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Note: All travel is subject to frequently-changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state, and local advisories before scheduling trips. 

When it comes to taking a beach vacation in Florida, there’s really an overwhelming abundance of options. But each part of the Sunshine State’s nearly 700 miles of beaches has its own identity, whether it’s the wave-riding culture of the Surf Coast, the wild beauty of the Nature Coast, or the coveted turquoise waters and chic hotels of the Gold Coast. Wondering which Florida coast is the best fit for your next trip? Use the infographic below to find out!

RELATED: 7 secluded Florida islands, and how to access them







With nearly 700 miles of beaches, Florida has a slice of coastland to fit every vacation style. Whether you’re seeking thrills, culture or just a better tan, here’s a guide to discovering your coastal counterpart.


Emerald Coast

College students and families alike flock to this spring break destination that includes Destin and Fort Walton Beach. One look at the turquoise waters, and you’ll see how the area got its name.

DON’T MISS: HarborWalk Village


Historic Coast

With bragging rights as the oldest city in America, family-friendly St. Augustine is a dream getaway for history buffs. Visit in winter to see the old-world architecture lit up for Nights of Lights.

DON’T MISS: Castillo de San Marcos


Space Coast

If your favorite ice cream flavor is astronaut, then blast off to Florida’s mid-Atlantic coast to catch a summertime rocket launch from Cape Canaveral.

DON’T MISS: Brevard Zoo


Nature Coast

Outdoorsy types will fall for this autumn and winter destination whose wide open spaces are perfect for hiking, biking and paddling sans humidity.

DON’T MISS: Weeki Wachee Springs State Park



With beaches, pro sports, world-class museums and animal parks, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area attracts families and retirees seeking springtime fun.

DON’T MISS: Salvador Dalí Museum


Forgotten Coast

This low-key corner of the Panhandle is ideal for a spring or fall couple’s getaway, stress-free family vacation or oystering in Apalachicola Bay.

DON’T MISS: Cape St. George Lighthouse


Treasure Coast

Ship-wrecked coins are a rare find these days, but there are still plenty of golden opportunities for a laid-back summertime beach trip to Vero Beach, Hutchinson Island or Jupiter.

DON’T MISS: Navy SEAL Museum


Surf Coast

Summer brings a wave of pro surfers and wannabes to the Daytona Beach area for surf contests, lessons or just a stroll along the pier.

DON’T MISS: Daytona International Speedway


Gold Coast

Glitz and glamour are the name of the name in this stretch of coastline from Palm Beach down to Miami. But you don’t need a trust fund to window-shop along Palm Beach’s tony Worth Avenue or sightsee from Fort Lauderdale’s free Riverwalk Water Trolley, so the area attracts travelers of all income levels yearround.

DON’T MISS: Wynwood Walls


First Coast

Spring and fall offer ideal weather for a family visit, whether you prefer laid-back Amelia Island or the beaches and bustle of Jacksonville.

DON’T MISS: Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens


Cultural Coast

College students, retirees and deep-pocketed art patrons converge on this wintertime playground for anyone who prefers gallery hops to theme parks.

DON’T MISS: John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art


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Dalia Colon

Dalia Colon

Dalia is a multimedia journalist in Tampa and the Smart Travel Insider for VISIT FLORIDA. Follow her on Twitter @daliacolon.

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