Think South Florida and the Florida Keys and you think of sun, sea, and sand. Last year we were lucky to go on a road trip around this area, and visited the local beaches at any opportunity. We found beaches that are unspoilt and practically deserted. Read on to find out about the beaches we visited.
Last May I was lucky enough to visit South Florida and Key West. In a previous post I have talked about my love for South Beach in Miami, but we did a lot of traveling before reaching Miami, so I thought I would give you an overview of the other amazing beaches we visited.
This was the first place we arrived to after a very brief stop in New York. It is situated on the east coast of Florida, just up the coast from Miami. I think in my opinion, it is a much nicer beach than what you can find in Miami, it is quieter and cleaner for starters! The downside is it isn’t surrounded by the lovely Art Deco buildings like South Beach in Miami.
After our two days in Fort Lauderdale, we drove along Alligator to our next beach location, Naples, which is on the west coast of Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. The beaches are made up of lovely pristine white sand. In 2005, it was voted as the best beach in America by the Travel Channel. This is a great beach to visit, if you want to relax. The beach was really quite empty and there are no buildings that border direct onto the beach except people’s houses. There aren’t really any facilities, except the Old Pier, which is definitely worth a look. You can walk all the way to the end, with a constant line of fishermen along it’s length, trying to catch a bite. It was also only a few meters away from the pier that we saw our first dolphins of the holiday and so close to the beach! It was amazing!
We Drove from Naples up to Sanibel Island, again located on the Gulf coast of Florida. It is a barrier island, which means it has great sandy beaches and a large collection of shells washed up on the Island. There are lovely nature reserves on the island but equally great for just lying down and catching some rays. Sanibel beaches attract visitors from all around the world, partly because of the large quantities of seashells that wash up there, although I would recommend getting there early if you want to find large shells on the beach, as we couldn’t find any when we got there.
Bahia Honda State Park
Heading down from mainland Florida through the keys, you will find Bahia Honda State Park, which is found at mile marker 37 on the Overseas Highway. The park encompasses over 500 acres and an offshore island, which gives some of the best snorkeling and beachcombing in Florida. The beaches here are award winning and the historic Bahia Honda Rail Bridge is right next to the park, which was destroyed by a hurricane in 1935. We spent the afternoon on Calusa Beach, which is adjacent to the Bahia Honda Bridge. You can walk up along the bridge (as far as the massive gap).
The final beach we stayed at was South Beach in Miami, you can read more about it here Island in the Sun: South Beach, Miami USA
So that gives you an idea of some of the beaches in South Florida, they are all so lovely and we found really quite empty. I feel very lucky that we were able to visit so many during our little roadtrip!