Friday, January 25, 2019

Florida Beach Vacation Spots

Now that we're in the middle of our fourth snow storm of the winter... I've got beach fever. We had an amazing time in Puerto Vallarta on our adults only getaway last summer, and Eli loved dipping his toes in the oceans of North Carolina on our family trip. It's safe to say that I think the whole family has beach fever. Although we'll likely be staying home this spring break (lots going on people- LOTS!), I'd still kill to be on a beach somewhere. We've been to Orlando before, but we've never visited the southeast side of Florida. It's no secret that the state has some of the most beautiful beaches in the nation. Here are some fabulous Florida beaches that you should consider for your next vacation.

Clearwater Beach

Located just southwest of Tampa, Clearwater Beach is continuously named one of the top beaches to visit in the United States. With beautiful white sand beaches and shallow water, Clearwater Beach is also a great place for families to visit. I can literally picture Eli scooping shovelfuls of sand into his little pail. Here, you'll find great opportunities to enjoy the water with kayaking, boating, and dinner cruises. From Pier 60 to the Clearwater Marina to Sand Key Park, you'll definitely have a lot to do in the area.

Daytona Beach

Perhaps best known for the Daytona 500 NASCAR race, Daytona Beach is another great family beach destination. Located on the eastern side of Florida, the city also has the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. The beach has an awesome pier and boardwalk that were recently renovated, and families can enjoy food, shopping, and great thrill rides, including an oceanfront roller coaster that's scheduled to open soon. The 23 miles of beautiful sandy beach are worth visiting as well.

Panama City Beach

Source: Aaron Burden
Known as a top spring break destination for college students, Panama City Beach is a great option for those looking to avoid going quite so far east. PCB is located just east of Destin, and it's a very affordable option. The water is a great place to fish or scuba dive, and there are two state parks in the area. There are several touristy areas where you can eat and shop, as well as dolphin tours and a Gulf World Marine Park. If you visit at certain times of the year, you can avoid the craziness of spring break and have a great time as a family! Aaron and I visited briefly during the day a few years ago and it was actually quite peaceful.

Sanibel Island 

Best known for its incredible shells, Sanibel Island offers a calmer and more private beach option. The island is located west of Fort Myers, and is a great destination for both romantic getaways and family vacations. Consistently ranked as a top travel destination, Sanibel Island is an excellent choice for fishing, shelling, golf, tennis, birdwatching, and more. This is a great place to relax and enjoy luxurious resorts and fine dining, and it's totally on my list!!

Sunny Isles Beach

Source: Lance Asper
Sunny Isles Beach is just north of North Beach, Miami, where we visited a couple summers ago. Although it may not be as well known as other options, Sunny Isles offers gorgeous views of the Atlantic along a beautiful white sand beach. Resorts in the area are plentiful and not far from the hustle and bustle of South Beach or even the natural adventure found in the Everglades. Sunny Isles has free morning yoga on the beach, along with Florida's largest urban park, Oleta River State Park. The Newport Fishing Pier has been newly rebuilt and is worth a visit.

No matter which Florida beach you choose to visit, you'll definitely enjoy both the beauty of the ocean and lots of fun activities that will please any traveler. We had a great time on our Florida vacation, and I'm sure we'll be back to visit another one of these locations soon. Happy planning!



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