Florida is known for its sunshine and beaches with clear water. From the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, there’s no shortage of beautiful sandy spots in the Sunshine State.
So whether you’re looking for a relaxing day in the sun, a place for water sports, or a scenic hike, these waterfront locations offer something for everyone.
So grab your sunscreen and flip-flops, and get ready to discover the beauty of Florida’s clear beaches.
Let’s hit it!
Beautiful Beaches and Clear Water in Florida
The Sunshine State is a peninsula, which means water surrounds it. You’ll find approximately 825 miles of waterfront. In addition, no matter where you are in Florida, you’re no more than 60 miles from a shoreline.
The state’s eastern portion provides access to the Atlantic Ocean, while the opposite coast borders the Gulf of Mexico. Florida’s east coast has a reputation for having more waves, while the west offers softer sand. However, either side is perfect for soaking up the sun.
In addition to clear beaches, Florida also offers some incredible weather. Temperatures average 60 to 70 degrees during winter, so it’s easy to see why many northerners flock there between November to March. However, summer temperatures hit 90 degrees most days, making the coasts very attractive.
Pro Tip: If you’re going to spend the night in the sand in Florida, make sure you know these Don’ts of Beach Camping.
7 Florida Beaches with Clear Water
With more than 180 official beaches in Florida, deciding where to spend your time can be challenging. However, we’ve narrowed the list down to seven of the best beaches in Florida with clear water to enjoy. Let’s look at these waterfront locations in no particular order.
#1 Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Park is a stunning natural area in southern Florida, just a short drive from Miami. While the park is primarily known for its incredible underwater coral reefs and marine life, it also offers visitors beautiful views.
Elliott Key and Boca Chita Key are two islands only accessible by boat. Elliott Key’s beaches are popular for those wanting to swim, sunbathe, and picnic. The sand is soft and white, and the waters are clear and warm. While Boca Chita Key is small, it offers turquoise waters and soft sand. Visitors can swim, snorkel, or explore the island’s hiking trails and historic buildings.
#2 Siesta Key
Siesta Key is a beautiful barrier island that sits off the southwestern coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico, just south of Sarasota. It offers guests stunning shorelines, which have been named among the best in the world by several travel publications.
The main hotspot on Siesta Key is Siesta Beach. It has powdery, white sand that’s 99% pure quartz. This makes it incredibly soft and cool, which is welcome during the summer. You won’t have to worry about burning your feet while looking for a spot to spend the day.
The gulf waters off this Florida beach aren’t only clear but also calm and warm. This makes the area perfect for swimming, paddle boarding, and other water sports. Volleyball is a popular activity here. In addition, you’ll find several picnic areas and playgrounds for children.
Other popular spots in Siesta Key include Crescent and Turtle Beaches. Crescent Beach is great for shell collecting. While Turtle Beach has slightly rougher waters, it makes for great surfing and boogie boarding.
#3 Fort De Soto State Park
Fort De Soto State Park is a popular destination near St. Petersburg and Tampa. The park is known for its pristine shores, wildlife, and historic structures. As a result, it’s a popular destination for all ages. Unfortunately, this park can get incredibly crowded during the peak season.
The park’s North Beach and East Beach are the most popular waterfront spots in the area. They offer miles of soft, white sand and clear, turquoise waters. They’re ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and building sandcastles. Visitors can also enjoy various water activities like kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, and fishing.
Several hiking trails and bike paths are available for anyone needing a break from the sand. The trails wind through the park’s mangrove forests and wetlands. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, as the park is home to birds, dolphins, manatees, and sea turtles.
Destin is a popular beach vacation destination located on the Emerald Coast of the Florida Panhandle. This area can get incredibly busy during spring break and summer. It features sparkling emerald waters and sugar-white sand. It’s popular with beachgoers, sun seekers, and water sports enthusiasts.
The Destin Harbor Boardwalk is one of the area’s most popular attractions. It offers a mile-long stretch of coast ideal for swimming and sunbathing. Visitors can also enjoy various water activities, such as paddleboarding, kayaking, and parasailing, or take a scenic cruise along the harbor.
Henderson Beach State Park is another popular spot in Destin. It offers guests 6,000 feet of unspoiled shoreline to stroll. The area borders several large dunes and has plenty of natural vegetation. You can dip in the calm waters or hike on several nature trails within the park.
If neither of these spots does the trick, try Miramar or Crystal Beach. They’re perfect for strolling along the shoreline. The gentle waves and soft sand can make it easy to spend the day relaxing. Crystal Beach is often the quietest and most secluded section of the coast.
Pro Tip: Spend the night at one of these 15 Best Luxury RV Resorts in Florida.
#5 Canaveral National Seashore
Canaveral National Seashore is on a barrier island off the east coast of Florida. It’s near Titusville, New Smyrna, and Cocoa. The seashore is home to over 24 miles of pristine shoreline, making it a popular destination for surfers and nature enthusiasts.
Playalinda Beach is one of the most popular spots. It’s on the park’s northern end, and this Florida beach offers soft, white sand and clear, turquoise waters. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and birdwatching. It’s also one of the best areas for surfing in the park.
Other popular spots within Canaveral National Seashore include Apollo Beach and Klondike Beach. Apollo offers unique rock formations and tidal pools that can be fun to explore and see marine life. However, Klondike is a bit more private and only accessible by foot or bike. It’s quiet and serene and can be an excellent spot for birdwatching, fishing, and beachcombing.
#6 Crystal River
Crystal River is a small city approximately an hour and a half north of Tampa. The area is best known for its natural springs and wildlife. However, you’ll also find some of the state’s most beautiful shores.
The most popular spot in the area is Fort Island Gulf Beach. It sits at the mouth of the Crystal River and features a long stretch of white sand. The water is calm, clear, and great for swimming. Luckily, Fort Island Gulf Beach isn’t the only great waterfront spot along the Crystal River.
Three Sisters Springs and Hunt Springs Park are also great options to consider. These both offer a variety of activities, including kayaking and paddleboarding.
Many people rush to these parks during the winter to get up close with massive manatees. It’s important to keep in mind that touching these protected creatures is illegal. You could face a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail. Like your parents would say, look, but don’t touch.
#7 Bahia Honda State Park
Bahia Honda State Park is a beautiful natural area in the Florida Keys. It sits approximately 37 miles west of Key West. This park is renowned for its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and abundant wildlife. It’s a popular destination for visitors, especially during winter.
Calusa Beach is one of the most popular in the park. It features a long stretch of white sand and clear, turquoise waters. It’s ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. In addition, several picnic areas and pavilions are available making it easy to spend the entire day here.
Other popular locations within Bahia Honda include Sandspur and Loggerhead Beaches. Sandspur Beach sits along the southeast shore of the park. It features a section of rocky shoreline home to various marine life. Guests who want a quiet or more secluded spot should check out Loggerhead Beach on the park’s west side.
Enjoy Playing in Clear Water on Florida Beaches
As you can see, there are plenty of options to consider if you’re looking for clear Florida beaches. While some are better than others, a day soaking up the sun is typically always a great way to spend the day.
If you visit one area and don’t entirely love it, try another one until you find the place that works for you. However, we suggest you start with some of the beaches we’ve recommended. They’re all fantastic options and offer plenty of activities suitable for the whole family.
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