Florida beaches are world famous for their constant sunshine, swaying palm trees and white sand, which only leaves you asking yourself one question: Atlantic Coast or Gulf Coast? The choice between the two coasts is largely a matter of personal preference. Each coast has a long list of positive qualities to recommend and enjoy. In many ways, the eastern and western coasts of Florida are similar. But there are also key differences that may lead your family to choose one side over the other.
Atlantic Coast Beaches
On the Atlantic Coast of beautiful Florida beaches, sparkling water and a laid back lifestyle await you. From relaxed and budget-friendly coastal towns, to pricey resort communities, the Atlantic Coast is an easy place to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Daytona Beach is one of the world’s most famous destinations for families, spring breakers, and racing enthusiasts alike. Driving time: about 1 hour, 7 minutes
Coco Beach is one of the more affordable holiday spots in all of Florida, there is no shortage of fun and exciting things to do and see in and around the area, perfect for quality family time. Driving time: about 1 hour, 5 minutes
New Smyrna has boomed in the past few decades changing from a sleepy beach town with dirt and gravel roads to a thriving coastal community that has maintained its small town charm. Driving time: about 1 hour, 8 minutes
Melbourne Beach is a family beach that you can find serenity and peace of mind while your children are playing in the sand. Perfect to do exactly what is intended at the beach; lay down, relax, build some sand castles and take a dip in the warm water. Driving time: about 1 hour, 24 minutes
Gulf Coast Beaches
You can find a quiet stretch of beach on a private island to call your own or spend the day at one of the many crowded beach bars along the shore. Explore out the museums and charming historical sites, or explore the untamed wilderness in the numerous natural attractions. Whatever you’re looking for in a sunny family vacation, Florida’s Gulf coast has got it.
Clearwater Beach is a popular spot for active families. Filled with beach activities, golf, shopping, and great restaurants, Clearwater also has a diverse cultural heritage. Expect to find museums, playhouses, festivals, and an extensive park system as well. Driving time: about 1 hour, 59 minutes
St Petersburg is the cultural hub of the Gulf coast with nationally renowned museums, performing arts centers and galleries. The St. Petersburg Pier contains a small aquarium, shopping, adventure activities, and both casual and fine dining restaurants. Plus, this beach averages 360 days of sunshine a year it’s hard to imagine a better place to escape.
Tampa has everything you could want from a Florida family vacation: water, sunshine, sports, the arts, and lots of fun amusement parks. A visit to Busch Gardens or the Florida Aquarium is a must, a little shopping and attend a sporting event or two will complete your time at this great beach.