When you think of Florida, what comes to mind? We’re willing to bet sunshine and sandy beaches, and relaxing next to crashing waves. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most beautiful beaches to visit in Florida, all of which are within a short drive from St. Johns County.
St. Augustine Beach – What can we say, we’re partial to this pristine shore in our own backyard! With shops, dining and family-friendly activities like the pier, mini-golf and the St. Augustine Alligator Farm within close proximity, St. Augustine Beach has so much to offer without having to make a trip. During peak summer holidays, beach shuttles are offered by St. Johns County to alleviate the headache of finding parking.
Amelia Island – Just north of St. Johns County is quiet, quaint Amelia Island. With 13 miles of beaches, the island has two main parks – Amelia Island State Park and Main Beach Park – where visitors can enjoy a variety of activities when they’re not relaxing on the sand. Amelia Island State Park offers an avenue for horseback riders, and Main Beach Park features a playground, a skate park, volleyball courts and picnic tables. When you’re not soaking up the sun, explore nearby Fernandina Beach’s downtown and enjoy local restaurants, shops and bars.
Destin – Known for its white sands and clear blue water, Destin is a popular destination for families nationwide. With ample beachfront for visitors to spread out and relax, this picturesque beach location is in close proximity to plenty of resort options. Destin is also home to the Harbor Boardwalk, which stretches a quarter mile and is lined with food and entertainment with the beautiful backdrop of Destin’s Harbor.
Cocoa Beach – Known as the Surf Capital of the East Coast, Cocoa Beach has the optimal swells for surfing and sand for relaxing. With nearby waterfront bars, this beach town is just a couple of hours south of St. Johns County, making it the perfect weekend getaway. In town, there is plenty of golf and other outdoor activities to enjoy.
Siesta Key Beach – Quartz-crystal sand welcomes the visitors of Sarasota and Siesta Key Beach, which is known to have the “finest, whitest sand beach in the world.” Enjoy the calm waters of the clear ocean or explore the sea life on a snorkeling excursion. There is no shortage of excitement and relaxation at Siesta Key Beach. In nearby Siesta Village, there’s something for everyone, from a quiet dinner to a lively pub crawl.
Smathers Beach – Take a trip down to the southernmost point of the Continental United States and soak up the sun in Key West. Smathers Beach is the Florida Keys’ most popular beach, and for good reasons. With two miles of pristine shores, this beach boasts some of the best ocean swimming conditions, making it a top spot for families who enjoy wading in calmer waters. Showers, restrooms, volleyball courts and food and supply vendors are in close proximity, and visitors can rent a variety of outdoor equipment from snorkeling gear to Jet Skis.
Sanibel Island – Located just off the coast of Fort Myers lies Sanibel Island, considered one of Florida’s best beach destinations. The island is home to Bowman’s Beach and Lighthouse Beach, which offer shelling and fishing, respectively. With its 25 miles of trails, bike paths and sidewalks, there’s no shortage of outside excitement, all within close proximity to the sun and sand by the seashore.
Juno Beach – Juno Beach is a hidden gem of a town in Palm Beach County that is known for its laid-back vibes and being the home to the densest population of nesting sea turtles. Surfers and kiteboarders rejoice because Juno Beach boasts excellent waves. While you’re in the area, visit the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, which is a seat turtle hospital and educational facility that hosts turtle walks on the beach.