Florida Gulf Coast Beaches

Our beaches have been named as some of the best in the world with powder-white sand as far as the eye can see! Take a look at some of our local beaches below. 

Siesta Key Beach

Siesta Beach, located on Beach Road on Siesta Key, is renowned for its stunning beauty and unique features. It consistently earns top honors as one of the best beaches in the United States, thanks in large part to “Dr. Beach” Prof. Stephen Leatherman’s rankings. Prof. Stephen Leatherman is a coastal science professor at the International University in Miami, and his annual evaluations help highlight the outstanding qualities of beaches across the country.

One of the most distinctive characteristics of Siesta Beach is its sand composition. Unlike many other beaches that are predominantly composed of coral or other materials, Siesta Beach’s sand is nearly 99% pure quartz. This quartz sand is remarkably fine and white, which not only gives the beach its signature appearance but also has a practical advantage. Even on the hottest days, the sand remains remarkably cool to the touch because of its high reflectivity. This makes walking barefoot on Siesta Beach a wonderful experience, even in the heat of the day. 

Siesta Beach takes safety seriously and offers year-round lifeguard protection. The beach’s calm and gentle waves make it an ideal destination for families with young children, as the conditions are generally safe for swimming and playing in the water. The tranquil waters and soft, cool sand create a welcoming environment for visitors of all ages.  Overall, Siesta Beach’s natural beauty, pristine quartz sand, and safety measures make it a highly regarded destination for beachgoers and vacationers looking to enjoy the sun, surf, and relaxation on Florida’s Siesta Key.

anna maria island

Bradenton Beach

Bradenton Beach is located on beautiful Anna Maria Island. It’s a large public beach with free parking, lifeguards, restrooms, picnic tables, showers and the Anna Maria Island Beach Café. Whatever you desire, from a snack to a full lunch and/or dinner right on the beach, it’s right there! You can stroll the entire 7.5-mile-long Anna Maria Island beach without ever leaving the water’s edge!

Coquina Beach

Coquina Beach, situated at the southern tip of Anna Maria Island, boasts an expansive shoreline and a wide range of convenient facilities. Visitors can take advantage of abundant free parking, shaded picnic areas, on-site concessions, lifeguards for safety, a playground for children, restroom facilities, and refreshing showers. Additionally, there’s a convenient boat launch on the bay side, directly across from the beach. Coquina Beach is a fantastic destination to witness a mesmerizing sunset!

Lido Beach

Lido Beach, located on Lido Key, is a brief distance away from downtown Sarasota. Situated just half a mile to the southwest lies the renowned St. Armand’s Circle, a distinctive high-end shopping destination along Ben Franklin Drive. The beach offers a wide range of facilities, including restrooms, concessions, a gift shop, a pool, a playground, an observation deck, cabana rentals, and ample parking for more than 400 vehicles. Additionally, for those seeking adventure, kayak rentals are conveniently accessible for exploring the captivating “mangrove tunnels.”


Casperson Beach

Casperson Beach can be found at the southernmost point of Venice. It is a serene beach with an extensive boardwalk that boasts picnic areas, a shaded playground, shower facilities, and restrooms. It’s renowned as the prime spot for discovering ancient shark teeth. Ample free parking is available, though arriving early on weekends and holidays is advisable for the best experience!

Fort De Soto Park

TripAdvisor recently crowned Fort De Soto Park in St. Petersburg as “America’s Premier Beach.” This location offers a remarkable blend of pristine white sands, crystal-clear waters, and a relaxed ambiance. Delving into the park’s historical significance, it once served as a site for military fortifications, providing history enthusiasts with the opportunity to explore the vestiges of forts and an accompanying museum that unravels its rich past. Fort DeSoto boasts two piers, idyllic beaches, inviting picnic spots, scenic hiking and biking trails, a designated kayak trail, and a ferry service transporting visitors to Egmont Key State Park. Moreover, the park serves as a pivotal access point to the Great Florida Birding Trail, making it a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach, located an hour north of Bradenton, has garnered acclaim as one of the premier family-friendly beaches in the United States. It offers a wide range of water activities and hosts special events throughout the year. Visitors can relish leisurely strolls on the pristine white sandy shore, frolic in the gentle waves, or grab a quick bite at the pavilion. The beach has an abundance of attractions, including Pier 60, which is a fishing pier owned and operated by the city. It provides a secure, well-maintained, and family-oriented fishing experience. Pier 60 is also the venue for the daily “Sunsets at Pier 60” festival, showcasing local artisans and performers. This event takes place two hours before and two hours after sunset, adding an extra layer of entertainment to your Clearwater visit.

Caladesi Island State Park

Caladesi Island State Park, located in Dunedin near Clearwater, is about an hour north of Bradenton, and offers a pristine natural island environment where beach enthusiasts can revel in activities like swimming, sunbathing, and beach combing. For saltwater fishing aficionados, the opportunity to cast their lines directly from boats and soak in the Florida lifestyle awaits. Nature enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the island’s beauty by spotting wildlife during a leisurely hike along the three-mile nature trail within the island’s interior or by paddling through a three-mile kayak trail nestled amidst mangroves and the bay. Additionally, picnic tables are conveniently positioned near the beach, and pavilions can be secured for a fee. The park also boasts a marina equipped with electric and water hookups, along with amenities like a snack bar and gift shop. Accessible solely by boat or ferry, departing from Honeymoon Island State Park, this sprawling 661-acre park offers a unique escape to a tranquil paradise.