While we'd take any excuse to jet to the Caribbean islands to get our beach fix, an equally beautiful, more cost-effective option resides right in the U.S., no passport required. Though Florida may be the spring break capital of America come March, the Sunshine State boasts a cool 1350 miles of coastline on both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, leaving plenty of room for under-the-radar destinations.
As Conde Nast Traveler points out, Florida is home to countless jaw-dropping white-sand beaches, many of which give the neighboring Caribbean islands or European beaches a run for their money. Read up on the publication's picks for the best beaches in Florida below, and consider booking a flight to the sunshine state for your next beach getaway.
Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin
"Here, cerulean water meets white sand with mounds of beautiful seashells. Accessible only by ferry from nearby Honeymoon Island State Park, this untouched, 3.5-mile-long island feels like a giant sandbar saved for the lucky few."
South Beach, Miami
"Beautiful people, flashy cars, and Art Deco architecture come to life on the 2.2-mile stretch of golden sand that comprises Florida’s most famous beach. The busiest—and most touristy—section runs parallel to Ocean Drive (between Fifth and 11th Streets), so locals tend to hang around the quieter patches of SoFi or on the 12th Street gay beach, a sea of Speedo-clad, sculpted beach bods."
Garden Key, Dry Tortugas National Park
"Reached exclusively by seaplane or boat, the main island of North America's most inaccessible national park houses Fort Jefferson, a circa-1846 coastal fortress, and some mind-blowing marine life off its coast. Snorkel among seahorses, sea turtles, and rainbow-hued tropical fish; head toward the west moat wall in search of moray eels and nurse sharks."
"Sitting between the confluence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico is a 524-acre beach park with some of the finest stretches of sand in the Florida Keys. At mile marker 37 of US-1/Overseas Highway, Bahia Honda is an essential stopping point on any road trip between Miami and Key West."
Siesta Key Beach
"This incredibly wide beach along the Gulf of Mexico flaunts 'the world’s finest, whitest sand'—more than 99% pure quartz, which keeps it cool even under blazing temps—and there's plenty of it to go around."