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20 Top Beaches in Florida

March 30, 2022

There is a best beach to suit every taste in Florida, from the powdery white sand beaches of South Walton to the cosmopolitan, trendy beaches of Miami Beach. Find your favorite Florida beach with our handy guide.

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Florida's Best Beaches

There is no denying that when it comes to great beach-going, Florida is a wonderful, close-to-most destination. But where should you go in the state for the most pristine sand, clear water and amenities and people-watching? HGTV runs down our picks for the best Florida beaches no matter what you are looking for.

What to widen your net? Find out HGTV travel experts top picks for the Best Beaches in America and for Secret Florida Keys.

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Photo: Visit Florida

1. Miami Beach

Miami Beach is the place for people watching. With the Art Deco facades of Ocean Drive as your backdrop, watch the toned bodies play volleyball and sun themselves bronze. For coffee, hit News Cafe, a local institution that attracts a mix of beach bums and business types on hiatus. Enjoy cocktails poolside under the impossibly tall palm trees at the Delano South Beach Hotel, where you may just spot a celebrity or two. Housed in an open, airy space with a stunning view of Miami's distinctive mix of skyscrapers and water, Zuma Miami located on the Miami River, is a must-stop for sushi lovers. The crowd is sophisticated and the space is gorgeous. Add in fresh, thoughtful, delicious food and this might be one of your most memorable foodie stops in the city.

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Photo: Visit Florida

2. Sanibel Beach

Sanibel is a unique barrier island with an east-west orientation that differs from the typical north-south layout. This east-west designation has helped Sanibel earn its reputation as one of the Shell Islands — prime spots along Florida's coastline for gathering perfectly intact shells in every shape and size. Hit the beach with a bucket, shovel and small net, and stroll the beach at low tide to peruse the ocean's bounty of conch, cockles and scallop shells. Bowman's Beach is the quietest and most remote stretch of sand in Sanibel, while a historic lighthouse beckons visitors to take a stroll on the rustic boardwalk at Lighthouse Beach.

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3. Naples Beach

The biggest dilemma when chilling on the pearly white sands in Naples is which way to look. On one side are the rolling waves, and on the other are the gleaming mansions that make up Millionaires' Row. One of the most popular beaches at Naples Pier is in the city, on 12th Avenue South. Another great beach lies a few miles north of Old Naples, at the Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. This is a great place to spread out the family's beach blanket and camp out for the day, as there are bathhouses and food stands on-site and rentals available for everything from umbrellas to kayaks to snorkeling gear.

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