16 Best Florida East Coast Beaches

Florida’s east coast beaches stretch 360-miles along the Atlantic coastline. From the glamorous vibe that Miami beach offers to the laid-back luxury of staying at one of the Florida east coast beach resorts, they have everything you need for a beach vacation.

Here are 16 gorgeous Florida east coast beaches to visit on your next vacation:

  1. Daytona Beach
  2. New Smyrna Beach
  3. Miami Beach
  4. Jacksonville Beach
  5. American Beach
  6. Playalinda Beach
  7. St. Augustine Beach
  8. Atlantic Beach
  9. Cocoa Beach
  10. Vero Beach
  11. Neptune Beach
  12. Fernandina Beach
  13. South Ponte Vedra Beach
  14. Butler Beach
  15. Delray Beach
  16. Ormond Beach

16 Best Florida East Coast Beaches

1. Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach, Florida, Ocean and Boardwalk

Where to begin? At the mention of Daytona, NASCAR immediately comes to mind. But not everyone who visits Daytona comes here to watch motorsports.

The beach is the perfect place to watch the most dramatic sunrise on this side of the east coast Florida beaches.

They recently started charging a parking fee of $20, which is a small amount to pay considering how beautiful the beach is. You can take a stroll on its white and soft sand. Take a dip in its clean water. Ride the waves or just laze out among the crowd.

And by crowd, I mean a big crowd that can get rowdy sometimes. If you’re searching for a quiet spot, this is not the beach for you.

2. New Smyrna Beach

Located just south of Daytona Beach is the shark bite capital in the US. But it doesn’t deter surfers from venturing out to the sea. After all, New Smyrna is the mecca for surfers on the east coast Florida beach.

While the waters can get treacherous, the shore is one of a postcard-perfect scene. Its laid-back, relaxed, safe, a sharp contrast to its neighbor in the north.

3. Miami Beach

Miami Beach, Florida, Blue Umbrellas

Miami is probably the most popular beach in the world. It stretches 20 miles across the majestic Atlantic coastline.

There is so much in the area to keep you occupied – sunbathing, sea shelling, swimming, and hanging out with family and friends.

The sand is fine but quite hot to walk on, so if you’re planning to take a stroll during the day, make sure you wear the proper footwear.

First-time visitors absolutely loved their stay there. Returning visitors weren’t that impressed. They found it too crowded and were turned off by trash scattered on some part of the beach.

To each their own but one thing for sure, don’t go there during Spring break if quiet is what you’re looking for!

4. Jacksonville Beach

From motorsports, we go to watersports. Jacksonville offers a 22-mile long, spacious beach, more than enough room for tourists and locals alike to share the beach and spend the day strolling and chilling out without bumping elbows with each other.

Its waters are perfect for fishing, sailing, surfing, and it’s also calm enough to go paddleboarding. The beach is very clean, and there are plenty of restaurants along the beach walk to satisfy any food cravings.

The good news for dog owners, the beach is dog-friendly from October through March. So make sure to bring your furry friend with you!

5. American Beach

American beach is a quiet, quaint, beautiful beach rich in history. Located in northeastern Florida, it’s the first beach where African-Americans could explore and enjoy beach and water activities during the segregation era.

The beach is perfect – flat, made of fine sand, you can drive your vehicle onto it. It’s wheelchair-friendly, too. A mat has been added to the end of the boardwalk through the vast dunes to the beach for wheelchair access.

Make your visit memorable by not only exploring its beauty but also by enriching your knowledge of its significant history.

6. Playalinda Beach

A top beach on the east coast of Florida to go surfing, Space Coast’s Playalinda Beach is a 24-mile stretch of pristine and shell-laden shoreline. Surfers will have an awesome time catching the waves.

The beach is remote, clean, and a splendid place to watch the waves breaking into the shores. If you happen to be on the beach on launch days, it’s the perfect place to watch a rocket launch on a beautiful sunny day.

Bring your own food and drinks. You won’t see concessions and restaurants for miles. Even with its distance, the weekend can get busy.

One more important thing to know about Playalinda Beach, clothing is optional in some places.

7. St. Augustine Beach

Cars on St. Augustine Beach, Florida

Voted number 8 in the top “25 Best Beaches in America” (Southern Living Magazine), St. Augustine Beach is part of a 42-mile long coastline in St. Augustine City.

It’s a beautiful mix of beach and pier where people can fish or watch people fish. The sand is coarse but clean. You can even drive on it.

There are a lot of access points, free parking, some public restrooms, and seaside restaurants. The beach is family-friendly, clean, and not overcrowded.

8. Atlantic Beach

Atlantic Beach has a small-town charm feel to it. It’s primarily a nice and quiet residential area.

It boasts of a well-maintained, clean, and relaxing beach. The sand is smooth, a fantastic place to take a stroll or idle away just watching the surfers conquering the waves.

On weekdays, you can have the beach almost to yourself. The weekends can get busy, and parking may be a bit of a challenge.

