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The beaches on the East Coast of Florida stand out not just because of their picturesque beauty, but also due to the variety and unique features they offer. This part of Florida boasts a significant number of world-class beaches, each with its own distinctive allure.
We’ve uncovered the hidden gems and crowd favourites of Florida’s East Coast to guide you to the perfect beach experience in this sun-drenched state. From the pristine, untouched shores of Amelia Island to the surfers’ paradise at Sebastian Inlet, there’s a beach for every type of traveller.
1. Palm Beach
Located in Palm Beach County, Palm Beach is a barrier island beach that is known for its calm waters and sunny shores. Palm Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Florida and a must-see for anyone visiting the East Coast. It’s famous for its palm trees and waterfront restaurants, making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy a meal with a view. There are also plenty of picnic areas available for those who prefer to pack their own food.
One of the most interesting things about Palm Beach is its history. The town was founded by Henry Flagler, who built the first luxury hotel on the island in 1894. Today, Palm Beach still remains a highly affluent area and was even ranked the 27th-wealthiest place in the US by Forbes in 2017. Many of the mansions built by Flagler and other wealthy families during the Gilded Age can still be seen along the beach.
The beach itself is great for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports like kayaking and paddleboarding. It’s also free to use and open to the public.
2. South Beach
South Beach is one of the most iconic beaches in the world and definitely one of the best beaches on the East Coast of Florida. Located in Miami Beach, South Beach is a great place to visit any time of the year, but especially during the summer months. It’s known for its lively atmosphere and is a popular spot for beach volleyball and live music.
Fun fact: South Beach was actually once a coconut plantation. In the early 1900s, John S. Collins and Carl G. Fisher purchased the land and began developing it into what would later become Miami Beach.
What makes South Beach so popular is its unique mix of art deco architecture, high-end shopping, and world-class dining. It’s a great place to people-watch and soak up the sun, but it’s also a great place to indulge in some retail therapy or enjoy a gourmet meal. There are also plenty of picnic tables and other amenities available for visitors to enjoy. South Beach is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to Florida and is definitely one of the best East Florida beaches.
3. Vero Beach
Vero Beach is home to some of the best family resorts on the East Coast and is perfect for those looking for a relaxing and peaceful beach vacation. This charming city has a lot to offer visitors, and the beach is easily accessible from the city, and only a two-hour drive from Orlando.
One of the most appealing aspects of Vero Beach is its natural beauty. The Indian River Lagoon runs parallel to the beach, and there are several nature trails that visitors can explore. The calm, clear waters of the lagoon make it an ideal spot for water sports, such as paddleboarding and kayaking.
Vero Beach is also known for its excellent fishing. The Indian River Lagoon is home to a variety of fish species, including snook, redfish, and tarpon. Visitors can book a fishing charter or rent gear and try their luck from the pier.
One of the most popular attractions at Vero Beach is the South Beach Park. This park features a playground, picnic areas, and plenty of parking. It’s a great spot for families to spend the day.
What makes Vero Beach stand out from other beaches is its laid-back atmosphere. Unlike some of the more crowded and touristy beaches in Florida, Vero Beach is peaceful and quiet. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic getaway or a relaxing family vacation.
4. Delray Beach
Delray Beach is one of the best beaches on the East Coast of Florida. It’s located in Palm Beach County and is just a short drive from Fort Lauderdale. We love Delray Beach because it offers something for everyone; whether you are a nature lover, a golf enthusiast, or simply looking a relaxing beach vacation.
This East Florida beach is known for its crystal-clear waters and pristine white sand. It’s also home to one of the best golf courses in the area. The Delray Beach Golf Club is a public course that offers 18 holes of championship golf.
Nature lovers will appreciate the nearby Wakodahatchee Wetlands. This nature preserve is home to a variety of bird species and other wildlife. It’s a great place to take a stroll and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
If you’re looking for other things to do in Delray Beach, there are plenty of options. The beach is lined with restaurants and shops, and there are also several museums and art galleries in the area.
5. Miami Beach
Miami Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world, and for good reason. Located on a barrier island off the coast of Miami, this beach boasts miles of white sand beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It was originally a mangrove swamp before it was transformed into the world-famous beach it is today.
Miami Beach is known for its vibrant nightlife, luxury hotels, and high-end shopping. The most popular part of Miami Beach is South Beach, which is famous for its Art Deco architecture and beach volleyball. The beach is also a hotspot for water sports such as jet skiing, parasailing, and paddleboarding.
One of the most popular attractions at this beach is the Miami Beach Boardwalk, which runs along the beach and is perfect for a stroll or bike ride. Miami Beach is different from other beaches in Florida because of its unique blend of culture, history, and beach life. The beach has been featured in many movies and TV shows, including the popular series Miami Vice.
