Looking to spend some time in the Florida sunshine this year, but also hoping to save some green? The following destinations are trending up, extremely popular, but also affordable compared to hot spots like Miami Beach or Clearwater. Consider one of the following beach havens for your summer trip to Florida:
Siesta Key is a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Sarasota, Florida. It’s known for its sandy beaches and friendly locals. Fine white sand and gentle gulf breezes keep visitors coming back year after year. An ideal escape for a couple looking for romance, or a family looking to escape the Disney or Panama City crowds. Prevalent sunshine and gentle coastal breezes should be expected daily. Sounds incredible, right? Well, it is. With well over 300 sunny days per year, you’d be hard pressed to visit Siesta Key at a “bad time”. Low humidity makes the area comfortable, as well as warm. Bring your sunblock to protect against UV rays and don’t forget a few pairs of swim trunks, as the warm gulf waters are perfect for boogie boarding and bodysurfing.
Grab your beach chair, your sunblock, and your volleyball set and come to Marco Island. For those who love the sand and the sun, while also staying out of the craziness of Florida’s “traditional” locales, Marco Island can’t be beat. Along with nearby Naples and The Everglades, this area is dubbed the “Paradise Coast” and with good reason. Next time you’re looking for fun and sun in Marco Island, skip the traditional beachside hotel and opt for one of our Marco Island vacation rentals instead.
The largest of Florida’s “Ten Thousand Islands” Marco Island is also the most developed of the group. Luxury resorts, well-manicured parks, and flawless beaches dot the landscape. The turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico provide endless entertainment and relaxation. Hunt for seashells while you pack together sand for the perfect castle. Take a fan boat through the Everglades to experience southern Florida’s amazing ecosystem.
Sunny, friendly Islamorada is a smart choice for those who want a quiet escape away from the hustle and bustle of the major Florida hot spots. Located between Mile Marker 91 and Mile Marker 74, Islamorada is situated halfway between Miami and Key West along Florida’s scenic Route 1. Islamorada itself is spread out over six islands, each surrounded by tranquil ocean and soft sands.
Getting here from Miami International Airport or Key West Airport is easy with a rental car, and the views on Route 1 and connecting bridges are incredible. Worth the drive! Once you’ve arrived, island hopping via boat is a fun way to see the entire area. Named by early Spanish explorers, Islamorada literally translates to “purple isles” – a nod to the colors one might see during one of the legendary sunsets.
In the middle of it all, but offering a world of its own. Treasure Island has the sandy beaches, family-friendly attractions, and unique restaurants that are usually reserved for the big name Florida locales. Here, you’ll have the privacy and relaxation you crave, plus the endless sunshine promised by a stay on the Gulf Coast. Treasure Island got it’s name from a hotelier with a flare for the dramatic. He buried a “treasure” in the sand, then “discovered” it and told anyone who would listen. The name stuck. Visitors love its central Gulf Coast location. Treasure Island is just a short drive from St. Petersburg and Tampa and Central Florida’s major theme parks.
A mere 20 minutes from Bradenton, laid-back Anna Maria Island awaits. What feels like “old” Gulf Coast Florida with strict business regulations, little to no car traffic, and a peaceful way of life. That’s right, you won’t find any chain restaurants or high-rise, view-blocking buildings here. And oh, the beaches! A seven-mile strip of beautiful white-sand beaches line the barrier island of Anna Maria Island between the turquoise Gulf of Mexico and peninsular Florida. It won’t be difficult to unwind here.
Ever been to Florida’s Central Atlantic Coast? Think white sandy shorelines and charming little beach towns. You’ll find all that and more in New Smyrna. This area is rooted in local culture and that shines through in the cozy downtown area with shops, art museums, and coastal architecture galore.
Your family will enjoy discovering the hidden adventures offered here, like the drivable beach, eco-tourism, and unique history. NSB was settled way back in 1768 by a Scottish physician and 1,000 Spanish settlers who intended to grow indigo, sugarcane, and hemp. The area really took off in 1892, when the famously entrepreneurial Henry Flagler provided rail service to the town and a resort boom was born.
Step back in time to another “Old Florida”-type in Miramar Beach. Scenic beach roads, quaint surf shops with chill owners, and gorgeous beachfront rentals. Search for a place with panoramic views, you’ll want them of the sugar white sands and friendly families out on the water. It also has ultra-modern amenities and activities that are ideal for family fun. Spend the day enjoying jet ski rentals, parasailing and endless shopping opportunities at one of the nation’s largest designer outlet centers, Silver Sands Premium Outlets.
Warm weather, soft beaches, and incredible shelling opportunities await visitors to Sanibel Island. It’s the perfect spot to relax and enjoy Florida’s beauty. The island boasts over 400 different shell species, making it a premier spot for finding rare beauties. Sanibel’s geographic location makes it ideal for shelling. There are endless activities out on the water, like kayaking, boat tours, and golf.