Where to Ride, Hike or Fly on Florida Beaches

By: Lauren Tjaden

Want to watch from the back of a horse as dolphins frolic in the waves? Explore trails that wind along the surf? Soar above vast stretches of sugar-sand in a nimble plane? You can experience all that and more on Florida’s beaches.

Hoof It

Saddle up on the golden-hued sands of Amelia Island for an unforgettable adventure. Credit: Kelly Seahorse Ranch

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

Escape to a tropical paradise with Key West Seaplane Adventures. Credit: Peter Green Key West Seaplane Adventures

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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