The Sunshine State, Florida is famous for its beautiful, tide pools, and pristine beaches. If you are in North Florida, you will never run out of options to explore the lovely beaches for a weekend getaway, relax under the sun or experience adrenaline fun coming to bungee jumping spots. But, if you just want to sit back and relax or you want to have a beach party of your own, you have got the best beaches in North Florida to fulfill all your wishes.
Full of natural beauty and perfect for a refreshing vacation, North Florida beaches have everything in store for you. Also, you’ll be amazed by Florida’s gay-friendly beaches. So, if you are looking for beach getaways in North Florida, let’s have a look at the curated list of the best North Florida beaches.
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1. Daytona Beach
One of the best family beaches in North Florida, Daytona Beach is a perfect destination to unwind yourself. The 23-mile-long stretch of beaches is bound to give you a guaranteed fun time with your family and friends. Daytona Beach is most famous for adventure lovers and race fans. Daytona International Speedway and Motorsports Hall of Fame of America are the most popular tourist spots. Also, if you’re looking to groove to catchy tunes, experience electrifying beats, and dance the night away, Daytona Beach is one of the great party destination spot in Flroida.
- Springtime is the best time to visit Daytona Beach.
- Make sure to rent a car and have a beautiful drive on the hard-packed sand of Daytona Beach.
- Daytona Broadwalk is an amazing place to explore adventure rides, gift shops, and food joints.
- It is a kid-friendly place where you can take your kids for surfing sessions, and take them to Daytona Lagoon for a water park adventure.
2. Grayton Beach
One of the top-rated beaches in the United States, Grayton Beach is famous for its breathtaking beauty, lovely sunrises and sunsets, and crystal-clear water. The Grayton Beach State Park which is spread across 2000 acres is a nature lover’s paradise. Also, this is one of the great walkable towns in Florida.
The beach offers tons of activities like fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing, camping, bicycling, and many more. Moreover, Daytona Beach also offers cozy cabins for camping making it one of the best family beaches in North Florida. If you’re in the mood for a laidback vacation, make sure to visit Grayton Beach.
- Grayton Beach is a dog-friendly beach in Florida. Pet owners must keep on their 6 feet leash and must carry pick-up bags with them.
- There are three pavilions for families to indulge in picnics. This service is based on a first-come, first-serve.
- Make sure to carry a helmet if you wish to enjoy cycling.
3. Crescent Beach
Along the sound of St. Augustine, Crescent Beach is a wonderful stretch of coastline. True to its name, the beach is in the shape of a crescent and is worth visiting. One of the best beaches in Northeast Florida, Crescent Beach offers tons of outdoor activities such as volleyball, frisbee, and bike rides. Other water sports like swimming, boating, and surfing.
If you want to spend some quality time with your family and your partner, Crescent Beach is the perfect spot as it has fewer crowds and allows you to enjoy some quiet time. You will truly enjoy the “old Florida” vibes at Crescent Beach.
- There is a fee for on-beach driving from March to September.
- You need special permission for horse riding.
- For bike riding and walking, there is hard-packed sand available.
4. Pensacola Beach
A beautiful North Florida Beach to explore on the gulf coast is Pensacola Beach. If you are a beach person, make sure to visit Pensacola Beach for its clear white water, blue waves, soft sand, and relaxing vibe. The beach is a mix of both crowd and quiet.
The main beaches usually experience higher footfall while beaches on the Gulf of Island seashore have fewer people. Besides being a treat to your eyes, this beach comes with many adventure activities like diving, surfing, boating, fishing, etc.
- Check out Pensacola Beach Boardwalk to enjoy good food and buy some souvenirs from the shops for your loved ones.
- Jet skiing and parasailing are also available at the beach if you are in the mood for some exciting adventures.
- Spend an afternoon gorging on the delicious foods at the waterfront restaurants while enjoying the beach view.
- Pets and glass containers of alcohol are not allowed on the beach.
5. Navarre Beach
If you are planning to travel to Florida in February, this is the place for you. One of the picturesque beaches in Northwest Florida, Navarre Beach is a perfect place if you want to have a peaceful time with your family and friends. Navarre Beach is a lovely, small community of lively tourists situated between Gulf Islands National Seashore and Navarre Beach Marine Park.
Tourists usually come to Navarre Peach to enjoy a relaxed time here and indulge in sunbathing and swimming in the clear waters. Families also love to organize small picnics at the park. Bike trails and walking trails are quite popular on this beach. The stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico and Santa Rosa Sound are the best attractions of this beach.
- Navarre Beach has a moderate temperature from mid-February to May, so if you want to avoid the scorching sun make sure to visit during this time.
- Rental scooters are available from Sage’s Paddle Company. Make sure to stroll around the beach.
- Snorkeling is also available on the three reefs of Navarre Beach.
- You might catch glimpses of some wildlife like deer, rabbits, and birds, however, maintain a safe distance from the animals.
- If you want to have a picnic at the park, make sure to carry the essentials in your beach cooler.
Related Post: 10 Best Beach Coolers to Keep Everything Chilled
6. Main Beach
Main Beach is the best tourist attraction on Amelia Island. From volleyball courts to playgrounds, to birdwatching and sunbathing, Main Beach has everything in store for you. Crab racing on this beach is a popular activity among visitors. Visitors also indulge in picnics with their families at the picnic shelters. There is a skate park too for kids to spend some fun time.