6. Cocoa Beach
If you’re looking for a beach with a lot of history, Cocoa Beach is the perfect place for you. Located in Brevard County, Florida, Cocoa Beach is known for its hard-packed sand and white sandy beaches. It’s about an hour’s drive from Orlando, and you can get there by taking the Beachline Expressway (State Road 528) east.
Cocoa Beach is famous for being the home of the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It’s also known for its surfing culture, which dates back to the 1960s. The town even has a Surfing Museum that showcases the history of surfing in the area.
One of the most popular attractions at Cocoa Beach is the Cocoa Beach Pier. This 800-foot-long pier offers a variety of restaurants, shops, and activities for visitors to enjoy. You can fish off the pier, rent beach chairs and umbrellas, or take a surfing lesson.
Cocoa Beach is also home to a number of events throughout the year, including the Ron Jon Beach ‘N Boards Fest, which features surfing, skateboarding, and beach volleyball competitions.
It’s not hard to see why we believe it deserves a spot on our list of the best East Coast Florida beaches!
7. Fernandina Beach
In need of a quiet and peaceful beach getaway? Fernandina Beach in Amelia Island is the perfect destination for you. This Florida beach is located in northeast Florida, just a short drive from Jacksonville.
What sets Fernandina Beach apart from other Florida beaches is its rich history. The island was first inhabited by the Timucuan Indians, who were later replaced by Spanish settlers. During the Civil War, Fernandina Beach was occupied by Union troops, and many of the island’s historic buildings were destroyed.
Nowadays, Fernandina Beach is known for its pristine white-sand beaches and calm, shallow waters, which makes it an ideal spot for families with young children. The beach is also home to several nature trails, where you can explore the island’s natural beauty and wildlife.
One of the most popular attractions at Fernandina Beach is its historic downtown area, which is filled with quaint shops, restaurants, and galleries. The beach is also home to several annual events, including the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, a classic car show that attracts car enthusiasts from all over the world.
8. Daytona Beach
We couldn’t write about the best East Florida beaches without talking about Daytona Beach! This iconic beach is located in Volusia County, Florida, and is known for its wide, hard-packed sand that allows cars to drive on the beach.
Daytona Beach is a popular destination for spring breakers, families, and beach volleyball enthusiasts. The beach is home to several public beaches, including Al Weeks Sr. North Shore Park, Mary McLeod Bethune Beach Park, and Lighthouse Point Park Beach, to name a few.
One of the best things about Daytona Beach is that there is free parking available at most of the beaches. This makes it easy to spend a day soaking up the sun and enjoying the ocean without worrying about parking fees.
Daytona Beach has a rich history dating back to the late 1800s when it was a popular spot for automobile and motorcycle races. Today, the Daytona International Speedway is still a major attraction in the area. Visitors can take a tour of the speedway or attend one of the many races held throughout the year.
In addition to its racing history, Daytona Beach is also known for its beach volleyball scene. The beach hosts several tournaments throughout the year, including the National Volleyball League Championships.
9. Ft Lauderdale Beach
Ft Lauderdale Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Florida and is located in the heart of the city. It is known for its warm white sand and crystal-clear waters, making it a perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. We love this beach because it has something for all types of travellers, from beach volleyball and picnic areas to waterfront restaurants and scuba diving.
Ft Lauderdale Beach has a rich history dating back to the 1800s when it was a popular vacation spot for wealthy northerners. It was once known as the “Venice of America” due to its extensive network of canals and waterways. Today, it remains a bustling tourist destination that attracts visitors from all over the world, and the canals are still a popular attraction. Many visitors choose to take boat tours to explore the area.
One of the most popular attractions at Ft Lauderdale Beach is water sports. Visitors can rent jet skis, paddleboards, and kayaks to explore the waters around the beach. Scuba diving is also a popular activity, with several dive shops offering guided tours of the area’s coral reefs and shipwrecks.
And for those who prefer to stay on land, Ft Lauderdale Beach has several beach volleyball courts and picnic areas. There are also several waterfront restaurants that offer fresh seafood and other local specialties.
10. Atlantic Beach
Located in Duval County, Atlantic Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the East Coast of Florida. It is situated just 15 miles east of downtown Jacksonville and is easily accessible from the city. Atlantic Beach was originally known as “Mayport Beach” until it was renamed in 1900. The beach was named after the Atlantic Beach Hotel, which was built in the early 1900s and was one of the most popular hotels in the area.
Atlantic Beach is now known for its beautiful white sand beaches that stretch for miles, turquoise water, and nature trails. The beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. The waves are gentle, making it a great choice for beginners and families with children.
