Nothing says summer like a road trip to the beach. When that beach is in Florida, be prepared to be wowed, and very sweaty! Florida is home to a vast array of beautiful beaches, many of which are ideal for tourists in search of a safe and fun family beach vacation. When choosing a safe beach, it’s important to consider things like low crime rates, lifeguard presence, sheltered areas, clean water, gentle surf, and soft sand. Florida’s best beaches tick all of these boxes and more.
Whether travelers are hoping to revel in the calm, warm waters of a Gulf of Mexico beach on Marco Island or snorkel around the cooler, Atlantic beaches in St. Augustine or Fort Lauderdale, they’re sure to find a perfect beach to visit for their summer holiday. Here are the 10 safest beaches in Florida to visit in summer.
Things To Know About Traveling To Florida In Summer
Visiting Florida in the summer comes with both pros and cons. The upside includes lower prices on everything from airfare to hotel rooms, plus fewer people crowding the state’s beautiful beaches. The downside includes hot, humid weather, and the risk of hurricanes.
10/10 Venice Beach
Venice Beach is one of the best beach towns on the gulf coast of Florida. It’s also home to 14 miles of beautiful beaches. Its namesake, Venice Beach, is one of the best places to visit with inquisitive kids. Known as the “shark tooth capital of the world,” this pretty beach is a perfect place to hunt for these fossilized treasures.
As one of the most popular beaches in the area, there are plenty of facilities on hand to enhance a day-long stay. A fishing pier, boardwalk, restrooms, concession stand, pavilion, and beach volleyball courts make it easy to settle in for hours.
Also, a reef is located not far from shore, making this an optimal place to go snorkeling or scuba diving. Not a fan of underwater adventure? Look to the horizon; there are multiple dolphins and turtles who call this beach home and love to make an appearance.
9/10 Fort Lauderdale Beach
Lifeguards on duty at Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Fort Lauderdale is one of the most-visited cities in Florida, receiving over 13 million tourists each year. One of the city’s best attractions lies on its eastern shore—Fort Lauderdale Beach. While the city boasts 24 miles of silky, golden sand, this beach is one of the best beaches in Fort Lauderdale.
The sand here is clean and golden, stretching for seven miles. It is lined by palm trees and a lengthy boardwalk perfect for rollerblading, walking, or people-watching.
While on the beach, tourists can work on their tans, snorkel offshore, swim, fish, or bury each other in the sand. Lifeguards are on hand to be sure every visit is a safe one and there are plenty of picnic tables to enjoy a meal.
When hunger strikes, there is a variety of nearby restaurants to enjoy, as well as a bevy of shops. There’s no lack of great hotels in the vicinity either, so be prepared to stay for a night (or three).
8/10 Sanibel Island Beaches
Sanibel Island is the perfect place to visit to get away from it all. Those looking to unplug and unwind will settle in easily to this island’s laid-back lifestyle. Shelling is one of the best things to do on Sanibel Island, especially for those traveling with kids.
In fact, Sanibel Island has been deemed one of the best shelling spots in North America.
Bowman’s Beach is one of the island’s best beaches for shelling. A haven for families looking for a one-stop-shop for a fun day out, this beach boasts facilities like restrooms, showers, grills, and picnic tables, as well as a playground and a boat launch for kayaks and canoes.
Sanibel Lighthouse Beach Park is another winner when it comes to safe beaches. The sand here is soft, the water is warm and generally calm, and there’s a 19th-century lighthouse to use as a backdrop for selfies.
While on the beach, why not search for buried treasure? Rumor has it that the famous pirate, Black Cesar may have hidden his loot here.
7/10 Key Biscayne
Key Biscayne is an upscale barrier isle set just over 20 minutes off the southern coast of Miami, and it is often referred to as a Miami Beach. Its best feature is its elysian locale, sandwiched between two parks—Crandon Park to the north and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park in the south.
Both feature sheltered beaches ideal for families who like to splash safely by the shore.
The beach at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is an optimal place to enjoy fun water activities like kayaking, fishing, and snorkeling. It is also home to the iconic Cape Florida Light, which is the oldest standing structure in the Miami-Dade area.
Crandon Park Beach is the place to be for those in need of constant entertainment on their Florida beach vacation. This two-mile stretch of sand lies close to the park’s tennis center, golf course, nature center, and water sports rentals.
Everything from paddle boards to kiteboards to cabanas can be hired here. A bonus for families: the water is calm.
