Florida’s Top 5 unique Beaches
Find a unique beach on your Florida vacation
Florida beaches continuously hit the Top Ten list but there are dozens of favorites for a variety of reasons, from uncrowded oceanfront or surfing to best shell-hounding or beach babes. We’ll feature a number of beach lists within the year and we’re starting with Florida’s most unique beaches. Here’s our list of the Top 5:
The only way to walk the four miles of Caladesi Island’s sandy beach is to reach it by boat or grab a ferry from Honeymoon Island State Park. It’s worth the effort as the island is a true natural escape – no condos on the skyline, no snack stands – only you, the sand, sun and water. Pack a picnic and stay the day! You can also walk the boardwalk trails that lead through sand dune habitat with sea oats and dune sunflowers or kayak a three-mile water route that leads through mangroves. Birders will be enthralled by ospreys flying overhead or American oystercatchers and black skimmers on the shoreline.
Although clothing-optional is limited to an 800-foot section of the northern stretch on Haulover Beach’s 1.3-mile shoreline, approximately 80% don their clothing and let their full body get a tan! Located north of Bal Hourbour, you can swim, surf, lie on the sandy white beaches, but a majority of the 7,000 people that visit in a single day are nude, so if you want a full-body tan, make that the reason for visiting this beach.
Home to the longest Anastasia limestone shoreline on the U.S. Atlantic Coast, what people really visit this 73-acre barrier island sanctuary for are the saltwater plumes that shoot as high as 50 feet into the air. Walk along the craggy shoreline or hike the restored native coastal habitats at Blowing Rocks Nature Conservancy Preserve - it’s what barrier islands here looked a century ago. Keep your eyes peeled for endangered plants and animals, among them the rare loggerhead, green and leatherback sea turtles. Make sure you visit during low tide so you can check out the many sea caves (some large enough to stand in).
Shark Tooth Beach
Yes, shelling is a popular pastime but you can find them on most beaches! Venice Beach is one spot in Florida unique for a particular kind of fossilized treasure that washes up on shore: shark teeth. We’ve never been to this beach without finding a handful. They’re dark brown, grey or black in color and come in a variety of shapes and sizes but mostly they are smaller. Sharks have layers of teeth and shed them continuously. For example, within a ten year period, an average Tiger shark will go through more than 24,000 teeth! Don’t fear – since this is a shark tooth beach, it doesn’t mean there are more sharks in these waters – the tides and waves just wash their teeth to these shores!
Although pedestrians, sunbathers and wildlife have the right-of-way, cars also have access to drive for 11 miles along Daytona Beach’s 500 feet wide and the hard-packed sand. When the tide is right, a portion of the beach’s 23 mile stretch of sand, is open from Nov. 1 to April 30th. Speed limit and vehicle charges apply but it’s worth it to slip back into the turn of the 20th century when Rockefeller and his wealthy friends would cruise the sands.
What’s the most unique Florida beach you’ve found on your vacation?