The star attraction at Atlantic Beach is Hanna Park, which is a 450-acre park that offers picnic areas, camping, and hiking trails. The park is also home to a freshwater lake, playgrounds, and a splash park for kids. The nature trails at Hanna Park are ideal for nature lovers and hikers, as they offer scenic views of the surrounding area.
11. Jacksonville Beach
If you’re looking for a fun and exciting beach experience in Florida, then Jacksonville Beach is the perfect destination for you. This beach is located in the heart of Jacksonville and is one of the most popular beaches in the area.
Getting to Jacksonville Beach is easy since it is located just 17 miles away from the city itself. You can easily drive there from the city or take a bus or taxi. Once you arrive, you’ll find plenty of parking lots available, so you don’t have to worry about finding a spot to park your car.
One of the top attractions at Jacksonville Beach is the golf course. If you’re a golf enthusiast, then you’ll love playing a round of golf on this beautiful course. You’ll also find plenty of picnic areas where you can enjoy a meal with your family or friends. And if you’re a fan of beach volleyball, then you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of courts available for you to play on.
12. Hollywood Beach
When you think of an ideal beach vacation, Hollywood Beach should come to mind. Located on a barrier island in Hollywood, Florida, this beach is a perfect destination for families and water sports enthusiasts alike. Hollywood Beach was first developed in the 1920s and quickly became a popular destination for Hollywood’s elite. It has undergone many changes since then, but still remains a top choice for tourists in the area.
Hollywood Beach is just a short drive from Miami and Fort Lauderdale, which makes getting here for a day trip pretty easy. Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted with miles of white-sand beaches and crystal-clear water.
One of the popular attractions at Hollywood Beach is the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk, which is a 2.5-mile-long pedestrian walkway that runs along the beach. It’s perfect for a morning jog or a sunset stroll. You can also rent a bike or take a Segway tour of the area.
Hollywood Beach is known for its wide variety of water sports activities. From jet skiing to parasailing, you can find it all here. If you’re looking for something more relaxing, there are plenty of picnic areas and beachside restaurants to enjoy.
13. Neptune Beach
Neptune Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Duval County, Florida. Located just east of Jacksonville, this beachfront city offers visitors a variety of activities to enjoy and attractions to explore. Neptune Beach is known for its variety of popular attractions. One such attraction is Pete’s Bar, which has been a local favorite since the 1930s. It’s the perfect spot to grab a beer, shoot some pool, and enjoy the company of friends.
Another one of the must-do activities at Neptune Beach, like most Florida beaches, is beach volleyball. There are several courts available for visitors to use, and it’s a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the beautiful scenery.
If you’re looking for a place to have a picnic, Neptune Beach has several picnic areas available. These areas are equipped with tables, grills, and other amenities to make your picnic experience enjoyable and comfortable.
14. Jensen Beach
Jensen Beach is one of our favorite beaches on the east coast of Florida. Located in Martin County, Jensen Beach is a peaceful and uncrowded beach that offers visitors a chance to relax and unwind.
One of the things that make Jensen Beach special is its commitment to protecting sea turtles. During nesting season, volunteers monitor the beach and protect the nests from predators. If you’re lucky, you might even see some baby sea turtles making their way to the ocean!
In addition to its beautiful beaches, Jensen Beach also has several nature trails that are perfect for hiking and birdwatching. The Indian Riverside Park is a popular spot for picnics and has a playground for children. If you’re looking for waterfront restaurants, we recommend the Dolphin Bar & Shrimp House, which has great food and a beautiful view of the river.
Jensen Beach is known for its laid-back atmosphere and family-friendly activities. One of the most popular attractions is the Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival, which celebrates the town’s history as the “Pineapple Capital of the World.” The festival features live music, carnival rides, and of course, plenty of pineapples.
15. Melbourne Beach
When it comes to laid-back beach towns with plenty of outdoor activities, Melbourne Beach is the go to. Beautiful beaches with warm white sand? Check. Nature trails and picnic areas? Check. And the best part, Melbourne Beach is just a 1-hour drive from Orlando or a 2-hour drive from Miami.
Believe it or not, Melbourne Beach was once a popular spot for pirate activity in the 17th and 18th centuries! You won’t find any pirates on this beach these days, but the variety of attractions and activities available here will provide for a day full of action.
Visitors to this beach should head to Sebastian Inlet State Park, known for its excellent surfing conditions and is a great place to watch the surfers in action. The park also has several nature trails that are perfect for hiking and birdwatching. The Barrier Island Center is another great choice for those who want to learn about the local wildlife and ecosystem of the beach. You can take a guided tour of the center or explore the exhibits on your own
If you’re looking for a more relaxing day at the beach, Paradise Beach & Park is a great option. This beach has plenty of picnic areas and is a great spot to watch the sunset. You can also rent kayaks and paddleboards to explore the nearby Indian River Lagoon.
