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.
With a toddler to entertain, we began the search for great safe beaches, the best playgrounds and a place to see flamingos up close near our Fort Lauderdale home. Our mission was accomplished, and we share our five best finds.
Topsail Hill State Park preserves 3 miles of pristine beach, magnificent white sand dunes and sparkling coastal lakes. With lots of camping and cabin sites, it’s a gem in the Panhandle.
Fall is a great time to visit Henderson Beach State Park as families wrap up summer vacations, but you’ll have to book way, way ahead for camping.
Egmont Key is romantic, remote and historic. Located in the mouth of Tampa Bay, accessible only by boat, it is home to an intriguing fort, gopher tortoises, beautiful beaches and more.
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.
Surf fishing is a terrific family outing — or a quiet escape to get away alone. Be prepared with our popular checklist and how-to guide. (Photo by Jerry Lower, The Coastal Star)
Canaveral National Seashore is quiet and peaceful with bountiful wildlife, and you can always find your place in the sand.
So many things that make Lovers Key State Park so lovable: A 2.5 mile beach lined with natural vegetation that is perfect for swimming, beachcombing and bird watching, and mangrove-lined waterways that attract both manatees and kayakers.
There are six fabulous beaches of Venice FL, including one set aside for canines. But the big attraction is ancient shark’s teeth that wash ashore in the surf.
If riding a horse through sand and surf is your dream, here are a half dozen places in Florida that can make that dream come true. Riding opportunities are located on both coasts as well as in northern and southern Florida.
This state park fits my definition of a hidden paradise: A scenic kayak trail on a wild island that ends at a spectacular hidden beach you’ll have all to yourself. This little-known state park is accessible only by boat.
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.
The historic Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge couldn’t be in a prettier spot. It also tells the story of a wild Florida of shipwrecks and pioneers. While you’re exploring the gorgeous beaches here, it’s worth a quick stop.
Snorkeling in Florida doesn’t require a boat. Here are some great places where you can snorkel and see fish and other sea creatures right from the beach.
This Miami state park is a remarkable island of green where you can kayak, mountain bike, picnic and enjoy a sandy beach. There are even rustic cabins to rent. Now, the historic Blue Marlin Fish House, located on park property on 163rd Street, has re-opened and rents SUPs and kayaks on the Oleta River as well as offering sandwiches, salads and beer.
Tarpon Springs is best known for its Greek sponge docks. But a boat trip to Anclote Key, one of Florida’s most remote state parks, is even better. Anclote Key is a perfect island beach, perhaps more tantalizing because it’s not easy to visit.