The following are the most spectacular white sand beaches that all beach lovers will fall in love with in Florida, 8 Siesta Key Beach, 7 Prido Key Beach, 6 Fort Walton Beach, 5 Destin Beach, 4 Santa Rosa Beach, 3 Pensacola Beach, 2 Navarre Beach, 1 Cocoa Beach. Our research is editorially independent, but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links. Florida is a paradise for beach lovers, home to a collection of idyllic white sand beaches, where you'll be drawn to the soft quartz sand, sparkling turquoise waters and the relaxed atmosphere of a coastal town. You can sunbathe while digging your toes in the sand, helping the kids build a sandcastle, and enjoy a day of water sports.
Kids will be captivated by the musicians and street performers of Sunsets at Pier 60, while deep sea fishing, boating, water skiing and dolphin watching are also popular activities. Navarre Beach is nicknamed the “Florida Children's Park,” where you can enjoy the natural beauty of the Gulf Islands' national coastline. One of the best beaches in Florida's Panhandle, this compact community boasts 12 miles of pristine shoreline that's perfect for beachgoers looking for total solitude. Relaxation is the most important thing here, and you'll be hard pressed to find anything more pleasant than swimming in its emerald waters, biking along the picturesque trails, or sunbathing on pristine white sand beaches.
Flip flops are everything you need at Perdido Key, considered one of the crown jewels of Florida's idyllic Emerald Coast. Located on a thin strip of land, it is located in the far northwest corner of the state and is far from the tourist hordes. Enjoy the Caribbean quality of the beach and the idyllic coastline, marvel at its unique landscapes of undulating white sand dunes and enjoy an afternoon of swimming, kayaking and watching playful dolphins in the water. Take the whole family to Fort Walton Beach, as it's a lively coastal city full of attractions, parks, museums and aquariums.
Fill your vacation with activities or relax and enjoy the 24 miles of calm emerald waters and cool dusty sands of the beach. Take off the sand to see marine life at the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park or explore hands-on exhibits at the Emerald Coast Science Center. Known as the “luckiest fishing village in the world”, Destin is popular for its fishing opportunities and beautiful beaches. With emerald waters, sugar-white sands and attractive seafood restaurants, Destin is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise.
Explore the 6,000 feet of natural coastline and warm crystal clear waters of Henderson State Park, or visit Miramar Beach for peace and quiet. If you're looking for a party atmosphere, take a boat to Crab Island. The beaches of Anna Maria Island feature soft white sand and crystal clear turquoise waters that will entice you to enjoy an endless day of Florida sunshine. Rent a bike and head to Bean Point, where the Gulf of Mexico meets Tampa Bay, to find a perfect spot to watch dolphins splash in the water and manatees graze.
For a day of collecting seashells, head to Coquina Beach on the southern tip of the island. Fort Myers Beach is a paradise for families, where you can stroll along the beach in search of colorful seashell treasures away from the tourist hordes. Head to Lynn Hall Memorial Park for a full day of activities with the whole family and stop at the Fort Myers Beach Pier to watch local fishermen. Relax under an umbrella, watch dolphins in the water, or upgrade your vacation with a day of parasailing and kayaking adventure.
Air %26 9-Day Guided Tour of Italy's Big Cities If you're looking for a unique place to stay, check out the best Airbnb rentals in the area. Located in Sarasota, the Siesta Key public beach is among the most acclaimed in the world. Sand is something I usually try not to stand up, but the best way to walk along the beach is barefoot. The soft sand feels great and there's nothing like taking off my shoes to sink my toes into the white, dust-clean beach sand.
I grew up playing on the beaches of Anna Maria Island, where the sand was always white and soft. When I started exploring other beaches, I was surprised to discover that there are many different types of beach sand in Florida and not all of them are white. There have been many “contests over the years” to determine which beach has the whitest sand. The white sand is wonderful, but I have no problem appreciating beach sand of all kinds.
I'm going to take you to some of my favorite beaches so you can see the different types of beach sand that you can enjoy between your toes. Much of the sand on Florida's beaches is made up of quartz crystals, produced by the wear and tear of continental land masses, such as the Appalachian Mountains. Quartz is carried by the great rivers of the United States to the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, where it is carried to beaches by water currents and waves. Combined with the sparkling quartz crystals, you can find shell and coral fragments, limestone, fossils and organic matter that give different colors to the sand.
Beach sand along Florida's southeastern coast and the Keys is often composed more of fragments of coral shells and mollusks than quartz crystals. Northwest Florida has one of the whitest and purest sands in the state. Its dazzling crystals are almost pure quartz, resulting in a soft, spongy sand that is a pleasure to walk on. The beach sand of the central and southwestern Gulf Coast is almost as white as the white sand beaches in northwest Florida, but it has a finer grain somewhere between sugar and dust.