6/10 Fort De Soto State Park
In addition to being host to two of the safest beaches in Florida, Fort De Soto State Park boasts 1,136 acres of land and five islands to explore. An easy day trip from nearby Tampa, For De Soto can be reached in about 40 minutes. It takes only 20 minutes to travel to this fun beach from St. Petersburg, making it an easy summer road trip.
North Beach is the most popular beach on the isle. The area’s best beach for families, kids will spend hours running through the sand, climbing on equipment in the pirate ship playground, and splashing in the tidal pools.
The park boasts a ton of facilities, including concession stands, two swim centers, two fishing piers (one is under construction until Winter 2023), restrooms, and picnic shelters.
While in the park, be sure to visit its namesake, the historic, 19th-century fort.
Here, tourists can enjoy spectacular views, and they may even learn a thing or two in the park’s museum.
Bringing a pet? No worries. Dogs are welcome to run off-leash on specific areas of this dog-friendly beach, and they’ll love the Paw Playground.
The best time to visit For De Soto State Park’s beaches is on a weekday when it’s less crowded.
5/10 Siesta Key Beach
The beaches of Siesta Key are award-winners for multiple reasons. In addition to having some of the clearest water of all Florida beaches, these silky soft, white sandy beaches have been dubbed some of the most beautiful beaches on the East Coast.
Siesta Key Beach is the best beach for families, with plenty of land and water-based fun to be had, as well as concession stands, restrooms, a playground, a pavilion, tennis courts, and a free trolley.
The crystal-clear water at this beach is warmer than that found on the Atlantic coast, and it’s calmer, too, allowing families to wade into the surf safely.
Lifeguards are on duty and deputies from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office regularly patrol the beach, although there is rarely a need for them.
4/10 St. Augustine Beach
It’s easy for tourists to think they’ve arrived in a European town when they first step foot in St. Augustine. The oldest city in America, this captivating place is a haven for travelers who like to soak up old-world charm along with the sun’s hot rays. It’s also home to a slew of exciting things to do and 42 miles of gorgeous beaches.
Speaking of rays, the best beach in St. Augustine for sunbathing and playing is its namesake, St. Augustine Beach. The city’s main public beach, this is where tourists will find that soft, sandy shore they crave, as well as the large, St. Johns County Ocean Pier for fishing.
Families will enjoy the splash park, volleyball courts, and shaded pavilion, as well as the restrooms, and picnic tables. Lifeguards are on duty seasonally.
St. Augustine beach is pet-friendly, so bring your favorite four-legged family member. No one needs to be left behind at this safe Florida beach.
3/10 Clearwater Beach
Clearwater Beach has been dubbed one of the most beautiful beaches in the US, and it’s easy to see why. As its name implies, the water here is crystalline, and the sand is so soft it feels like walking on fine flour.
The beach stretches for miles and is wide enough to allow families and couples plenty of space to stretch out, play volleyball, or chase each other through the sand.
There are so many fun things to do in Clearwater Beach. Popular activities include swimming, kiteboarding, jet-skiing, paddleboarding, parasailing, and kayaking on the calm water.
Restaurants and hotels lie close by, as does the town’s top family attraction—the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
2/10 Cocoa Beach
There are plenty of fun things to do for families at Cocoa Beach. Set on a barrier island just south of Cape Canaveral, on Florida’s Space Coast, this Atlantic Ocean beach is one of the safest beaches in Florida to visit this summer. It’s also one of the top day trip destinations for those looking for a beachy escape from nearby Orlando.
Adventure seekers looking to hang ten will love the epic surf at this top Florida beach. In fact, Cocoa Beach was voted the best place to surf in America.
Don’t worry, those with little ones in tow can stick to the shallow water close to shore for a safe and fun swim.
1/10 Marco Island Beaches
Marco Island is a serene barrier isle located on Florida’s gulf coast. One of the safest cities in Florida, this idyllic isle is also home to miles of the softest, whitest sandy beaches, which are ideal places to visit with the family.
The island’s namesake beach is the most popular and therefore the most crowded. As such, San Marco Island Beach boasts amenities and plenty of parking to accommodate its many visitors. Head north to find a beachfront restaurant and less competition for a spot on the sand.
Shelling is a fun thing to do with the family at Tigertail Beach, as is spotting dolphins out from shore and digging in the sand. For those hoping to add kayaking and paddleboarding on a tidal lagoon to their trip, a visit to Tigertail Beach is a must.