Top 10 bucket list beaches in Florida for summer 2021
The hottest beaches according to Google ratings
Summer is finally here! People are now ready to shed their sweats for a striking new bathing suit and turn up the heat this summer. But where should one head first with lifting restrictions, and what seems like unlimited possibilities? Holidu, the search engine for vacation rentals, set its mission to find out, starting with the must-visit beaches in Florida for this summer. Florida is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, which means there was fierce competition. This list will take you on a journey through white sandy shores, sparkling turquoise waters, and sprawling coastlines. Start creating your perfect summer bucket list now with Holidu’s top 10 best Florida beaches to help start your planning! These trendy picks were found using the Google database and the data highlighted that:
- Siesta Key Beach took first prize as the best-rated beach in FL for 2021
- Florida state parks dominate the list with 5 of the top 10 spots!
- Gulf of Mexico facing beaches reign supreme with the top 10 all located along its coast
1. Siesta Key Beach – 16,755 reviews – average rating: 4.8
This bustling beach town sits between Roberts Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Most known for its glistening turquoise waters and white, powdery sand, it makes it the ideal first stop to dive into your summer vacation. Take a dip in its warm waters or explore its vibrant beach bars and quirky cafés. You may even get lucky and stumble upon a professional sand sculptors competition, known to go on in the area. With an average rating of 4.8 on Google and a total of 16,755 reviews, Siesta Key Beach takes first prize in this ranking and should be at the top of everyone’s bucket list for 2021.
Image: Siesta Key Beach Credit bebatut via Flickr
2. St. Andrews State Park Beach – 5,751 reviews – average rating: 4.8
It is no surprise, the second on our list is Panama City’s, St. Andrews State Park Beach, with an average rating of 4.8 on Google and a total of 5,751 reviews. In the Florida Panhandle, this Gulf Coast beach is covered in fine white sand and crystal clear waters. Known for its untouched beaches and some of the most preserved dunes in the world, St. Andrews is the perfect place to unwind into a secluded nature oasis. Soak up the sun on its soft sand or take full advantage of being located in a state park. Because of this proximity, snorkeling, hiking, and kayaking are all available all within feet. With so much to do, you’ll want to make crossing St. Andrews off your beach list this summer a top priority!
Image: St Andrews State Park 2 Credit Craig Cameron via Unsplash
3. Henderson Beach State Park – 5,129 reviews – average rating: 4.8
Located in Destin, Florida, Henderson Beach is known for its winding nature trails, splendid emerald gulf waters, and its spectacular wildlife viewing. With over a mile of beachfront, there is plenty of space to spread out in this natural beach habitat and unwind on your next holiday. Meander through its preserved dunes and explore the local coastal plant communities. Even stay overnight on one of its 60 campsites. With paved bike routes, natural trails, and public picnic pavilions, this beach is a must-visit to check off your next beach adventure.
Image: Henderson Beach State Park Credit Beverly Hill via Flickr
4. Coquina Beach – 4,861 reviews – average rating: 4.8
Located in Bradenton Beach, at the end of Anna Maria Island, Coquina Beach is surrounded by the Gulf’s aqua blue waters. Equipped with picnic tables shaded by Australian pines and charcoal grills, you can create a beach barbecue feast complete with burgers, hot dogs, and crisp watermelon, and don’t forget your favorite cold beverage of choice. Forgot to pack food? You can also check out the lively Coquina Beach Café serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Look no further than Coquina Beach when planning your next bucket list stop.
Image: Coquina Beach Credit Carol VanHook via Flickr
5. Clearwater Beach – 4,213 reviews – average rating: 4.8
Right outside of Tampa, north of St. Petersburg, Clearwater Beach is a bustling beachside community with 2.5 miles of pristine white sand and picturesque waters. Dotted with laid-back restaurants, colorful cafés, and vibrant shopping, this beach destination is perfect for those who want to be in the mix without sacrificing stunning shores. Try jet-skiing, parasailing, or paddleboarding through its tranquil waters. Craving the nightlife? Check out Pier 60 as the perfect end to the day with their nightly festivals that are sure to provide a spectacular evening. Fall under the spell of Clearwaters charm and make it the next stop for your summer escape.
