15 Best Beaches in Florida Locals Want to Keep Secret

Florida has one of the nation's longest coastlines, second only to Alaska (where beach days are cooler).

Pass-a-Grille Beach, St. Pete Beach

Instead of crowding Clearwater Beach, take the free Suncoast Beach Trolley to Pass-a-Grille and transfer your umbrella.

Santa Rosa Beach, Walton County

The kelly-green ocean shows why Florida's Emerald Coast is named. Not only is the Gulf of Mexico beautiful, this is one of Florida's top beaches. The warm, tranquil sea is ideal for paddleboarding and swimming with youngsters.

The beaches of Caladesi Island State Park

Caladesi Island, a barrier island accessible only by boat, seems like you've left the grid. Explore Caladesi's three miles of pristine, picture-perfect Florida beaches by taking the 20-minute boat voyage from Dunedin, a fishing community an hour north of Tampa.

Playalinda Beach, Titusville

Sometimes a beach's lack of amenities is its best feature. The 24-mile Playalinda Beach in Titusville, Florida's East Central "Space Coast," near the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, has no buildings or motorized water activities.

Bowmans Beach on the west end of Sanibel island is one of the best shelling spots in Florida, if not the country. Visitors can find sand dollars, conch shells, and even the rare Junonia shell after a storm.

Bowmans Beach, Sanibel Island

Between Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico is beautiful, no-rush Gasparilla Island with magnificent beaches. It takes an hour from Fort Myers and two from Tampa, but you won't need a car once here.

Boca Grande Beach, Gasparilla Island

This barrier island off northeast Florida has 13 miles of ocean beaches, calm waters, and Southern hospitality. Fine, smooth sand, the Atlantic Ocean's lull, a colder winter environment, and one of Florida's only beach bonfire laws (sunset to sunrise).

The beaches of Amelia Island

This family-friendly Florida beach on a barrier island in southwest Florida's Gulf Coast offers beautiful, dazzling white sand as silky as talcum powder. And fascinating fact: It's silky-smooth and chilly because it's 99% pure quartz washed down from the Appalachian Mountains.

Siesta Key Beach, near Sarasota

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