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Weekend getaways: 5 Florida Beaches to Visit

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1. Siesta Key

Located close to downtown Sarasota and adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico, the Siesta Public Beach has been voted the best Florida beach by several publications and groups over the years. The quaint and quirky 8-mile-long island is home to a host of activities such as shopping, resorts, dining, and nightlife, but is known for its white quartz sands, turquoise waters, and many amenities that caters to the whole family, from those that simply want to relax on the beach to the active sports fans. Turtle Bay, along the southern end, even has a great and popular spot for launching off kayaks. The best part is that no matter where you stay, the beach and water is never far away.

2. Naples Beach

 

 

Also along the southern side of Florida’s gulf is the top-rated Naples Beach. The city of Naples takes pride in their beach and makes sure it is well cared for and preserved. It is particularly known for its lush tropical foliage including the miles of palm trees along the Naples Pier and the combination of public and private beaches that are easily accessible. Some of the best Naples public beaches of note include Delnor Wiggins State Park, Vanderbilt Beach, Clam Pass County Park, Park Shore beaches, Lowdermilk Park Public Beach, and street-end beach access north and south of the pier. Even better, Downtown Naples is within close access of many of these.

3. Marco Island

Located about 30 minutes south of Naples is Marco Island in the southwest part of Florida. It is particularly known for being the southernmost island that has beaches accessible by car. Known as one of the many destination beaches and a relatively new development made for those who wish to retire near the waters or regularly enjoy the beautiful beaches. Like the Naples beaches, the landscaping is beautiful and is home to plenty of tropical foliage from coconut palms to tropical flowers. Marco Island offers upscale enjoyment of the beaches in resort style or condominium living while being close to the Everglades attractions.

4. Clearwater Beach

More centrally located in the Gulf of Florida’s west coast, Clearwater Beach offers tons of activities along its beaches including parasailing, rides on a ‘pirate’ ship, and piers that stretch into the Gulf for fabulous views. Clearwater Beach is known for its sugar-sand and clear, shallow waters making it perfect even for those younger children to enjoy the water. The area takes full advantage of its landscape views and water adventures with nightly sunset celebrations on its pier, countless watersports options, and family-friendly resorts, and attractions and events outside of the beach including the Clearwater Aquarium, which is home to Winter-the-Dolphin, star of the movie ‘Dolphin Tale.’ If you’re looking for a place to bring the whole family, this is a great option to consider.

5. Amelia Island

Last, but certainly not least, located off the east coast of Northern Florida, Amelia Island is easy to reach and hosts 13 miles of beautiful beaches known for pristine waters, abundant native wildlife, and activities for the true adventurers. One of the barrier islands that is loved by both locals and visitors, Amelia Island offers a unique blend of history, relaxation, and fun. Some of the activities include kayaking, horseback riding on the beach, and local state park enjoyment such as the Fort Clinch State Park. Even better, many of the resorts and local stays offer children’s programs that allow parents to enjoy a little alone time to explore and have fun as a couple. Also on the island is tons of unique shops and eateries that the family will love. At the end of the trip, you won’t want to leave this beautiful place.

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