In fact, at some points on the white sand beach, usually near the dunes, the sand is so clean that it “squeaks” or “squeaks” when you step on it the right way. This only happens with dry sand. It's quite entertaining for kids, especially big kids like me, to go rummaging through the dry, dusty sand to make it squeak and chirp loudly. And the white sand never seems to warm up, even during the hottest days of summer.
Fort Myers Beach sand is considered excellent for sculpting sand. I attended the Annual American Sand Sculpting Championships and the Beach Festival. I learned from professional sand sculptor David Walker that quartz sand grains in Fort Myers Beach are very angular, a feature of “younger sand” that helps keep the sand well together, a property highly prized by sand sculptors. Black and dark brown fossil fragments mix with white quartz sand, creating a dark gray to almost black sand beach in Florida.
The different shades of white and gray sand of Venice Beach are fascinating and I especially like taking a long walk along Caspersen Beach, south of the Venice fishing pier. On many beaches, small shell fragments mix with quartz crystals, forming a colorful mixture that may appear light brown or light gray. Casing and grit are smooth and polished for years of abrasion. Walking long distances on this shell sand can give your calves a real workout, especially on the water's edge, where your feet will sink deep into the wet sand.
Southern Siesta Key, on the state's Gulf Coast, near Turtle Beach, is a good place to see this shell sand. Many of the beaches on the Atlantic coast have brown sand. Cocoa Beach has light grayish-brown sand and is one of Florida's most popular family vacation beaches. It's wonderful to walk and every day you'll find people jogging, taking long walks or carrying their surfboards along the wide, flat sandy beaches of the Space Coast.
At Playalinda Beach, a short drive north of Kennedy Space Center, you'll find a steeper beach with small fragments of light brown shells mixed with the quartz crystals, resulting in sand that looks browner. Sand with larger shell fragments simply does not compact as tightly as sand with a higher percentage of quartz crystals. Photographers will find it easier to take good pictures on darker colored sands because there is less contrast to the subject than on bright white beaches. Brown and gray sands don't produce as much glare from the sun, so they're also more pleasing to the eye.
The composition of the sand can vary greatly even on beaches in the same area. Northern Siesta Key has sand that is almost pure white quartz, while the southern part of the island has darker sand mixed with shells. Even on a specific beach, sand can vary. Near water, grains may be larger and mix with shell fragments, while near dunes, sand will be more likely to have a much finer grain and lighter color.
At certain times of the year, depending on water currents and waves, some beaches, especially beaches on the southwest coast, have large piles of broken shells up to and just above the high tide line. This broken, worn-out shell garbage is known as “shell hashish” and can be a foot or more deep. The shell can make it difficult to walk barefoot. But even those beaches tend to have soft sand a little higher on the beach.
Long known as the surf capital of the East Coast, Cocoa Beach has produced several renowned surfers, including Kelly Slater, an 11-time world surfing champion. But whether you have the knowledge or not, you can expect to have a great time in Cocoa Beach. With a local, relaxed atmosphere and plenty of surf schools, you'll be getting on your board in no time. Aren't you a surfer? Settle into one of the beach's quiet beachfront bars, or watch the surfers from the fishing dock.
The city of Vero Beach has something for everyone, literally tucked away on its pristine coastlines. As part of Florida's Treasure Coast, the area attracts treasure hunters who come and try their luck finding the riches lost when Spanish ships of the early 18th century sank in a hurricane. Search picturesque South Beach Park before joining a volleyball match. If you need to get away from the sun, get in the car and drive north to the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge.
If you're looking for a quiet afternoon by the sea, this is the place to go. Grab a bag of picnic supplies and spend the morning swimming and sunbathing on the pristine shores of Juno. Then grab a shaded picnic table and dive in. You'll find the Loggerhead Marinelife Center a 15-minute walk down the beach, and a 10- to 15-minute drive will take you to Busch Wildlife Sanctuary and John D.
Delray Beach is the perfect place to alternate between taking a nap, swimming in the ocean and people watching. Atlantic beaches seem to have a greater diversity of sand types than Gulf beaches, and you'll find fewer beaches in the Atlantic with pure white sand. In the sand dunes beach area of New Smyrna Beach, there is a lot to see and do with a very nice shopping area. A smaller beach with neighboring beaches, such as the Manatee Beach Park, is on the main list of must-visit beaches.
Next time you're at the Florida beach, I hope you'll take a closer look at the sand under your feet to see what it's made of. Further south, the white sand beaches on the peninsular coast of the Gulf of Florida start just above Tampa Bay and extend south to Marco Island. If you're planning the perfect beach getaway, look no further than Florida's white sand beaches. In the South Beach neighborhood of Miami Beach, you'll find beachgoers, skaters, and a handful of young, beautiful (and perfectly tanned) locals.
Pete Beach is home to an impressive stretch of undeveloped beach with a beautiful landscape of immaculate sugar sand and sparkling blue waters. Just south of Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, it's a less-traveled vacation destination, but Cocoa Beach doesn't disappoint with its sweeping views of the Atlantic and its diversity of wildlife. . .
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