Travel, Teach, Live in the USA and Canada
Florida is world famous for its' fabulous coastline and spectacular beaches. But when visiting Florida which beaches are absolutely "do not miss" fantastic? Well, with so many to choose from, any vacationer is spoiled for choice. Did you know that if you walked just one mile of Florida beach front every day, it would take you two and a half years to get around the entire state!
So where does a vacationer start? Well how about the Panhandle area and heading south along the west Coast? The Panhandle part of the Florida is also known as the Emerald Coast. There are 10 beaches of note in the Pensacola region, most notably Perdido Key. This barrier island is part of the Gulf Island National Seashore and is just west of Pensacola. Dr Stephen P Leatherman, better known as Dr Beach, has consistently classed Perdido Key within the top 20 beaches in the US.
Just East of the Pensacola region is the famous resort area of Fort Walton and Destin. Twenty-four miles of white, powdery beaches and crystal blue waters add to the outstanding natural beauty of the area. In fact the beaches are so breathtaking that Southern Living Magazine ranked them "Best Beach in the South" and the "Top Family Destination." A perfect spot for a family friendly vacation.
How about heading a little further southeast to Panama City? The area is also known as the "Wreck Capital of the South," so is a great choice for divers. There are many historic wrecks in the offshore waters just waiting to be explored plus 27 miles of white sandy beaches for swimming, snorkeling, shelling, boating and fishing.
Let's now head down further south and explore the west coast, otherwise known as the Gulf Coast. An absolute must is Fort De Soto Park, which is part of the St Petersburg/
Clearwater area. Ranked as the Number 1 Beach in 2005 in the entire US by Dr Beach, the entire park area covers 900 acres with the area crowned by 7 miles of unspoilt beach.
When visiting the Gulf Coast, no trip is complete without a stop in the Sarasota and Bradenton area. With 21 beaches of note in the area, it was a close call but judges in the "Great International White Sand Beach Challenge" announced in 1987 that Siesta Beach had the "finest and whitest sand in the world". This world famous sand is 99% quartz and is snow-white and feathery-soft.
Heading further south, any vacationer, especially a honeymooner, must stop at Lover's Key State Park, situated between Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Beach. With 2 miles of pristine sand, teeming with wildlife and nature trails through the park, this really is a quiet spot to savor. Ranked 4th best beach in the Florida by the Travel Channel on the cable network, you can even get married here on the beach at sunset if you so wish.
And so we reach the furthest point south before heading into the Everglades - Naples and Marco Island; also known as the Paradise Coast. If you want glamour head for Naples Municipal Beach and Pier. Fronted with multi-million dollar mansions, this is a piece of the high life for free. If you are looking for something a little more secluded, visit Barefoot Beach Preserve by Bonita Springs. It's a little known 342-acre park with just over 1 mile of natural beach. It is tucked away in a million dollar gated community but is open daily to the public.
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