- Main Beach is one of the dog-friendly beaches in Florida. It allows dogs to be unleashed at the park but the dogs must be kept on a leash on the beach.
- Main Beach provides great experiences of shelling and if you are lucky you might find some shark teeth as well on the sands. You can check out some great shelling beaches in Florida too!
- Horseback riding is also available on the beach.
7. Jacksonville Beach
A coastal resort city in Duval County, Jacksonville Beach is a gem among the North Florida Beaches. The stunning beach not just gives you scenic views but it also comes with tons of activities. The fishing pier and golf course are two top attractions of this beach.
Visitors love to spend some time watching the dolphins and capturing beautiful moments. There are ample good restaurants and cafes for you to explore after a good sunbath session on the beach. Surfing facilities are available at the beach as well.
- Fishing is allowed on Jacksonville Beach and no special permission is required for that.
- Early May to October is the nesting season of sea turtles, so if you want to catch a glimpse of them visit during this time.
- Jacksonville Beach is a dog-friendly beach, however from 9 a.m to 5 p.m, dogs are not allowed on the beach.
8. St. Augustine Beach
With full of historic significance and an abundance of natural beauty, St. Augustine Beach is one of the best beaches on the Northern Florida Atlantic Coast and a favorite among tourists. Located on Anastasia Island, St. Augustine Beach is famous for its vast stretches of Atlantic ocean-facing beaches.
With clear water and white sandy beaches, St. Augustine Beach makes for a perfect vacation spot to spend a relaxing day with your families. For your kids, there is a splash park as well. The shoreline is quite vast and has hard-packed sand making it ideal for bike riding. Moreover, there are various restaurants to gorge on some tasty food and soak in the ocean views.
- There are some designated areas on the beach where you can drive. Seasonal fees are also applicable for driving your vehicle.
- If you are carrying your dog with you, make sure to have an umbrella and plenty of hydration because of the heat.
- Although this beach has small waves which are safe for adults and children, depending on the weather condition, the waves can get bigger. So, it is always safe to swim near a lifeguard.
9. Clearwater Beach
True to its name, Clearwater Beach is popular for its crystal-clear water and white sands. The beach is quite close to the downtown which gives access to all the great restaurants and hotels making it a favorite among the tourists.
Apart from enjoying the ocean and sitting under the sun, you can also indulge in some dolphin viewing experiences at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The beach is spacious enough so be sure to throw a nice little picnic for your family on a sunny day.
If you are looking for something different besides a beach day, make a visit to Sunsets at Pier 60 to enjoy artists, music, and local vendors who celebrate the shimmering sunset.
- If you are not into water sports, Clearwater Beach has parks, theaters, and shops for you.
- The Autumn months are the best time to visit Clearwater Beach because of its soothing weather and less crowded.
- Enjoy a family cruise at the Memo’s Pirate Ship.
- From downtown Clearwater, take a ferry to reach the beach.
Looking for a beach in the Florida Panhandle? Fort Walton Beach is your option to choose. This family-friendly beach is known for its white sand and crystal clear waters. The beach has numerous adventure activities like paddleboarding, surfing swimming, and snorkeling.
Besides having a beautiful beach, there are other attractions like museums, parks, and aquariums. Summer is the perfect time to have some beach time as you can see sea turtles and dolphins. Fort Walton Beach makes for a perfect beach destination for people who love being outdoors because of its wildlife trails and natural beauty.
- Fort Walton Beach is rich in Native American History. So, take some time out and visit Indian Temple Mound Museum to know more about the history.
- The downtown area has many cafes and restaurants.
- For shopping, make sure to visit the flea markets of the Antique District and get cute gifts for your family members.
11. Panama City Beach
You will have the best experience of a Florida beach town once you visit Panama City Beach. The energy of the place, the lively people, and the calming waters of the Gulf of Mexico make your vacation memorable forever.
Visitors love to enjoy the beauty of the ocean and the gorgeous sunsets. If you want to get some essence of a true American beach town, keep Panama Beach City on your wishlist. The shallow waters of the beach are perfect for your kids to dive in.
- Head out to City Pier to watch volleyball games and a flock of the young crowd enjoying themselves.
- To grab some food, go to Pier Park.
- Keep yourself entertained during the night by taking a ride on the 170-foot Ferris wheel. This giant wheel gives you a panoramic view of the beach town.
- Russel-Fields Pier is your best option to explore if you want to do fishing. However, you are required to pay fees for fishing.
- For a family day-out, visit Gulf World Marine Park to see marine life like sea lions, dolphins, and other animals too.
North Florida beaches are great destinations for a family vacation or a romantic beach getaway in Florida. From relaxation to outdoor activities, these are the best beaches in North Florida that have everything covered for you. So, mark your calendar and visit one of these top beaches in North Florida to enjoy your beach vacation.
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FAQ – Best Beaches in North Florida
1. What is the most beautiful beach on the west coast of Florida?
Ans– Marco Island is the most beautiful beach on the west coast of Florida. The long sandy beach is a favorite among tourists. It is situated just a few miles off Naples.
2. What part of Florida has the cleanest beaches?
3. What is the best beach to swim in North Florida?
Ans– Fort Walton Beach is the best beach to swim in North Florida. The waves are not so high and there are lifeguards present making it safe to swim for kids and families.