Image: Clearwater Beach Credit World Poker Tour Clearwater via Flickr
6. Pensacola Beach – 3,924 reviews – average rating: 4.8
Located towards the end of the barrier island of Santa Rosa, on the Emerald Coast it is no surprise its waters reflect the name. Take it easy on its renowned white sugar sand and splash in its mellow waters known for dolphin and sea turtle spotting. This charming beachside location is truly an island paradise. Located in the Florida Panhandle its warm temperate waters and sprawling shores make it the perfect getaway for your next vacation. Jetting out into the Gulf the Pensacola Beach Pier has unmatched sunsets and a panoramic view of the sun on the water. After the sun sets, see the city boardwalk light up the night. Make sure to check the towns calendars for local events to really experience all Pensacola Beach has to offer!
Image: Pensacola Beach Credit Fede Casanova via Unsplash
7. Grayton Beach State Park – 2,217 reviews – average rating: 4.8
Nestled between Panama City Beach and Destin, this beach is located in one of the most popular park’s in the state, stretching for 2,200 acres. Bend through nature trails and untouched dunes to arrive at this remarkable beachfront, glistening with white sand and salty waters. Spend the night under the stars in one of its campsites and take full advantage of the access to the park. Venture into pristine nature by hiking or canoeing along the backwaters of Western Lake. Or simply unwind on the polished sandy shores, soaking in the comforting suns rays. Grayton Beach is a must add to your summer shenanigans!
Image: Grayton State Park Sunset Credit acmcpix via Flickr
8. Navarre Beach Marine Park – 2,163 reviews – average rating: 4.8
Located on Santa Rosa Island, this beach is home to the longest pier in Florida, jetting 1,545 feet into the Gulfs sparkling waters. This location is so marvelous, people even choose to host their wedding ceremonies directly on the beach. Equipped with clear waters and its own artificial reefs, this area offers a prime spot for snorkels and subdividers to take a closer look at this marine sanctuary. Explore the shores hunting for colorful shells and crunch your toes into the soft sand. Even educate yourself on the local wildlife at one of the Marine Science Station located in the park. Navarre Beach will not disappoint as your next paradise vacation spot.
Image: Navarre Pier Credit Britt Reints via Flickr
9. Caladesi Island State Park Beach – 1,977 reviews – average rating: 4.8
Located on Caladesi Island along the gulf coast and across from the St. Joseph Sound, you can only arrive to this secluded beach by ferry or private boat. This unique beachfront is on one of the very few to be located on a completely natural island on Florida’s Gulf Coast. But fear not, this natural beauty is still equipped with everything you need for a relaxing trip. Spend your day boating, hiking, and even breaking up the day with a summer barbecue. Watch the gentle waves creep up the soft white sand to tickle your feet, or stay active with a 3-mile hike through untouched nature trails. It’s draw dropping beauty will make the trip entirely worth it.
Image: Caladesi Island State Park Credit rcgtrrz via Flickr
10. St. George Island State Park Beach – 1,749 reviews – average rating: 4.8
Located in one of Florida’s stunning State Parks, on St. George Island, this natural beachfront stretches for nine miles, and its undeveloped coastline is the ideal spot to relax. Away from the crowds, soak in the sun on this secluded beach or stroll along its shores collecting unique shells. Situated between the Gulf of Mexico and Apalachicola Bay, it makes it the perfect spot to rent kayaks, fish, or take a dip in its transparent waters. Enjoy the benefits of its proximity to nature and spend the night at one of its 60 modern campsites, perfect for the whole family. St. George Island beach is another strong contender for your beach bucket list for this summer!
Image: St George Island State Park Credit Eric Vaughn via Flickr
Discover the rest of the ranking in the table below:
The study was conducted using the Google Maps database and searching for the word “beach” in all of Florida’s counties. Out of the more than 30,000 results we initially obtained, we manually filtered all the results that were not beaches. We then compiled a ranking based on the beaches most voted by users, giving priority to those with the most reviews. Beaches with less than 1000 reviews were not considered.