16. Ormond Beach
Ormond Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the east coast of Florida. It’s located just north of Daytona Beach and is easily accessible from the nearby big city of Orlando.
This beach was once a popular location for car racing, and visitors can still see remnants of the old racetrack. Today, Ormond Beach is known for its natural beauty and family-friendly atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, including swimming, sunbathing, and fishing.
Ormond Beach is also home to several popular attractions, including the Ormond Beach Environmental Discovery Center. This centre offers visitors a chance to learn about the local wildlife and ecosystems and features several nature trails for visitors to explore. Another popular attraction is the Ormond Memorial Art Museum, which showcases the work of local artists.
We included Ormond Beach on our list of the best east coast Florida beaches because of its natural beauty, family-friendly atmosphere, and rich history.
17. Saint Augustine Beach
If you’re looking for a beach that combines rich history, nature trails, white-sand beaches, picnic areas, and waterfront restaurants, then Saint Augustine Beach is the place for you. This beach is located on Anastasia Island, just a few miles south of the historic city of Saint Augustine, Florida.
Saint Augustine Beach has a rich history that dates back to the 16th century when Spanish explorers first landed on the shores of Florida. The beach is named after Saint Augustine, the patron saint of Florida, who was martyred in the 4th century.
This beach is known for its wide, white-sand beaches that are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. The beach has a pier, a playground, fishing, volleyball courts, and plenty of restaurants and shops. You can even drive onto the beach if you have a four-wheel drive vehicle! There are also a few nature trails that run through the nearby Anastasia State Park, where you can rent kayaks, go paddleboarding, or just enjoy a scenic picnic. You can also enjoy a meal at one of the many waterfront restaurants that line the beach.
18. New Smyrna Beach
Located on Florida’s Central Atlantic Coast, New Smyrna Beach is one of our favourite beaches in East Florida. It’s a charming beach town that boasts a beautiful, white sandy shoreline, nature trails, and picnic areas.
To get to New Smyrna Beach, you can drive from Orlando, which is about an hour away. The beach is located approximately 15 minutes south of Daytona Beach. Once you arrive, you’ll find plenty of parking options, including free parking on the side streets.
New Smyrna Beach is known for its white-sand beaches, which are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and surfing. In fact, it’s one of the best surfing beaches on the East Coast. If you’re new to surfing, you can take lessons from one of the many surf schools in the area.
Aside from surfing, there are plenty of other things to do at New Smyrna Beach. You can take a stroll on the nature trails, which wind through the dunes and offer stunning views of the ocean. You can also have a picnic at one of the many picnic areas, which are equipped with tables and grills.
One of the most popular attractions at New Smyrna Beach is the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse. This historic lighthouse is located at the southern end of the beach and offers breathtaking views of the ocean and the surrounding area. You can climb to the top of the lighthouse for an even better view!
19. Jupiter Beach
We absolutely love Jupiter Beach! Located in Jupiter, Florida, this beach is easily accessible from West Palm Beach, which is just a 30-minute drive away. One of the things that sets Jupiter Beach apart from other beaches in the area is its nature trails. These trails wind through the beach’s natural dunes and mangroves, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to explore the area’s natural beauty.
If you’re looking for waterfront restaurants, Jupiter Beach has plenty to offer. The area is home to several restaurants that offer stunning views of the water, making it the perfect place to grab a bite to eat or a drink after a day in the sun. The beach also features several picnic areas, making it a great spot for a family outing.
Jupiter Beach is also known for its popular attractions, like the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum. This historic lighthouse was built in 1860 and is still in operation today. Visitors can climb the 105 steps to the top of the lighthouse for stunning views of the surrounding area.
If you want to see some wildlife, check out the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. This center is dedicated to the conservation of sea turtles and offers visitors the opportunity to learn about these amazing creatures.
20. Amelia Island Beach
If you’re looking for a beach that combines natural beauty and history, Amelia Island Beach is a great choice. Located in Nassau County, Amelia Island is a timeless destination with a mix of history and natural beauty. We love this beach because of its stunning white-sand beaches and miles of coastline.
One of the things that makes Amelia Island Beach unique is its location. The beach is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal Waterway, strong-currented Nassau Sound, and one of the East’s largest and deepest inlets, Cumberland Sound. Edged with natural Appalachian quartz beaches and framed by sand dunes and sea oats, Amelia Island’s shores have long been a source of beauty.
If you’re looking for things to do, there are plenty of attractions at Amelia Island Beach. You can take a nature trail hike, go kayaking, or enjoy waterfront restaurants. The beach is also known for its historic district, which includes the Amelia Island Lighthouse and Fort Clinch State Park.