Sandy Escapes: The Top Five Beaches to Get Away from It All

By: Lauren Tjaden


Imagine it.

No sounds of cars or planes or crowds assaulting your ears, just the melody of the waves lapping against the shore and the occasional cry of an Osprey. Your feet unburdened by shoes, enjoying the cool roughness of the sand wedging between your toes. Your eyes, soothed by the sea and sky blending together, stretching farther than you can see.

The Sunshine State boasts beaches with action, crowds, excitement and parties galore. The following destinations are not among them. These beachesin every corner of the stateare unapologetic escapes, places where a soul can draw a deep breath and reconnect with nature or family and friends.

  • Emerald gulf waters and Western Lake (a stunningly beautiful coastal dune lake) make pristine Grayton Beach State Park in Northwest Florida an ideal place to relax – or hike, kayak or YOLO board, if you’re feeling ambitious.
  • Admire the stars and be soothed to sleep by the surf at Huguenot Memorial Park. This Northeast Florida retreat boasts more than 70 primitive campsites on a 295-acre, horseshoe-shaped peninsula surrounded by the Fort George Inlet, the St. Johns River and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • A hidden jewel on the Treasure Coast is Martin County’s Blowing Rocks Preserve and Marina, a barrier island sanctuary located just north of West Palm Beach. It boasts natural habitats, beach dunes, limestone geysers, a boardwalk, nature trails, butterfly gardens, art and educational exhibits and guided tours. At high tide, waves smash into the limestone rock formations – the biggest on the Atlantic coast – blasting water as high as 50 feet through the holes in the rock.
  • Captiva Island (by Fort Myers in Southwest Florida) features a quirky little village, an award-winning beach, plus unusual restaurants and unusual shops – and it would be hard to find any place that’s quieter. I could go on and on, but it’s probably better if you just read this VISIT FLORIDA article about it and also check out info about it on the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau website.
  • In central Florida on the Atlantic Coast’s Cape Canaveral, captivating Playalinda Beach is truly remote. It’s rich in natural beauty, with an abundance of wildlife, dunes, foliage – and nary a building in sight. For more info and pictures check out this blog written by David McRee, former VISIT FLORIDA Beaches Expert.

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