What's the best beach in Florida for swimming?

I’ve never been to an ocean where you can swim, so I’m planning a trip to florida in the spring (I’m from the Pacific NW and the ocean here isn’t suitable for swimming).

I will probably only go for around 3-4 nights, maybe a week max, so it won’t be that long.

I really am just looking to swim somewhere nice with my significant other. I don’t really care about anything else. We’re fairly young, but we don’t go to bars/clubs or anything. We’re really just looking to relax somewhere and enjoy swimming in the water, and that’s about it.

What’s the best beach in Florida for that? I heard a lot about the Miami Beach, or possibly Fort Lauderdale? Would those be good for just swimming? Or should we go to the gulf of mexico? I’m kinda worried about all that “flesh-eating” bacteria stuff on the gulf, lol.


  1. Navarre beach is a very nice and secluded beach, calm waters and clear as a pool. I would stay away from Miami Beach it’s so crowded and honestly a little trashy now

  2. I’m a Florida native. Our Gulf coast beaches are beautiful and great for swimming in warm, calm water. If you’re looking for waves and surfing, you’ll want the Atlantic side.

    Some nice choices are Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, Siesta Key, Marco Island, Sanibel/Captiva Islands.

    If you choose the Clearwater/St. Pete area – check out Fort Desoto, Pass-a-Grille, and Honeymoon/Caladesi Islands for a less touristy experience.

  3. Can confirm that Marco and Sanibel/Captiva are awesome. As far as I’m aware, Captiva is smaller than the other two, but it’s my personal favorite between the three as it’s super relaxed with not as much going on as Sanibel; and, most importantly, it has fantastic beaches.

  4. I am not a native but I wanted to chime in that I visited Clearwater last year and even though red tide was starting to build up it was a wonderful experience. The locals were so friendly and the restaurants were delicious and the beach was just gorgeous. I also think it is very hard to go wrong in Florida it is the most beautiful state and has so much to offer.

  5. Can’t beat 30a in between Destin and Panama City. It us very family friendly with out the raunchy party crowds down the beach. Lots of hiking trails and some of the nicest beaches in the world. Check out Grayton Beach state park for camping or find a nice air bnb.

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