By Taylor Fuller | Published on September 12, 2022
When you think about being on vacation, what comes to mind? Is it an adrenaline-pumping activity? Or a wave of relaxation that allows you to drift off to paradise? If it's the latter, you've come to the right place. While a Florida vacation can definitely be an adventure, it's the beaches that get us. With over 360 miles of coastline, there are a number to choose from.
From Miami to Fort Myers and Vero to Sanibel Beach — as well as everywhere in between — there are so many amazing beaches to visit in the Sunshine State. Then, where are the best relaxing beaches in Florida? Depending on your vacation style travelers say the best beaches for a relaxing Florida getaway could be the famous South Beach in Miami with unique day trip ideas such as having lunch in the former Versace mansion. While others may enjoy the stunning quiet beaches of the historic Palm Beach island or the beautiful Fort Lauderdale with a visit to the vast Hollywood Beach Broadwalk. Much like a secret beach getaway, the decision for where is the most relaxing spot in Florida is yours to decide."
If you're interested in quiet beaches in Florida, you have to narrow down what type of beach you want to visit. One option you might look for is beaches with soft, powdery sand: The kind that you just want to sink your toes into and never move again. Florida has a few sandy spots that make walking on the beach an absolute pleasure. If you find yourself in the Gulf, up on the Florida panhandle, you'll want to head to Miramar Beach. This white sand stretch is the perfect place to spend the day relaxing in a lounge chair and taking dips in the water to cool off.
Further down the Gulf side, you can find Siesta Key, which is another one of the best beaches in Florida. It's even been named the best beach in America a few times, and there's no mistaking why. One reason is the pristine sand and the crystal clear water. Another is that it never feels too crowded thanks to its huge size. Finally, its colorful sunsets are a marvel to witness.
Another amazing beach to check out on the Gulf is Perdido Key. You'll understand why its name means "lost" in Spanish as soon as you set foot onto this secluded patch of soft white sand. It's tucked between Pensacola, Florida and Alabama, and it's so narrow that on a clear day you can get a spectacular view of the bay on one side and the Gulf on the other.
You might have already spotted a pattern here: Beaches on the east coast of Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico, generally have the best sand. It's often called "sugar sand" because it's made predominantly of white quartz crystal that came from the Appalachian Mountains after the Ice Age. It's a real treat to walk on these beaches — close your eyes, and you might even think you've traveled all the way to the Caribbean.
If it is secluded beaches you're after, one of the best secluded beaches in Florida is Stuart Beach. It's also part of the Treasure Coast and is one of the less crowded parts of the state. This is a great day out if you want peace and quiet before or after your cruise from Florida. Allow the gentle sound of the ocean waves and the light sea breeze to fill you with relaxation.
Sanibel Island is one of the most picture-perfect places in Florida. You can find it just off the coast of Fort Myers. It's got some of the quietest beaches in Florida, like Bowman's Beach and Turner Beach. And if you're interested in collecting seashells, this is the place to do it.
Head there between January and March for the best shelling experience. You can find over 250 kinds of seashells from both the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, including some pretty rare mollusks. Some rules for collecting shells: Don't take too many, and make sure there is no longer a living creature inside! You can do this by flipping it over and giving it a quick rinse in the waves. A shell that closes after you touch it is definitely still alive. For sand dollars, make sure it's bleached white with no hairs. If it's still pink, brown, or fuzzy, it's probably alive!
Another great place to people-watch is Sunny Isles Beach, one of the best beaches in Miami. It's got stunning views and miles of white sand. Watch locals practice yoga or kayak in the water while you soak up the sun. Miami natives love to stay active, and you can see people kitesurfing, windsurfing, paddleboarding and more throughout the day.
If you're traveling with the entire family, you can pretty much visit any of these amazing beaches and have a great time. But if you're looking for somewhere that caters to families, here are a few of the best. North Shore Beach in Miami has an adjacent park, so you can spend the morning at the quiet beach and the afternoon exploring. Or you can head to Surfside, where there is a lifeguard on duty during the day. On the west coast of Florida, try Clearwater Beach. While it can get crowded during peak times, it's large enough that you can almost always find a slice of sand to set up your beach gear and enjoy the hot days and gorgeous sunsets. It's also an ideal place to take the family parasailing, fishing or on a boat ride to spot some dolphins.
The best relaxing beaches in Florida have a lot more to offer than just the sunshine, sand and floating in the ocean. You can catch a wave, start a seashell collection, search for treasure or enjoy the rarest wonders of Florida wildlife, all while relaxing in a secluded paradise.