You can’t travel the east coast of Florida without heading to one of the most famous beaches in the world—Miami Beach. Home to world-class beaches, beautiful people, and of course a nightlife that never ends, Miami is more than just a city, it’s a culture. Come here and you’ll immediately feel the good vibrations of this fascinating city. The beach runs from South Beach all the way north, and you can always expect something to be happening. The water is warm majority of the year, so splash around all you want!
Drive an hour east of Orlando and you’ll have arrived on Florida’s Space Coast. Cocoa Beach, the city that lies right on the edge of the Kennedy Space Center, is an out-of-this-world type of locale. Known for its world class surfing—it’s home to the iconic surf shop, Ron Jon’s—Cocoa Beach is one of the most unique beaches in the state. After all, it’s not every day you see a spaceship lift off while you’re building a sand castle. Cocoa Beach is also a great place for exploring the wild. Eco-tours are also popular in the area with kayak rentals, wind surfing tours, and airboat rides available daily.
Right off of the Florida-Georgia border is the 13-mile long, Amelia Island. Known as an upscale retreat and golfing destination, Amelia Island is also home to the pristine Fernandina Beach. Wide sand beaches are the norm here, so it’s a great place for kids to run around and spend the day building sandcastles by the water. Horseback riding on the beach is also a common activity and very popular in the winter months when it gets a too chilly to swim in the water. If you’re a shrimp lover, be sure to visit during the first weekend of May—the city holds the annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival and celebrates all things shrimp!
Famous for its many amenities and activities, Jacksonville Beach is a great family-friendly destination. Not only are there a whole slew of public bathrooms, concessions, and parking, but there is also a lot of activities available right by the beach, like Adventure Landing Amusement Park, a place the whole family will enjoy. Jacksonville Beach is also famous for its nearly a quarter mile long, fishing pier which has recently been renovated after damage from Hurricane Irma. So, bring your fishing pole and head on over!
St. Augustine Beach
America’s oldest city covers over 42 miles of picturesque coastline, so when visiting St. Augustine, you’ll have a wide range of beaches to check out. But if you’re looking for a relaxing day with all your basic beach-going amenities, and maybe some extras, check out Anastasia State Park. This beach offers visitors a beautiful coastline filled with exotic wildlife, and a range of facilities for use including, bathrooms, a playground, concessions, shaded areas for bbq-ing and picnics. There is also a little-known nature hike by the entrance to the park—the Coquina Quarries hike is an archeological site from the 1700's. Camping is available here as well.
Probably one of the most iconic beaches in the state, Daytona Beach will not disappoint. Besides being the birthplace of NASCAR, Daytona Beach is also a home to 23 miles of relaxing sandy beaches and some of the most beautiful sunrises around. Visit Daytona Beach and you’ll immediately get swept up in the excitement of the pier and boardwalk—restaurants, bars, snack shops, and arcades all line the boardwalk ensuring hours of fun for all visitors. The water is beautiful, too!
New Smyrna Beach
A popular beach for Orlando residents, New Smyrna Beach is one of the closer beach locations for those in Orange and Seminole county. There are portions of beach that cars are permitted to drive on at New Smyrna Beach as seen in the Volusia County beach ramp map. Parents with younger children may want to consider parking is available lots and spending the day where cars are prohibited from driving on the beach. New Smyrna is also a popular surfing destination and home to some popular competitions throughout the year.
Playalinda Beach is part of the national seashore and the wildlife refuge area that is located midway on Florida's east coast between Daytona Beach and Melbourne. Located at the north end of the Canaveral National Seashore, this Volusia County beach does contain areas that are clothing optional, but majority of the beach is family-friendly. A popular fishing spot in the area is Mosquito Lagoon with its 23 miles of pristine habitat.
If you’re looking for a low-key, less crowded, simple getaway, head to Vero Beach. Known for its golfing, galleries, and calm beaches, Vero Beach is a great place for a romantic weekend or some simple beach therapy. There is a Disney resort in Vero Beach, which would be ideal if you’re traveling with children, but otherwise most hotels on the water are affordably priced. For a fun day trip, book a fishing trip or boat tour down the Indian River Lagoon.
Looking for an upscale getaway? Head to Palm Beach. Located just about an hour and half from Miami, Palm Beach is home to some of the world’s richest. The average home price is over one million dollars, and you can expect hotels in the area to match that same feel. But the luxury of Palm Beach is worth the price tag with high-end shopping, restaurants, and of course, beautiful beachfront resorts.
Delray Beach is pretty small in comparison to some other popular Atlantic coast cities, but it is always a great time. Delray’s Atlantic Avenue, which is perpendicular to the water, is home to amazing eateries, great shopping, and a pretty vibrant nightlife. The street is always lit up at night with beautiful white lights adorning the palm trees. The Pineapple Grove Arts District, which is located right off of Atlantic, is home to world class galleries and top-notch shopping.