The Best Beach Towns in Florida

The Best Beaches and Beach Towns in Florida

Photo: Sunrise at New Smyrna Beach, Florida. (photo by Lauren Yochum)

Travelers from the US Midwest, North East and Europe are in the middle of the winter “blues” are looking for some time off from the gray skies. It’s no wonder tourists flock to Florida in search of sand and surf. Boasting thousands of miles of coastline, there are plenty of spots to get your tropical fix in this state. With an average year-round temperature of 67 degrees, it’s always warm somewhere in Florida—from the Panhandle to the Keys.

Seaside

Abounding with charm, clear water and white sandy beaches this city rests between Panama City and Destin. Perfect for families, the area is full of adorable cottages with ample shopping and dining options throughout the town. Visit Red Bar for an eclectic and memorable dining experience that’s always worth the wait. Northern Florida can be downright chilly in the winter, so try and plan your trip in the summer months for maximum warmth and sunshine.

New Smyrna Beach

Frequented by Orlando locals, you’ll find a quaint city that’s layered with that “old Florida” feel. Just over an hour from the theme parks, this laid-back town is the perfect escape from the crowds. NASCAR fans will enjoy the short drive to Daytona while experiencing a more family-friendly atmosphere in New Smyrna. Parts of the beach allow cars, while other stretches are pedestrian access only. If you happen to be accompanied by man’s best friend, take your pup to Smyrna Dunes Park—an oasis of walking trails, lighthouse views with plenty of room for your pooch to roam and play.

Palm Beach & Delray Beach

More than a beach town, this island is home to legendary resorts, expansive mansions and exceptional people-watching. After you enjoy the beach head to Worth Avenue to explore its opulence and charm. With multiple world-class resorts including The Breakers and Eau Palm Beach, you can experience a dash of luxury with a heaping side of sunshine and sand.

Palm Beach County is home to thousands of stoked surfers and a rich surfing culture. Much of that culture is rooted in the oceanfront community of Delray Beach, dubbed “Village by The Sea” years ago. Not only is there real surf culture here, but local surfers can also rightly brag about the wave quality.   Although surfers are accused of always searching for the perfect wave, Delray Beach is one of many places they can actually be found.

South Beach

Rich in culture and history, this South Florida city is must for your travel bucket list. Unlike any other beach town in Florida, this vibrant place is full of culinary creativity and endless sand. Dine and drink seaside during SOBEWFF (The Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival) February 22-26, 2017. This star-studded event shows off South Beach in all its glory featuring 85 events throughout the festival. Stay at The Ritz-Carlton for unparalleled poolside service while you relax in your lounge chair overlooking the pristine waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Keys

This string of tropical islands stretches about 120 miles off the southern tip of Florida between the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. These low-key towns offer up some of the most stunning views in the state, and the waters here are perfect for boating and snorkeling. Skip Key West and stay in Marathon, Florida at Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort. Located in the heart of the Keys, it’s easy to explore surrounding islands here, but it’s tough to leave the resort’s private beach and spacious accommodations. In the Florida Keys it’s easy to lose track of time, and the perfect place to fall into “beach mode.”