A sandy walkway leading to Smyrna Beach on a clear blue day

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Experience the Atlantic Ocean up close, whether you're looking for luxury and nightlife or for peace and quiet.


A historic lighthouse, the oldest standing building in Miami-Dade County, towers above the beach, and offers scheduled tours. Bill Boggs Cape Florida State Park

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Breathtaking sunrises, rolling dunes, slow crashing waves – there’s much to love about the shorelines of Florida’s east coast.

While the calm and serene Gulf Coast tends to get more attention for its treasured white sand and warm water, the Atlantic Coast beaches have that magical combination of ocean-side sea breezes, surf and large swaths of seclusion that keep visitors coming back again and again. From Fernandina Beach to Biscayne Bay, the best Atlantic Coast beaches all have at least two things in common: gorgeous views of the ocean from dusk until dawn and plenty of fun for the adventure seekers.

Along what is known as Florida’s “First Coast,” named so for being the first area of the state to be colonized, Jacksonville Beach has a famous fishing pier, a nearby golf course, waterside restaurants and other activities. Further south, Ormond Beach has a small-town vibe that hugs the sandy coastline, drawing those who like quiet walks on the beach, boutique shops, and friendly locals. For visitors looking for more excitement, Daytona Beach is just a 15-minute drive south and has all the thrills and attractions you’d expect from a destination beach favorite among college spring breakers, Bike Week riders and NASCAR fans attending the Daytona International Speedway events. Daytona is the quintessential Florida beach, with great waves for surfing, a boardwalk with rides and arcade games, free summer concerts and the ability to drive along the hard-packed sand.

In the southeast corner of the state, beautiful Delray Beach has a number of upscale resorts and restaurants, art galleries and annual festivals that make this a favorite among couples looking for a romantic getaway. And no trip to South Florida would be complete without a visit to Miami Beach and its pristine and colorful South Beach, known for its soft sand, turquoise waters and quirky characters strolling the shore. The area has one of the liveliest beach communities in Florida, lined by historic Art Deco buildings, top-rated restaurants, nightclubs and other cultural landmarks that set it apart from anywhere else in the country. However, if you’re looking for a unique spot that truly highlights the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean with the seclusion of Florida island life, make it down to Key Biscayne. The sliver of golden sand mixed with lush, green mangroves and wildlife make you feel like you’re worlds away from civilization despite being so close to action-packed Miami.