The sunrise there is terrific, and if you linger just a little longer, the dolphins may just show up to entertain you.

9. Cocoa Beach

The small waves capital in the world is just 45 minutes east of Orlando. Cocoa Beach is a family-oriented, clean, and well-maintained vacation destination.

The community has the safety of your family foremost in their minds with lifeguards on duty at the beach. They have foot showers, umbrellas, beach chairs, and surfboards for rent, so you don’t need to lug those essentials from home.

There are a lot of activities that you can do at the beach: surfing, kiteboarding, paddleboarding, biking, and swimming!

They have restaurants lined up near the beach and stores for whatever else you need.

The next time you want to go on vacation and want to travel light, think of the nearest sunny destination. Think of Cocoa Beach.

10. Vero Beach

Peaceful Sunset at Vero Beach, Florida

There are still hidden gems on the east coast beaches in Florida. And Vero Beach is one of them. A 60 to 90-minute drive from Orlando, the beaches in Vero are home to one-fourth of the world’s sea turtle’s nest!

The beaches can be found in Orchid Island, a barrier Island in Vero. You can see more animals than humans there. You’ll feel a laid-back vibe, and it’s perfect for those who are looking for peace and quiet.

11. Neptune Beach

Sandwiched between Jacksonville and Atlantic sits Neptune Beach, a small coastal community and one of the best east coast Florida beaches.

Almost flawless and spacious, you and your family could spend the entire day swimming and doing the usual fun beach activities.

Or you could spend a romantic day with a loved one with the sunrise or the sunset as your backdrop.

12. Fernandina Beach

With a place like Fernandina Beach that has it all, you can pretty much do everything you wanted to do while on vacation.

There are lots of access points to the beach, and yet it never gets crowded. You can go shelling or hunting for sharks’ teeth all day. Or marvel at the birds in the sky and sea creatures that wash ashore.

If you want to take a break from the sun, you can go to nearby restaurants, shops, marinas, and parks.

13. South Ponte Vedra Beach

There’s a reason Ponte Vedra Beach made it to CNN’s list of “22 Can’t-Miss U.S. Beaches”. In fact, I can give you five reasons: stunning white sand, not crowded, great for beachcombing excursions, has beach facilities, and dogs are allowed!

One thing you cannot do here, though, that you can do on other beaches, is drive a car on the beach.

Among the facilities that they have are Off-beach parking, picnic tables, and bbq grills.

The best thing about this beach is that it is beloved by locals and tourists alike simply for its preserved beauty.

14. Butler Beach

Do you want to go horseback riding on the beach? Horses are welcome at Butler Beach during designated times!

Located on Anastasia Island, Butler Beach is home to white-sand beaches and offers the quietness that some beachgoers long for!

Cars are allowed on the beach. They can enter through two access points: Matanzas Avenue and Mary Street.

They have seasonal lifeguards and complete facilities, including off-beach parking, in-beach driving, free parking, restrooms, showers, picnic tables, bbq grills, and more.

Dogs are welcomed, but they must be leashed at all times.

15. Delray Beach

Delray Beach, Florida

Delray Beach is a hotspot for beach vacation destinations. No wonder it was voted the “Most Fun Small Town in the USA” and one of “America’s Happiest Seaside Towns.”

Also known as “Florida‘s Village By the Sea,” Delray is an idyllic beach town with dozens of art galleries, a great dining experience, and peaceful white sand beaches.

The beach resorts offer modern amenities for laid-back luxury at the beach. If you want to spend the day sprawled on its beautiful white sand, pitch your umbrella, read a book, and just enjoy as the ocean breeze carries the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, then come to Delray Beach.

16. Ormond Beach

Also called the “Birthplace of Speed,” Ormond Beach sits just north of Daytona Beach. It’s a lovely, safe, family-friendly residential town, mainly with a relaxed vibe to it.

The beach is clean and gorgeous and is close to everything you want to do. There are no vehicles on the beach, so it’s perfect for taking that long, uninterrupted walk.

Conclusion – 16 Best Florida East Coast Beaches

To recap, here are the best Florida east coast beaches:

  1. Daytona Beach
  2. New Smyrna Beach
  3. Miami Beach
  4. Jacksonville Beach
  5. American Beach
  6. Playalinda Beach
  7. St. Augustine Beach
  8. Atlantic Beach
  9. Cocoa Beach
  10. Vero Beach
  11. Neptune Beach
  12. Fernandina Beach
  13. South Ponte Vedra Beach
  14. Butler Beach
  15. Delray Beach
  16. Ormond Beach

Are the Beaches Better on the East or West Coast of Florida?

While the west coast provides some peace and quiet with its soft white sand and the calm, warm turquoise waters of the Gulf, Florida east coast beaches are the cradle of watersports, beach excursions, fun family activities, and glorious sunrise behind a picturesque landscape of the Atlantic Beach.

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