
Caladesi Island, Dunedin, FL 34698
More ideas: Best Tropical Islands
10. More Info About White Sand Beaches in Florida
No matter how old we get, where we come from, or what's going on in our lives, we can all agree that beaches are the best. There's nothing quite like walking along a beach, feeling the soft sand wrapping around your toes and listening to the sound of happy playing children and gentle waves lapping up on the shore.
Every beach is different, with each one having its own stories and features, but some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet are the ones with paradisiacal white sands and crystal clear waters.
More ideas: Best Shelling Beaches in Florida
White sand beaches are found all around the world, but the state of Florida is especially rich in these kinds of beaches. The white sands of Florida's Gulf Coast are mostly made up of microscopic quartz crystals that have been washed down into rivers, out into the Gulf of Mexico, and then up onto the shores of the Sunshine State. Tiny pieces of shell and sediment add to these little crystals, making Florida's white sand beaches some of the prettiest in all of North America.
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Best RV Parks in Destin, FL:
Florida has a long list of beautiful resort areas and cities to enjoy, with Destin stanading out as one of the very best. Located up on the Florida Panhandle in Okaloosa County, Destin is a prime spot on Florida's Emerald Coast. The city stretches out to cover just 8 square miles and is home to only 13,000 people, but attracts millions more due to its white sandy beaches and outstanding fishing waters.
Destin has even earned the nickname "The World's Luckiest Fishing Village" and is home to one of the biggest fishing vessel fleets in all of Florida. So regardless of whether you’re a long time angler looking for your next big catch or a total amateur wanting to simply head out on a fishing charter for the first time in your life, this is an excellent place to be. Even if you have no interest in fishing, the soft sands and warm waters of Destin will help you fall in love with this picturesque part of the Sunshine State.
Millions of people travel to the Emerald Coast each year, and Destin is always one of the most visited locations in this area for its exciting annual events, world class fishing charters, and luxury resorts. If you're planning a trip to Destin and intend to visit this area in an RV, there are several excelletn RV parks to be found both in the city limits and the surrounding area. Read on to learn more about all the best RV parks in Destin.
Destin Village RV Resort
Situated in a prime spot just a block away from the beach, Destin Village RV Resort is one of the top RV parks in the Destin area. You can literally park up your RV and walk right over to the beach in a matter of minutes at this RV park, so it's a great spot for people who just want to spend their days soaking up the sun and walking along the soft, silky sands that have helped to make Destin such a popular place.
The site itself features 27 lots, so it's quite a small and cozy place to be with a nice, family-friendly vibe. The community is fully gated for security and comes complete with a large clubhouse to help you meet new people and relax at any time of day, as well as a fully heated pool and more. If you’re looking for a fully-featured RV park in the Destin area with friendly staff and high quality facilities, this is a great one to choose.
81 Payne St, Destin, FL 32550, Phone: 850-496-6520
Branding itself as Destin's premier beach RV resort and campground, Camp Gulf is one of the best locations to choose for your romantic RV trip to Destin. Why? Well, this beach is literally located right among the beautiful beaches of the emerald coast. You can pull right up onto Miramar Beach and almost step right out onto the sand.
There's a good number of large sites at this Destin RV park to suit all RV sizes and models. This RV park does not allow pets, which is important to note if you plan on traveling with a canine companion, but the location simply couldn't be better. Destin is just 10 minutes away and the resort is fitted out with laundry facilities, showers, restrooms, multiple pools, a huge water slide, and more.
10005 Emerald Coast Pkwy W, Miramar Beach, FL 32550, Phone: 877-226-7485
Geronimo RV Resort
One of the top rated RV parks in Destin, Geronomino RV Resort stands out for the professional quality of its facilities and the friendliness of its staff. You're guaranteed a warm welcome at this family-friendly, pet-friendly park in Miramar Beach, mere minutes from all the big attractions and top beaches of Destin. Only two blocks away from the beach, Geronimo RV Resort features huge sites to cater to all kinds of RV, with each site being a full hook-up with concrete patios, water, electric, sewer, cable TV, and high speed internet access too.
On-site facilities include restrooms, private showers, a 24-hour laundromat, a dump station, storage lots, and a big open field for dog walking and games. There aren't any extras here like pools or play areas, but the site is very nicely laid out and the rates are highly affordable, so if you’re traveling to Destin on a budget, Geronimo RV Resort could be the best option for you and your family.
75 Arnett Ln, Miramar Beach, FL 32550, Phone: 850-424-6801
Destin West RV Resort
As the name suggests, Destin West RV Resort is located over on the western side of Destin, easily reached just off Miracle Strip Parkway. This RV park is situated on Okaloosa Island and offers some of the best views of any RV park in the area. There are some beautiful walking trails in the area and the sites are all spacious and fully equipped with the utilities and services you need.
The staff are rated as being very friendly at this Destin RV park and the on-site amenities include laundry rooms, showers, restrooms, lawn areas, patios, picnic tables, and more. It takes less than 10 minutes to get over into the central area of Destin from this RV Park and the hook-ups are all easy to set-up and very well-maintained. The people behind Destin West RV Resort really care about every guest, so if you want a great time, this is a good place to stay.
1310 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548, Phone: 850-200-4533
Henderson Beach State Park
Located amidst the towering white sand dunes of the Gulf Coast, Henderson Beach State Park Campground is a great choice for a beach vacation. There are 60 camp sites to choose from, 2 of which are reserved for tents only. The others can accommodate RV’s up to 45 feet and each site has a picnic table, fire ring and grate. The sites are quite private due to the mature vegetation and you will find yourself right on the edge of the azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Boardwalks over the dunes provide beach access and there are fishing piers. Activities include swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, biking and beach combing.
Henderson Beach State Park, 17000 Emerald Coast Parkway, Destin, FL 32541, 850 837 7500