Editor's Note: This article was written before the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian in September 2022. Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by this storm. We know Southwest Florida will be back better and stronger than ever, and we can't wait to write about their next chapter.
One of the most popular reasons many Baby Boomers choose to retire to Florida is that, regardless of where they choose to settle down, there is likely to be a great beach within driving distance.
With great sunrises along the east coast and spectacular sunsets along the Gulf Coast, as well as pristine white sand everywhere, beaches are one of the biggest advantages of life in Florida.
Here are some of Florida's best beaches nominated by our readers:
Sanibel Island is the type of place you dream about when you think of the words “peaceful Florida beach”. Everything in and around Sanibel Island promotes a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere. One of the big attractions here is that Sanibel is one of the “Shell Islands”. This is one of the best spots in all of Florida to find intact seashells, so make sure you bring your bucket.
Siesta Key is another Florida beach that has a relaxed island feel to it. The beaches here are known for having some of the finest white sand in anywhere in the country. Matching the atmosphere, the water here is incredibly calm. There are also some great restaurants in the area making this a great place for a day at the beach followed by a romantic sunset dinner.
Located along a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, Clearwater beach is also known for having incredibly fine white sand. Because of its proximity to Tampa, there are more things to do here for the active beach-goer. Activities like fishing charters, dolphin cruises, and parasailing are very popular in this area. For the best grouper sandwich you'll ever eat in your life, visit Frenchy's Rockaway Grill.
Just north of Boca Raton, you will find Delray Beach. This charming little beach community that makes for a great family destination along the east coast of southern Florida. The beach is a great spot for swimming and building sand castles, and the community surrounding the beach adds to the experience with boutique stores and great restaurants.
New Smyrna Beach
New Smyrna Beach is where you will find some of the best surfing in all of Florida. It is located just a bit south of Daytona Beach and is an extremely popular destination for people living all over Central Florida. If you've ever wanted to learn how to surf, this would be a great place to get started. But beware, in addition to surfing, New Smyrna Beach is also known as the shark attack capital of the world.
Atlantic Beach is one of the most popular options for those located in the northern part of Florida. Just a short drive east of Jacksonville, Atlantic Beach is yet another beautiful white sand beach that is part of a charming beach community. In addition to the beach, visitors also love the great restaurants and shopping in this little beach town.
While South Beach might be the more popular beach destination in Miami, many Boomers will prefer the calm serenity of Cape Florida on Key Biscayne. The beach is part of a state park, so it is kept very clean and there are bathrooms and showers available. There is also a great restaurant and the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse to visit.
What is YOUR favorite Florida beach? Let us know in the comments below…