If you’re planning a family summer vacation in Florida this year, there are beaches that simply can’t be missed. From coast to coast, Florida is packed with fabulous beaches. If you’re looking for fun in the sun and a chance to mingle with locals and tourists alike, here are five beaches that you must visit:
1. Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island is the perfect Florida beach destination if you’re looking for a relaxing vacation. Rather than throngs of tourists, you’ll find art galleries, rental properties and small sea-side diners. Collect seashells along the shore and wade through the crystal clear waters as you soak up the beautiful Florida sunshine.
You won’t be at a loss for things to do in Sanibel Island. Be sure to visit these hot spots: Schoolhouse Theater, Periwinkle Way, Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, J.N. Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Bowman’s Beach and Sanibel Lighthouse.
June brings the most rain to the island and July sees a risk of hurricanes. However, if you are willing to risk the weather, you will see some of the cheapest rates on accommodations during the summer months.
Destin has been nicknamed “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” and is one of the most affordable beach towns in the state. You’ll meet hundreds of tourists from all parts of the nation but particularly from the Midwest. The temperate climate makes Destin a perfect summer destination and you’ll find that the beaches are some of the loveliest in the state.
While in Destin, make sure you visit Gator Beach with the kids. Stop by Mellow Yellow’s enclosure and you’ll see one of the most unique alligators on the planet! Destin has dozens of things to do for the active tourist. Henderson Beach State Park, Kelly Plantation Golf Club and Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park are just a few of the activities nearby!
Summer is peak tourist season in Destin and, although hotels traditionally hike up their rates, you’ll enjoy fresh seafood in nearly all of the city’s restaurants. The phenomenal climate will provide you with full sunshine and temperatures in the low 90s.
While it may be popular as a spring break hot spot, Fort Lauderdale is a great destination for families seeking summertime fun. The city is less hectic than most and its beaches are relatively free of crowds. You’ll be surprised to find that Fort Lauderdale is both family- and budget-friendly.
When you’re in Fort Lauderdale, drag yourself away from the amazing beaches to see some of these attractions: Las Olas Boulevard, Sawgrass Recreation Park, Bonnet House, Stranahan House, Museum of Discovery and Science and the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale. All of these activities are family-friendly and offer a great way to spend an afternoon or two.
Traveling to Fort Lauderdale will afford you the best prices on hotels and villas as all the snowbirds have flown home for the season. You can reasonably expect temperatures to reach the mid-90s or higher in Fort Lauderdale.
Any golfer knows that Naples is the go-to destination for summertime putting. You’ll spend a pretty penny in this gorgeous city but it will be well worth it. The near-perfect accommodations, the pristine beaches and the amazing golf courses are more than worth the price you’ll pay to stay in the city.
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Clam Pass Beach Park, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Naples Museum of Art and the Naples Zoo are all fantastic ways to spend your time in Naples. If you can tear yourself away from the links, be sure to visit one or all of these fantastic tourist destinations.
If you travel during the summer, you can expect average daily highs in the 90s and quite a bit of rain. The good news is that when it rains in Florida, it pours and is over as quickly as it began!
If you are looking to spend your summer vacation in one of the hottest, most happening spots in Florida, you’ll want to head for Miami Beach. You can Plan on rubbing elbows with celebrities if you’ve got the money and style to make it through the door of the best clubs in the nation. Colorful lights and all-night parties ensure that you’ll have a vacation like no other in Miami Beach.
When you’re spending time off the beach, cruise down Ocean Drive, hit the Lincoln Road Mall and take the time to visit the Holocaust Memorial.
Temperatures in Miami Beach reach their height in June and July so pack appropriately. If you have your choice of months in which to travel, head to Miami Beach in July when rainfall is at its lowest.
If you are interested in traveling to any of these amazing beaches, contact the city’s chamber of commerce for more information on places to stay and things to do. No matter which beach you choose, you’re guaranteed to have a stellar summer vacation.
Teresa Brown is a full time mom and part-time freelance writer and blogs for Chamber of Commerce Florida.