Ride, Hike or Fly Florida’s Beaches


It’s the stuff dreams are made of. Watch dolphins frolic in the waves from the back of a beautiful horse; explore trails that wind through primitive forests, towering dunes and along the surf; or fly above vast stretches of sugar-like sand and emerald-hued waters in a nimble plane.

You don’t have to dream anymore. Snag the Insider scoop on these sweet shores where you can get some sand in your boots, under your sandals, or even below your wings.

Hoof It

Horseback riding on the beach is a pleasure for all the senses. You can tangle your fingers through your mount’s mane, breathe in the air’s salty perfume, and watch for dolphins arcing from the waves – all at the same time.  You can enjoy this adventure on:

If you have your own horse, you can also ride at:

  • Canaveral National Seashore, the longest undeveloped beach on Florida’s East Coast.
  • St. Augustine, Ponte Verde and St. John’s County beaches, which offer 30 miles of horse-friendly coastline.

Hike It

The rhythm of the surf, the sky stretching above in an endless canvas, and the simple joy of walking combine for the perfect potion to soothe your soul. Florida’s spectacular beach hikes include:

  • Blackrock Beach in Big Talbot Island State Park, a unique Atlantic shoreline heaped with dark rocks and the enormous, bleached skeletons of live oaks.
  • The trails of St. Joseph Peninsula State Park on Cape San Blas, a pristine wilderness featuring towering, snow-white dunes.
  • Dunedin’s Caladesi Island State Park, a remote paradise accessible by ferry that offers virgin pine forests, dunes, and an award-winning beach.
  • The trails of Blowing Rocks Preserve, a sanctuary perched atop a dramatic, rocky shoreline in Hobe Sound.
  • The path to the old bridge at Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys, where you’ll be rewarded with a gasp-inducing-view of the broken bridge as well as a splendorous one of the entire island.
  • Lovers Key State Park in Fort Myers Beach, where sun-dappled trails, a maritime hammock and a shell-strewn beach await visitors.

Fly It

Nothing can make you feel more alive than experiencing the beach from the sky. View immense sweeps of sand, water and sky, and the heavenly palate where they meet. Check out these Florida beaches where you can taste the toe-tingling exhilaration of soaring above it all.

  • Explore Florida’s Space Coast in an authentic WWII-era open cockpit biplane with Merritt Island’s Florida Biplanes. The plane accommodates two passengers per flight, so you can experience this hair-rippling adventure with a friend or family.
  • Panhandle Helicopter, located in Panama City Beach and Destin, offers you the opportunity to snag a bird’s eye view of dolphins, stingrays, and sea turtles on the Miracle Strip Tour, or experience the wonder of Panama City Beach on the Shell Island Tour. Make sure to bring your camera if you opt for the Shark Run Tour, where you’ll shiver at the numerous sharks swimming below its crystal-clear, turquoise waters.
  • Spot sharks, dolphin, turtles and even shipwrecks in an unforgettable, low altitude flight with Key West Seaplane Adventures. You’ll fly from Key West to Dry Tortugas National Park, where you’ll circle Fort Jefferson before gliding to a smooth landing on the water. After beaching the airplane, you’ll enjoy the delights of the remote island.
  • Marvel at the beauty of Miami’s coastline, complete with tropical islands, skyscrapers, and waterfront mansions. Miami Seaplane Tours offers a broad gamut of scenic flight air tours, so you’ll be sure to find one that will tickle your rudders. They can even whisk you away to the island of your choice on your own time. 
  • Naples Air offers you unprecedented views of pristine beaches, sea life and awe-inspiring houses, as well as the Everglades and the 10,000 islands. Choose a wind-in-your-face flight in their open cockpit biplane, or a comfortable one in their Cherokee 6, complete with lots of windows. For the ultimate romantic date, indulge in a sunset champagne flight.

Sponsored listings by VISIT FLORIDA Partners

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