Florida’s a popular place for vacationers and families both with its waving palm trees and inviting waters. However, for those of you looking to leave the little ones behind, or to run away from responsibility, I’ve got a few finds to mention to you.
Tourist traps and thrilling theme parks are all well and good but when you’re looking to avoid rampaging children, frantic adults and street side heckling, fear not! You’ve got options, now.
The following are only five of Florida’s lesser known, easily lovable beaches to bury your worries like your toes in the sand.
Fort Desoto State Park, West Coast
Tampa tourists can have their Busch Gardens and crowded beaches – this island park is swamped in a sugarcoat of sand that’s brimming with shells and tickled by shallow water. 900 acres of lush vegetation, smooth sand and warm water provide a local paradise too often missed by tourists flocking into Tampa FL. Take a bike trail or nature path and weave your way into privacy, and don’t forget to bring Fido – the leash free policy is popular with the locals, who have dubbed the beach Paw Playground.
For fishing or surfing, this is the place to be – on the east coast, these turquoise Caribbean waters will have plenty to keep you occupied. If you’re not a fan of fishing rods or surfboards, stroll the beaches known to be a major sea turtle nesting area, as well as a welcome home to an impressive variety of birds. Bottlenose dolphins and manatees mingle with the visitors who easily share the stretch of pristine beach with amassing surfers and fisherman who often land catches bigger than the boaters. While you’re here, get your “booty” over to the McLarty Treasure Museum that houses genuine gold, silver, and treasure from pirate salvages in Florida waters. The collection of exhibits itself is on the site of a shipwreck survivor camp dating back to the 18th century.
Pass-a-GrilleBeach, West Coast
Part with St. Petersburg long enough and you’ll find yourself peacefully secluded to the very end of the peninsula. Climb into a beach cruiser and scour the sandy lanes for art studios, houses with their own history, and a variety of eateries. If you tire of the two blocks from the bay to the broad white beaches, visit Eighth Street, Pass-a-grille’s main stretch of boutique buys and cafes.
Southern hospitality meets islander laidback leisure at this seaside snuggling, little known hotspot. Resulting from Henry Flagler’s purchase of the local railroad in 1899, sand dunes stretch out beneath beach cruisers, wildflowers and homey households. Daytona and Cocoa Beach can’t compete with the serene sand and warm waters perfectly packed for biking or the surfers who dare the rumored “best break” nearby Mayport Naval Station. New York pizzas and local java jumpstarts are just a taste of the lively nightlife and delicious dining in a town worth all tireless admiration and the trip.
Lose the pretentiousness and deep pocketed preferences of Palm Beach, as well as your worries in sand dunes so well preserved. Seagrapes stretch out an inviting beckon to those bold enough to forgo yachts and yuppies in Ft Lauderdale – instead, find boutiques and sidewalk bistros. Tapas, seafood, and mojitos give this town just as much character and convenient comfort you’d find in the fast-paced, fashionable city spots. Even this little beach town has a touch of historical significance with its oldest residence, the Sundy House, registered on the National Register of Historic Places; fancy a splurge and take a swim in freshwater teeming with tropical fish, a little something special.
These beaches are only a few of the fantastic places to be seen and discovered in Florida – don’t forget to tell us about your favorite, secret spot and story. Find someplace special with your sweetie, seaside snuggling beachtown or otherwise, we’d love to hear about it!