With more than a thousand miles of oceanfront in Florida, it should be no surprise that our beaches are different from coast to coast. It’s all a matter of geology. In Northwest Florida, fine-grained sands eroded from the Appalachian Mountains became the legendary soft sands that feel like you’re walking through baby powder. In southernmost Florida, marl mud and corals digested by parrotfish combine to make the strands throughout the Florida Keys and the Ten Thousand Islands.
Along portions of the Atlantic Coast, sands vary from high in coquina content and hard-packed – the reason the first auto races in the United States happened at Ormond Beach – to more loose and sugary, with outcrops of the Atlantic Coastal Ridge adding rock reefs and sea caves to the coastal mix.
Florida is also home to coastal dune lakes, along the Gulf Coast from Panama City Beach west to Destin. These rare bodies of water, found only on a few places on earth, exchange freshwater and saltwater at periodic intervals.
Florida's Most Scenic Beaches
Discover the diversity of Florida’s best beaches at these coastal parks and preserves