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The best beaches in Florida, according to US News and World Report

An expansive view of a white sand beach with greenery leading up to the shore. One tree is seen on the left of the image.
Siesta Beach | Photo via Visit Sarasota

Florida is haven for beautiful beaches. The Sunshine State has received tons of acclaim on both its East and West Coasts for its white sand escapes. Dr. Beach consistently ranks Caladesi Island as one of the best beaches in America, and Siesta Beach has ranked as one of the top beaches in the world on Trip Advisor.

We’ve also enjoyed sojourns to beautiful places such as Anna Maria Island and Egmont Key State Park. US News and World Report has put out its own ranking of the best beaches in Florida, and it’s a pretty solid list as we plan our next spring break escape.

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Before we get to that list, we recently asked our followers their favorite beach in Florida. Here are the top 3 results from those submissions:

  1. Siesta Beach
  2. Longboat Key
  3. St. Pete Beach (specifically Pass A Grille)

With that out of the way, here are the top 5 beaches to visit in the state of Florida, according to US News and World Report:

aerial of a white sand beach with turquoise water
Photo via Visit Sarasota

Siesta Beach

Siesta Key sits off the coast of Sarasota on the Gulf of Mexico. It has long been considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Siesta Beach features 8 miles of white quartz sand and crystal-clear water, plus dining, shopping and nighttime entertainment. Thanks to the large parking area, concession stands, the free trolley to get around on the island, and nearby fun Siesta Key Village, you can plan your whole trip centered around this gorgeous Key without getting bored.

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You can see Siesta Beach for yourself right now courtesy of the LIVE Beach Cam.

Photo via Visit South Walton

Santa Rosa Beach

Stretching 26 miles along Florida’s northwest coast, Santa Rosa Beach is the place to go for sugar white sand, emerald water, top-notch dining and local art galleries and boutiques. Plus, the food trucks in the neighboring town of Seaside make for a fun and easy meal option. Enjoy sun bathing, bodysurfing, great food and stunning views in a quite beach town.

The area has even been named one of the “Best Beaches on Earth.” With art galleries, great dining, a brewery, theatre, state parks, and more, there’s a little bit of something for everyone in the town of Santa Rosa Beach. You can take a video tour of Santa Rosa Beach online.

Photo via Visit Florida

Marco Island

“Located about 20 miles south of Naples, Florida, and accessible via two bridges, Marco Island entices visitors with its unique mix of high-end resorts and unspoiled habitats,” writes US News and World Report. “Boating is a popular pastime here, and seafood lovers will find mouthwatering meals available at many local eateries.”

Of course, Marco Island’s spotless beaches are some of the best on the Gulf Coast. Tigertail Beach Park attracts vacationers looking to observe wildlife, search for seashells or rent kayaks, while South Marco Beach – populated with resorts and condos – offers plenty of space for sunbathing and swimming.

Watch a live stream of Marco Island to soak in some of the beautiful Florida rays.

Photo via City of Delray Beach

Delray Beach

Nicknamed Florida’s “Village by the Sea,” Delray Beach appeals to travelers who want the friendly atmosphere of a small town and the entertainment options of a large city. “The Wakodahatchee Wetlands and Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens can’t be missed, but nobody could blame you for heading straight for the beach,” writes US News and World Report.

The municipal beach is perfect for snorkeling and paddleboarding. Meanwhile, Atlantic Dunes Park offers a quieter beach experience in a tranquil natural setting. When you’ve had your fill of the beach, stroll down palm tree-lined Atlantic Avenue for upscale shopping and vibrant nightlife.

Photo via Visit Destin

Destin

Destin sits on the Florida Panhandle on the Gulf of Mexico and is home to stunning white sandy beaches, emerald green water, and often referred to as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”.

This beach town is known for its plentiful fishing, challenging golf courses, mouth-watering seafood restaurants, and incredible Gulf views. Destin Florida offers a wide variety of activities including parasailing, watersports, dolphin cruises, aquariums, theme parks, and more.

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