Gulf Beaches

The sandy shores around the Gulf of Mexico stand out as some of the most beautiful and intriguing.

Welcome to Gulf Beaches

The best beaches in Florida with the softest sand and pristine waters.


Even though the state of Florida is home to hundreds of beaches, the sandy shores around the Gulf of Mexico stand out as some of the most beautiful and intriguing. The top Gulf Coast beaches are renowned for more than just their magnificent sunsets; they also have some of the world's finest sand, pristine waters, nature trails, and fishing. Visitors flock to the west coast of Florida, from the bend of Northwest Florida to the Dry Tortugas, to bask in the sun, look for seashells, party on spring break, or dive into the clear waters. Something about the calm, mild waters and sandy beaches of the Gulf Coast attracts even the pickiest of marine creatures, like the manatee. Gulf Beaches include Fort Myers Beach, Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs, Venice Beach, Clearwater Beach, Fort Wallon Beach, and Anna Maria Island. 

What to Love

Incredible sunsets at the best beaches in the country

  • Subtropical climate
  • The atmosphere feels like a vacation year-round
  • An endless list of restaurants and bars to satisfy one's cravings
  • A convenient trolley to take you to and from beaches

Local Lifestyle

Gulf beaches provide a treasure trove of activity for those who want an active, on-the-go lifestyle. Lovers Key State Park spans an expansive 1,600 acres and is a haven for nature lovers, offering miles of paths teeming with wildlife, kayak and paddleboard rentals, and secluded areas to swim, fish, and have a picnic. Clearwater Beach is a famous tourist destination due to its extensive expanses of white sand, an array of shops and restaurants, upscale hotels, and proximity to attractions, including an aquarium, pier, and downtown area. 

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

The charming John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk is a go-to spot for boardwalk shops and restaurants. This is a major tourist attraction with a plethora of shopping boutiques and diners to explore along the waterfront. Plus, you can head out on a boat rental or jet skiing tour. You can even go dolphin watching or parasailing if you’re feeling adventurous.

Caddy's is a popular spot for exquisite food and great views, with locations around the Gulf Coast, including Caddy's Gulfport, Caddy's Indian Shores, Caddy's Madeira Beach, Caddy's Treasure Island, and Caddy's St. Pete Beach. Visit a Caddy's near you to find the best happy hour specials along Florida's Gulf Coast. 

Another top diner is Crabby Bill's, where the menu contains fresh Florida seafood, beef, and other items. The restaurant comprises a large indoor dining room with a horseshoe bar in the center and an outside eating area (a loading dock where you can listen to live music). 

Another lively spot for seafood is Spinners Rooftop Grille, which boasts stunning views as you dine in style. This premium diner is found in the Bellwether Beach Resort, perched 12 stories above the St. Pete Beach shoreline. And, if you’re seeking live music and a fantastic menu, don’t forget Jimmy B's Beach Bar.

Things to Do

Miniature golf enthusiasts will love Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf Courses. It features 18 holes of adventure-style golf in which you'll navigate through pirate ships, caves, live alligators, and waterfalls for a fun family outing. Using cane fishing rods, visitors can feed alligators for an entertaining and unique experience. 

Beer Can Island, located in Longboat Key, is not only one of Florida's hidden gems but also one of the best things to do in the Gulf of Mexico. With its crystal blue waters, gorgeous scenery, and absence of tourists compared to other neighboring beaches, it's almost like escaping to a deserted island. 

Those who love the outdoors can visit the Caladesi Island State Park. This gorgeous paradise has remained entirely undeveloped, making it one of the most fantastic beaches in Florida for individuals who like a calm, serene beach excursion where they can disconnect and relax. Those who enjoy being on the sea can go kayaking through the mangroves on the island or even attempt boat camping. You can also take private boat charters to see the sunset and get a glimpse of the dolphins. Fun Boat Tours, conveniently located on Siesta Key, offers daily sunset dolphin tours as well. Although you will not disembark from the boat, you may get wet, so remember to dress appropriately. 

Feel the beat at the Siesta Key Drum Circle. The weekly Drum Circle on Siesta and Englewood Beaches begins about an hour before sunset every Sunday. Adults, children, locals, tourists, dancers, and artists gather for a night of dancing, music, and enjoyment as the sunset glistens over the water. 

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