It is a paradise with beautiful beaches, pleasant weather, and lots of fun things to do! You’ll find a plethora of reasons why life along the Florida Gulf Coast is so exceptional, from its breathtaking beaches and delectable seafood restaurants to its low cost of living.
When compared to the east coast, the west coast is commonly thought to have a more relaxed and laid-back attitude. That in no way precludes the existence of major urban centers.
The metropolitan areas of Naples, Sarasota-Bradenton, Tampa, and Pensacola are all considered to be highly developed. If you’re looking for a laid-back coastal mood and a beach town that has a more rustic feel, there are plenty of options for you to choose from.
Which Coast of Florida Do You Recommend the Most?
“If you like the sand, the sand is clearly better on the West coast of Florida – the southwest coast of Florida,” he added. “If you like the water, the water is clearly better on the southeast coast of Florida.”
Even when the sun is directly shining on it, the sand on the West Coast is cooler because it is finer and whiter than the sand on the other coasts.
Best Places to Visit on Florida Gulf Coast
If you are seeking some of the best beach communities in Florida, the following selections are our recommendations. We’ll begin our journey in the northern part of the Panhandle and work our way south. Our list of destinations along the Gulf Coast does not include the Florida Keys.
This picturesque fishing community is a popular tourist attraction and the epicenter of the Florida way of life thanks to its location on Florida’s Emerald Coast. Because it is situated on a peninsula, the entire town offers stunning vistas of the water.
There is no need to search any further if you are interested in purchasing some seaside property in an area that provides excellent options for fishing, sailing, and other types of water activities, as well as golfing and shopping.
This region sees an influx of over one million visitors each year, and the Big Kahuna Water Park, HarborWalk Village, and Destin Commons are just a few of the attractions that draw them here. People come to sunbathe on the sugar-white sands at Henderson Beach State Park, which is considered to be the town’s crown jewel. The waters of the park are an emerald green color.
2. The Beach in Miramar
This community in the Florida Panhandle has convenient access to both Destin and Pensacola, making it an ideal location for those seeking an incredible beach lifestyle.
It is not a town in the traditional sense, but it does have its own zip code, and the people who live there believe it to be separate from Destin, which is located nearby. The fact that it is more domestic and less commercial gives it its own distinct allure.
The majority of beach communities develop naturally over time, while Seaside was purposely built to blend New Urbanism and coastal living. Brightly colored houses and quaint shops line the streets of Seaside, which were designed to encourage pedestrian traffic and exclude automobiles.
The film The Truman Show, which was famously shot in this location, showcases the area’s distinctive appearance. The beach and the numerous shopping opportunities are the two primary draws. The well-known Seaside Beach is a powdery white sand stretch that stretches for miles and is set against a backdrop of clear blue waters.
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Pavilions and cabanas can be seen all along the seashore. Due to the fact that this beach has been maintained to a large extent undeveloped, you won’t find any skyscrapers here –a striking contrast to the regular touristy beaches found in Florida! It is a popular vacation spot for families as well as couples traveling alone.
4. The Siesta Key
The beach on Siesta Key in Florida is consistently ranked as the best in the state. The sand in this area is composed of 99 percent quartz crystals, which makes it exceptionally comfortable to walk on and keeps it from becoming scalding hot in the summer.
Because it is of such exceptional quality, Dr. Beach has named it not once, but twice as the best beach in the entire country!
5. The Island of Saint George
If you’re looking for something that has more of an “Old Florida” vibe, Saint George Island is the place to go. This barrier island is 22 miles long and offers miles of scenic beaches, salt marshes, and amazing opportunities to watch animals.
Hikers, cyclists, swimmers, and anyone interested in bird watching are likely to find it to be an ideal destination because it is home to a variety of distinct ecological communities.
The low population density on Saint George Island is maintained in part by the presence of a number of state parks, one of which is Saint George Island State Park, which serves as a refuge for a wide variety of coastal plant and animal species.
6. Cedar Needle
This old fishing community in Florida has recently expanded its territory to include the Big Bend region, and it has become a destination on the Gulf Coast that is truly one of a kind. Despite having only 800 people living there, the town is really the second oldest in the state of Florida.
Despite the presence of the tourism industry, its location in a more rural part of the country makes it the ideal getaway for people who are looking to slow down the pace of their lives.
7. Tarpon Springs (Florida)
As we make our way south toward the Tampa Bay area, we will soon be in Tarpon Springs. This town has a significant amount of Greek heritage, which is evident in the architecture, the cuisine, and the festivals that take place all throughout the year.
This heritage is one of the most fascinating aspects of this town. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that the first Greeks settled in this area, making it one of Florida’s oldest Greek communities.
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St. Nicholas is the place to go if you want to learn how sponge divers harvest any of the 18 different kinds of sponges that may be found there. To get an up-close and personal look at the sponge diving procedure, you can go on a boat excursion that goes around the Dodecanese Boulevard region.
8. The Madeira Beach Area
Madeira Beach is an ideal alternative for individuals who want to be close enough to the excitement but don’t want to live in the hustle and bustle of other central Florida beach communities due to its location halfway between Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach.
The legend is that a pirate named John’s Pass was responsible for the founding of Madeira Beach, which is located nearby. The picturesque beach that stretches for about 2.5 miles and the stores that can be found in Johns Pass Village and along the boardwalk are the primary draws at this location nowadays.
It is regarded as the “Grouper Capital of the World” due to the fact that more grouper are caught here than anywhere else in the world.
9. The Beach in Pass-a-Grille
Pass-a-Grille is a little coastal hamlet on the southern tip of St. Petersburg’s barrier island, and it is both well-liked and frequently disregarded by people who aren’t familiar with its many allures.
Even though Tampa Bay and Clearwater Beach are only a short drive away, this area has a more relaxed and peaceful atmosphere because there is no traffic.
10. The Anna Marias
Anna Maria, the hamlet that sits atop the northernmost point of Anna Maria Island, is located on the other side of Tampa Bay. Two bridges that connect the island to the mainland during the busiest times of the year can clog up traffic.
Despite this, it is absolutely necessary to get there in order to experience one of Florida’s most stunning islands, which is seven miles long.
The Anna Maria Historic District is a wonderful spot to go shopping and dining because it was built in the early 1900s. Buildings designed in a coastal style and a thriving arts culture contribute to the charming atmosphere of the downtown area.
Nothing quite says “beach vacation” like kicking back and taking it easy on the warm sands of Florida’s Gulf Coast. Visitors in search of peace and quiet, as well as families on vacation with children, are drawn to this side of the coast, which is less crowded and bustling than its neighbor to the east, which is the Atlantic Coast.
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