Beaches

Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs

America’s best beaches: Four in Florida make annual list but not #1 — again

Many of the best beaches in America are in Florida — four out of the top 10 in the annual Memorial Day weekend list. Those same four were runners up last year. See this year’s top beaches plus the seven Florida’s beaches previously crowned #1.

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park in Fort Lauderdale. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Hugh Taylor Birch Park in Fort Lauderdale: My favorite Florida state park

This state park holds a special place in my heart. In urban South Florida, it preserves a sliver of the natural splendor once all around. There’s a lot to do here: beach, biking, shaded picnics, Intracoastal views. When visiting, a perfect day includes a stop to nearby Bonnet House.

Naples beach: Discover hidden Clam Pass Park, where you ride the tide

Naples beach: Discover hidden Clam Pass Park, where you ride the tide

In honor of the upcoming beach season, Florida Rambler is highlighting a Beach of the Week throughout summer. This week, it’s Clam Pass Park, a hidden beach in Naples with a shallow, safe pass that lets you ride the tide in and out of a tropical lagoon.

Venice Municipal Beach

Venice’s beaches: Shark’s teeth to be found in the sands of time

There are six fabulous beaches in the Venice area, including one set aside for canines. But the big attraction are ancient shark’s teeth that wash ashore in the surf.

Waves and rocks along the shore.

Blowing Rocks Preserve: Dramatic beach in Jupiter is unique

Craggy limestone rocks form a dramatic beach-scape, far different from the usual sandy beach. At the right time, waves crash into the rocks, spurting water into the air.

Best Florida Keys beaches; even some you don’t know

Best Florida Keys beaches; even some you don’t know

Beaches in the Keys aren’t as common or as wonderful as many expect, but there ARE some great beaches where you can swim — and snorkel — if you know where to go. Let us take you there.

Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin/Clearwater.

Caladesi Island: Kayak to a wild beach

Caladesi Island State Park, off the coast of Clearwater and Dunedin, has been called the best beach in America. What’s even better? Kayaking to Caladesi and seeing wonderful wildlife along the way.

Calusa Beach at Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys.

Bahia Honda State Park: Nice beaches, but historic bridge is the star

With the best beach in the Florida Keys, Bahia Honda is a popular stop. But don’t miss the real star — the historic bridge. The park is also tops for camping and its cabins, though you have to plan way way ahead for that.

Honeymoon Island: A natural beach with comforts

Honeymoon Island: A natural beach with comforts

Honeymoon Island is an unusual combo: It’s accessible, with first-rate concessions, and yet it’s a big, natural beach where you can get away from people and see wildlife. And you have to love how it got its name.

Rocky outcroppings at MacArthur Beach attract fish and sea life.

MacArthur Beach State Park: Great for snorkeling, kayaking, beach walks

MacArthur Beach is one of South Florida’s treasures: Nearly two miles of natural, dune-lined beach with rock outcroppings and a reef that makes it a great snorkeling site.

The beach at Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral is hard-packed and offers great recreational opportunities. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Jetty Park: Beachfront cabins & camping in Cape Canaveral

Jetty Park, with a terrific beach, fishing jetty and a view of passing ships, has a campground and small cabins. It’s an appealing getaway, with a few catches.

The beach is rocky but beautiful with good snorkeling. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, Key West hidden gem

What took me so long? Like a lot of visitors, I had overlooked Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park on my visits to Key West because it is tucked away out of site. But the historic fort and great beach are worth discovering.

Not a soul in sight.

Tigertail Beach, a Marco Island adventure, where you wade to wild beach

Tigertail Beach is for adventurers who love unspoiled beaches where you can walk for miles. You reach this beach by wading across a shallow lagoon. It’s full of seashells, wildlife and it’s a birding hot-spot.

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