Horseback Riding at Amelia Island State Park

Florida's coastline offers a treasure trove of beach adventures, with mesmerizing experiences that range from tranquil to adrenaline-pumping.
Here, beachgoers are invited to enjoy a serene horseback ride by the surf; explore the colorful underwater world on a wade-in snorkeling expedition; and discover glorious beach hikes showcasing the state's diverse ecosystems. Thrill seekers can indulge in the excitement of surfing in sought-after breaks, master the art of harnessing the wind through kiteboarding, and experience the rush of parasailing or soaring above the coastline for breathtaking panoramic views.

Whether you’re looking for high adventure or laidback wonder, you’re sure to find it on this list of Florida beach adventures.

Horseback Riding on the Beach in Florida

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 enjoy horseback riding on the beach in Florida at:

beach adventure vacations

Hike the trail to the top of the old bridge at Bahia Honda State Park for jaw-dropping sights like this.

- Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA


Hiking Trails Everywhere

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:


Escape to a tropical paradise with Key West Seaplane Adventures.

- Peter Green Key West Seaplane Adventures


Beach Adventure Vacations: Take Flight

Nothing can make you feel more alive than experiencing beach adventure vacations 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.

Sebastian Inlet State Park beckons with famed breaks that include “First Peak” and “Monster Hole.”
-Visit Indian River County


Surfing: Catch a Wave

Consistent swells, warm waters, and a variety of surf breaks catering to different skill levels make Florida an ideal place to bring your board—or to learn to hang 10.

 Dry Tortugas National Park (Key West) offers pristine waters, a plethora of marine life, stunning coral reefs, and a rich history anchored by magnificent Fort Jefferson.


Offshore Snorkeling: Wade into Wonder

Florida is home to beaches where you can snorkel right off the shore: no boat needed. Just wade in to reveal a colorful underwater world of marine life and underwater ecosystems in shallow waters. It’s an easy way to appreciate the beauty of the ocean, and ideal for novice snorkelers.

  • In the Florida Keys, Bahia Honda State Park (Big Pine Key) delivers some of the best nearshore snorkeling in the Florida Keys, promising crystalline, turquoise water that’s a mere four to six feet deep, with vibrant sea life only a few hundred feet from shore.
    Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park (Key West) boasts clear waters and rocky areas along the beach. Expect to see diverse tropical fish, live coral, and if you’re lucky, rays and turtles.
    Sombrero Beach (Marathon) is a palm-fringed wonder with amenities that include bathrooms and a playground. The rocks by the shore provide shelter for marine critters of all varieties.
    Dry Tortugas National Park (Key West) offers pristine waters, a plethora of marine life, stunning coral reefs, and a rich history anchored by magnificent Fort Jefferson.
    Other Florida Keys options include Cannon Beach at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park (Key Largo), where artifacts from a 1715 Spanish shipwreck have been placed underwater for viewing; and Pigeon Key (Marathon), a historic wonder where you might see underwater remnants of building materials from the railway as well as schools of brightly-hued tropical fish.
  • Sited on Key Biscayne and mere minutes from Miami, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park beckons you to snorkel directly from its luscious white-sand beach. Though it doesn’t have a nearshore coral reef, you can see seahorses, baby queen conch, spotted rays and all sorts of minnows in the grass. The park also features a historic lighthouse with guided tours, restaurants, and trails and sea walls that are excellent for wildlife viewing.
  • In Palm Beach County, Riveria Beach and Singer Island are home to Blue Heron Bridge, famous for its macro marine life, including seahorses, pipefish, and other small creatures. Phil Foster Park provides an entry to the Blue Heron Bridge waters, featuring the shore-accessible Snorkel Trail, frequented by stingrays, eels, massive starfish, brightly-colored tropical fish and the occasional octopus or manatee. On the Atlantic, John Macarthur Beach Park encompasses nearly two miles of shoreline, with rocky outcroppings that host a fascinating array of sea life, including squid, tarpon, lobsters and sea anemones. Snorkeling equipment and dive flags can be purchased through the park’s gift shop. Ocean Reef Park provides another area option.
  • Pristine, historic Egmont Key State Park is accessible only by private boat or by ferry from Fort De Soto Park in St. Petersburg. You can wade into its blue-green waters—calm and shallow, perfect for beginner snorkelers-- from the shoreline to explore the waters around the ruins of the old fort, brimming with fish and other marine life.
  • St. Andrew's State Park in Panama City Beach promises snorkeling around its extensive rock jetties, rich with marine life that includes brightly-hued fish and sometimes small rays and turtles.
  • Snorkeling in Destin delivers captivating scenery both above and below the waves. The East Pass and Destin Jetties, near HarborWalk Village, function as man-made reefs that draw sheepshead, snapper, redfish, octopuses and hermit crabs. Not to be outdone, Henderson Beach State Park provides a vital nesting spot for loggerhead sea turtles, which lucky snorkelers might encounter in the water. And Norriego Point, a small peninsula lush with white sand, boasts protected jetties on its east side where you’ll find quiet waters for swimming and snorkeling.

Kiteboarding: Blown Away by Adventure

Consistent winds and ample coastline add up to an abundance of prime kite boarding spots in Florida.