The waves roll into Fort Myers Beach in Florida
Overlooked Florida Beaches To Visit For A Budget-Friendly Vacation
An hour northeast of Orlando in New Smyrna and comprised of 17 miles of soft, sandy beach, the sandbars create ideal surfing swells year-round.
New Smyrna Beach
People watch on the boardwalk, go body boarding, and cruise a 4x4 on the sand, but note that it has been named the country's most dangerous beach for swimming due to shark attacks.
In Port St. Joe, about 48 miles south of Panama City, this hidden gem is often called a "forgotten" beach and is ideal for a romantic holiday.
Cape San Blas
With 20 miles of sand, tall dunes, and marshland in its state park, you can stroll hand-in-hand along the beach, kayak through the waves, or snorkel offshore.
Set on a barrier island just west of Dunedin, reaching this serene spot by boat or ferry for an idyllic and unspoiled beach with amenities is easy.
Caladesi Island State Park
Over three miles of water trails lead kayakers and canoers through lush mangrove tunnels bursting with wildlife. Follow the island's nature trail to a historic homestead.
On Estero Island, this tranquil beach spans over seven miles to lounge, build sandcastles, practice body boarding, or swim in the azure waves of the Gulf of Mexico.
Fort Myers Beach
Kayaking, windsurfing, beachcombing, and fishing are also popular activities, and plenty of restaurants are nearby. Parking is available and costs $5 an hour.
This Gulf Coast gem is a collection of beaches that span 18 miles of coastline, hugged by crystal clear and turquoise water, accessible by a bridge from Pensacola.
Pensacola Beach
An entertaining place for the family, you can fish off Fort Pickens Fishing Pier, head out on a boat cruise, or play all day in the Adventure Park at Laguna's Beach Bar and Grill.
There are two designated dog areas and a free, open-air trolley that runs from 4 p.m. to midnight between Memorial Day and Labor Day.