This is the third in a series of articles looking at the Floridian beaches. This article will focus on the beaches on the West Coast.
Although Florida in general is a popular retirement and wintering location for the older generation, Tampa is a rapidly expanding city whose younger citizens are keen to enjoy the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, with its glorious white sand beaches.
Covering an area from Clearwater along the coast to Sarasota, are some of these beautiful beaches, examples being Longboat Key, Caladesi Island State Park, Indian Shores, Clearwater Beach and St Pete Beach, to name but a few.
Southwest Gulf Coast
Further down the coast are the quiet towns of Captiva Islands and Sanibel, with a nature reserve and ample opportunity for peace and quiet. We then encounter Fort Myers beach, located on Estero Island, which is an engaging mix of frantic and peaceful, the southern part of the island providing more of the latter. Carrying on down, we arrive at Naples, a magnet for those aforementioned pensioners, whose money can buy into the affluent lifestyle. South of Naples we come to Marco Island, a southern enclave of people originally from the American north-east.
Compared to the rest of Florida, The Keys is somewhat lacking in great beaches, partly explained by the battering the area receives from the elements, in particular hurricanes. However, there are a few including Sombrero Beach and Bahia Honda State Park.
This article, along with its two predecessors has given a brief overview of the beaches to be found on the well over 1000 miles of Florida coastline. There is a beach to suit just about everyone and a little bit of detailed research should help you to identify yours. Just because the main reason you came to Florida was to visit Disney and the related attractions, it is well worth taking a day or two out to drive down to a beach or two.
Looking for something to do when finished on the beach then try our article What is there to do in Florida?