With its sandy white beaches, family theme parks and glorious seaside villages, the Sunshine state is a no-brainer as a winter getaway.
Whether you want to soak up the rays, wander along the sandy boardwalks or visit chic boutiques or art galleries, here are ten of the top beach towns in Florida you might want to add to your sightseeing list for your next timeshare holiday in the Big Orange.
1) Key West
Known for its vibrant party atmosphere, Key West is also a historic city with beautiful cobbled streets – perfect for freestyle wandering. Or take a leisurely bike ride along picturesque streets overhung by banyan trees. Meanwhile, be sure to visit Nancy Forrester’s backyard, where you can enter a hidden tropical paradise. Forrester has been rescuing abused and orphaned parrots for 25 years, and in her Secret Garden visitors can interact with parrots, macaws, and cockatoos.
2) Siesta Key
The quaint island of Siesta Key – we love the name! – has something for everyone, from quirky shops to watersports and cosy accommodation. However, Siesta Key’s Gulf-side strand is not to be missed – you’ll discover pure white sand, shimmering turquoise waters and a nice mix of beach-side restaurants.
Apalachicola boasts plenty of historic homes and buildings, deliciously fresh seafood, and acres of national parks and wildlife refuges. This charming port is a relaxing, easygoing getaway that will transport you to another time and place – perfect for those days out when you want to slow down time and just get away from it all.
4) Sanibel Island
Famed for its white-sand beaches teeming with coquinas, whelks, sand dollars, and scallops, Sanibel Island is a veritable paradise for nature lovers. Take a stroll through the town to enjoy the shops, restaurants, and art galleries, or get snap happy taking photos of the Point Ybel Lighthouse or Sanibel Island Lighthouse.
5) Fernandina Beach
Enjoy a leisurely horse-drawn carriage ride through Fernandina Beach’s pretty downtown, then head to Fort Clinch Beach and keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and seabirds on Amelia Island.
6) Cocoa Beach
With a famous fishing pier, the world’s largest surf shop, and the Kennedy Space Center nearby, Cocoa Beach is perfect for family getaways. It’s also paradise for sun worshippers, thanks to its six miles of ocean beaches. It’s a popular place but you can still escape the crowds by taking a leisurely kayak tour of the Banana River Islands.
This picture-perfect beach holiday features brick-paved, car-free streets, and was the filming location for The Truman Show. Hire a bike and cycle alongside pastel-coloured houses with white picket fences, or enjoy a unique two-hour sandcastle building lesson from the experts.
8) Delray Beach
Vibrant, lively and perfectly picturesque, this beach town boasts a two-mile stretch of sandy beach and it has a host of art galleries, boutiques and restaurants as well. For a family day out with a difference, spot birds and butterflies hiding in the six individually designed garden complexes at Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens.
9) New Smyrna Beach
New Smyrna is a beach with a difference, thanks to its drive-on Atlantic shores. If beach-and-sunlounger style holidays aren’t for you, wander along the pretty, palm-tree-lined Canal Street, which buzzes with cafes, shops, and galleries. It’s also worth stepping back in time at the New Smyrna Beach Sugar Mill, which has 17 acres of gardens and nature trails to explore.
Stuart is known as the sailfish capital and its waters are chock-full of wahoo, king fish, snapper, and, of course, a lot of sailfish! This is the perfect place to cast a line and enjoy a leisurely break, but be sure to take a romantic stroll along Stuart’s Riverwalk and enjoy the scenery – you might even spot a smiling dolphin or two.