Get your sun on and chill out in one of these quaint Florida beach towns. From towns with unique sites and activities on the Atlantic Coast to unforgettable sunsets along Florida’s Gulf Coast, each of these Florida beach towns has something for everyone.
With so many beaches all over Florida, knowing what each sandy coastline offers is the first step to narrowing your search. Longing for some epic sunsets and world-class surf? Or are you looking for a relaxed destination suitable for the entire family? Well, you’re in luck, as there’s a Florida beach town just for you. With so many cheap flights from Canada to major cities in Florida, these sunny destinations are more accessible and affordable to get to than ever. Read on for our list of the top five Florida beach towns to experience on your next vacation.
Five of the best Florida beach towns
1. Islamorada, Florida
Kayak to nearby islands in this tranquil Florida village
Just a 90-minute drive south of Miami is the quaint Florida beach town of Islamorada. Also known as ‘Village of Islands’, this part of Florida just south of Key Largo is home to beaches with soft, powdery-white sand, calm seas and outdoor activities like sailing, windsurfing, kiteboarding and more. Take a day trip and kayak to one of the surrounding islands off of Islamorada. A popular choice is Indian Key Historic Park, which makes for a good way to spend the afternoon before heading back to catch the sunset in Islamorada. Head to the Morada Way Arts and Cultural District and check out the Islamorada craft beer scene at Florida Keys Brewing Co., the first microbrewery in the Upper Keys.
Hotel options: The highly-rated Casa Morada is located right off the beach and located close to lots of bars and restaurants. Islander Resort is complete with a variety of suites, queen, and king rooms. If you want to continue your Florida Keys exploring, here are 12 amazing experiences in the Florida Keys.
2. Amelia Island
Explore the historic town of Fernandina Beach
This island north of Jacksonville is full of old-time charm. Located just off the Atlantic, this is one of the northernmost points of Florida, just past the Georgia/Florida border. The town of Fernandina Beach features the oldest bar in Florida (the Palace Saloon) and several small-scale shops, including Lori and Lulu for women’s clothing. Head to the local Farmer’s Market every Saturday from 9-1 p.m. Fort Clinch is a Civil War-era structure that’s worth a visit. There’s a lot do in on the island: at Kayak Amelia you can rent kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, or plan a day trip and go on a hike through beautiful forests on nearby islands.
3. Vilano Beach, Florida
Immerse yourself in nature and indulge in excellent seafood
Down Florida’s Atlantic Coast, just north of the popular and historic St. Augustine is Vilano Beach. Just some of the things to do in Vilano Beach include the popular Vilano Beach Fishing Pier (look for the Bluebird of Happiness Statue!) and a walk in Nease Beachfront Park. Enjoy this diverse park with salt marshes on the west side and the Atlantic Ocean on the east end, and there’s a butterfly garden on-site where guests can learn about the varieties of butterflies and flowers in Florida. End your evening in Vilano Beach at Beaches at Vilano restaurant. Overlooking the ocean, it’s a perfect spot for watching the sunset while indulging in some seafood and cocktails.
Hotel options with easy access to Vilano Beach include the pet-friendly Southern Oaks Inn. The Magic Beach Hotel is another good mid-range option which is a funky art-deco style building right by the beach.
4. St. Petersburg, Florida
Art, botanical gardens, and outdoor excursions
Just a half-hour drive from Tampa’s International Airport is the beach city of St. Petersburg. Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast in Tampa Bay, there’s so much to explore in St. Petersburg and the surrounding area. Take a short drive south and spend some time at the inspiring Fort De Soto Park for some beautiful beaches, camping and other outdoor activities. In the town of St. Petersburg it’s worth visiting the notable Salvador Dali Museum, and other artistic destinations like the Museum of Fine Arts and the Mahaffey Theater. Another must-see is the Sunken Gardens, which are botanical gardens located right in the Old Town.
5. Cocoa Beach, Florida
Best Florida beach town for surfing and deep-sea fishing
Cocoa Beach is a favourite and one of the best Florida beach towns for surfing. Amateur and pro surfers alike flock here at the end of hurricane season in particular (which is generally September to December) for the best surfing opportunities along the Atlantic Coast in Florida. But Cocoa Beach has more to offer than its surf culture: visitors can also visit the Kennedy Space Center or try deep-sea fishing. Explore the beach at Lori Wilson Park for some beautiful coast and bird-watching opportunities. There’s also the many shops and eateries along the popular Cocoa Beach Pier.
Find cheap flights and hotels in Florida
Now that you’ve found your Florida beach town, the next step is searching for your flights and accommodation. Let us help you find the best travel deals out there so you can take a cheap sunny vacation.
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