Best Beaches in South Florida
Florida is separated into three main regions; south, central, and north. Each region is known for its distinct characteristics. South Florida is known for the beautiful blue waters and sand that make up its beaches. South Florida has actually built attractions and nightlife around their breathtaking beaches because residents and tourists flock from near and far to enjoy the Florida lifestyle. If you are planning on enjoying the beach life in South Florida, take a look at our top 5 choices.
1. South Beach - South Beach is Miami's New York City. It offers culture, fashion, sun, and fun by day. At night it turns into a completely different world, full of great restaurants, busy night clubs, and a few celebrities. South Beach is much more than sparkling water and tan sand, it's a coveted strip that allows families, singles, and couples the opportunity to enjoy the Florida experience in a different way.
South Beach is public and it lies across the street from all of the hotels and restaurants, so everyone has the same access. Eat, play, or swim on the beach...either way, you'll have a great time.
2. Sunny Isles Beach - If South Beach is New York City, then Sunny Isles Beach is Connecticut. It has a little more sophistication and the water has a hue that reminds me of the Caribbean Ocean. I could sit and stare at the water for hours at a time. Sunny Isles beach attracts an older crowd than South Beach and it offers more of a family atmosphere. The luxury hotels are directly on this beach, so if you're in the hotel you'll love it because you can get oceanfront views and take a short walk to paradise. However, if you're a resident or not staying in a hotel, you will have to use the public areas.
Sunny Isles beach is located on the southeast tip of Florida, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal waterway. It is halfway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, so it provides a great middle ground for vacationers.
3. Naples/Marco Island Beaches - If South Beach is New York City and Sunny Isles beach is Connecticut, then the beaches in Naples and Marco Island are Long Island, New York. What do I mean? Well, this area is definitely the slower suburban region. You can drive an hour into the "city" (aka Fort Lauderdale), but people drive this far because they want to leave the hustle and bustle behind. In the Naples/Marco Island region, visitors feel like they have hopped on a plane and flew to a Caribbean island.
Even though the beaches in this area are very close, they are extremely different. Both beaches have tied for third place for different reasons. In Naples, a lot of the beaches are more desolate and have reserves that do not allow the plantlife to be removed. So, don't be surprised if the hotel is on the beach, but you have to walk on a ramp to the beach. However, once you get in the water it makes for a great swim. In Marco Island, I wasn't blown away by the water. I was impressed by the pale white sand that seems to go on for miles. It is absolutely beautiful! There are a lot of shells on the beach. So, some may love this factor because they can collect shells and take them home. Others may find the shells to be a nuisance.
4. Hollywood/Ft. Lauderdale Beach - Welcome to Jersey! The Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale beach are an older version of Florida. However, they continue to renovate the area to keep it clean and as modern as they can. I call it Jersey because it lacks the sophistication of the other beaches on this list. Don't misunderstand me, I grew up by these beaches and they are the beaches that I frequented the most growing up. They are extremely family oriented by day and night. However, they both have a few renown bars and clubs along their strips.
A few decades ago, Fort Lauderdale beach used to be the prime location for spring breakers. However, now it has changed its reputation for quieter waters. Similar to South Beach, the Fort Lauderdale beach is separated from the hotels and restaurants by a street (A1A). Hollywood beach has an older spirit and it is known for its 1920's two to three mile boardwalk that is both fun for the runners, walkers, and roller bladers. Yet, romantic for the couples taking a stroll. The beach has two playgrounds, a lot of new art and culture setting into the community, and a lot to see. Both the Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood beaches are very laid back and have a come as you are spirit.
5. Key Biscayne Beach - Key Biscayne should be a separate state from Florida because it's a completely different world. We've told you about New York City, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Long Island; now get ready for California. No, Key Biscayne beach does not have big waves. However, like California, there are areas that have "Old Hollywood Money" and this would be one of those places. This region is separated by a bridge, which isolates it enough to become an isolated area where everyone knows your name; not in a country town kind of way. However, if you park your golf cart (yes, many people drive their golf carts around as there regular transportation) somewhere, the close knit neighborhood will probably know that it belongs to you. Like California, most Key Biscayners are into a cleaner form of eating and living.
When you cross the bridge, the waters in this region are absolutely breathtaking in this area. However, due to its isolation it is very quiet and the sand does not go out very far. This area is good for motor water sports and enjoying the peaceful an untouched waters.
Overall, it's hard to pick a bad beach in South Florida. So, pick your beach based on the surrounding environment that you're looking for on your next vacation. Pompano, Deerfield, and Delray beach are the older beaches in the South Florida. The sand is a little darker, and as a result, the water is also darker. These beaches tend to be quieter, but attract families and senior citizens. If I had to pick a sixth favorite beach, it would definitely be a beach in Boca Raton or West Palm Beach.
Let me know what you think of this list. Send pictures of you or your family enjoying any Florida beach to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can share it with our viewers.