Bahia Honda State Park, Florida Keys:
Located in the “Lower Florida Keys,” some of the most prestigious travel magazines have called the Florida beach at Bahia Honda, about 45 minutes from Key West and 17 minutes from Marathon, the most beautiful in Florida and some even rank it as one of the best in the world.
Most of the visitors to this park come for the beach … the crystal clear water, the soft café au lait hued sand and the colorful coral reefs. On the other side of the park, there is a Florida beach on Bahia Honda Channel. Here, the waters are quite deep and the currents swift and strong not far from shore. On either side, deep waters run close enough to the shore to provide great swimming and snorkeling. Picnic areas, rest rooms, and outside showers are located near these Florida beaches.
The island itself is made of Key Largo limestone, derived from a coral reef similar to the present day coral reefs of the Keys. A drop in the sea level several thousand years ago exposed portions of the ancient reef, forming islands; Bahia Honda is the southernmost key where this formation is evident.
Nature has done its best to decorate the shore with many complex biological communities. On the park’s 524 acres, you can see more subtropical flowers, mainly in the spring, than anywhere else in the Florida Keys. The perimeter of the park is home to a tangled jungle of silver and thatch palms, key spider and tiger lily, sea lavender, bay cedar, gumbo-limbo and satinwood. All these plants were lovingly carried by Mother Nature in the form of sea birds, hurricanes and ocean waves from the West Indies by way of the Caribbean Sea. Ocean birds abound … white or blue herons, gulls, egrets, and pelicans.
Barefoot Beach Park, Fl:
Barefoot Beach Preserve is 342 acres of natural land, one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on Florida’s southwest coast. This Florida beach park is an excellent example of the shifts in habitat that occur within a very narrow strip of land with only slight changes in elevation and moisture. 8,200 feet of Florida beach and sand dunes support the growth of seat oats, providing nesting sites for seat turtles during the summer months. The park also maintains a tropical coastal hammock of sabal palm, gumbo-limbo and sea grape trees among many others. The site is also home to the protected gopher tortoise.
Barefoot Beach Preserve is popular for its gorgeous, plush surroundings and its opportunities for avid fisherman, who are able to enjoy many species of fish. The inland side of the island provides tidal creeks and mangrove swamps which serve as breeding areas and as a nursery for sport and commercial fish and shellfish. Barefoot Beach Preserve Park has a 356 space parking lot, one-mile nature trail, showers, picnic area and a concession are where equipment may be rented and food and drink is available for purchase. The preserve also offers handicapped beach wheelchair access. Located 20 feet off Bonita Beach Road on Lely Barefoot Boulevard the access to the Florida beach provides an open, peaceful location for sunbathers. Barefoot Beach Preserve Park is located just south of this access point.
Captiva Island, Fl:
You will be captivated by beautiful, alluring Captiva Island, where once, it is said, pirates roamed, conquistadors explored and Calusa Indians called home. The mystery and adventure is still here. Treasures to be found in the way of a good life, spectacular white sand Florida beaches scattered with “treasures from the sea”, pastel colored seashells and breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. There is superb lodging, restaurants & shopping. Golfing, tennis, fishing, boating and children’s activities.
Captiva Island, sister to larger Sanibel Island, is just over a small bridge which crosses at Turner Beach. Turner Beach is a great place for catching that prize fish and also for finding the colorful shells that these islands are famous for. This Florida beach stretches 5 miles to the northern tip of Captiva Island at Redfish Pass. From the bridge at Turner beach, Captiva Drive is a scenic drive past giant cactus, colorful bougainvilleas and other tropical flora along a stretch of sea and sand ending at “downtown” Captiva, which is more of a village than a town.
A truly fun Florida vacation, holiday, memorable wedding, honeymoon or just a romantic getaway awaits young and old alike on Captiva Island.
Crescent Beach, Fl:
Crescent Beach, located on Siesta Key, a barrier island eight miles long, parallel to the city of Sarasota. Renowned for its powdery white sand, Crescent Beach has been rated as one of the “Top 10 Beaches in the World”.
Imagine–you are thinking about a relaxing Florida beach vacation—one that would transport your mind and body from your everyday life to a romantic getaway fantasy where you wake up being welcomed by hearing the birds chirping outside your window. Then, while your coffee is brewing, you step outside your unit and are stunned by the sights and smells of hibiscus, bougainvillea and many other native flowers. Take your cup of coffee, stroll west for about one minute, and you will not believe the beach you see in front of you. It is perfectly clean, white and pristine. It is called Crescent Beach.
This Florida beach of perfect powdery sand that stays cool year round leads to the magnificent aquamarine Gulf of Mexico, where, if you’re lucky, you might see a group of dolphins frolicking nearby having a fabulous time on Siesta Key.
Crescent Beach is so wide that it’s never overcrowded. Highly recommended are sunrise walks along the water’s edge, always being on the lookout for whatever exotic sea creatures washed up from the night’s activities. If you prefer late afternoon beach time, you can stay to watch breathtaking sunsets with colors of orange, pink and violet that jump right out at you from the sun.
Fort Myers Beach, Fl:
Fort Myers is know as The City of Palms and was made famous by Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Impressed by the tropical climate and natural beauty, Edison spent his winters in Fort Myers as thousands of visitors do each season today. Fort Myers is located on the Caloosahatchee River, and is the oldest city in Lee County.
Historic downtown brings back the flavor of old Florida. A world of tropical beauty and wildlife, white sandy Florida beaches with dozens of islands to explore. The area is a playground of Florida beaches. Fort Myers beach, Bonita Beach, Sanibel Island, Captiva are just a few excellent places to enjoy the sand, sea and sun.
A vacation on the Gulf of Mexico has a certain quality of removal and relief that’s not found just anywhere. Places like Sanibel Island, Fort Myers, Captiva and others all shine with a special brand of radiance perfectly suited for obliterating the aura of stress and tension that tends to surround the daily life of so many of us – a trip to this region guarantees a return to what’s important. Focusing on Fort Myers Beach, once a quaint settlement only accessible by boat, it might very well be possible to craft the ideal getaway. White sands, stunning sunsets, a little bit of eco-friendliness, tons of enthralling beach and recreational activities…all the ingredients are here. Cross the bridge to this refuge of a town and prepare to feel the weight of the world lift from your shoulders.
Fort Myers Beach is known for being a well-equipped yet laid-back spot; offering all that Florida beach lovers need without the overwhelming crowds and hassles of visiting a busy, buzzing magnet for travelers. Orlando and Miami aren’t too far away so a quick dip into chaos is possible if you desire, but this is the place to be if a little rest and breathing room are in order…
Naples Beach, Fl:
Imagine stepping from your private oceanfront Florida resort accommodations to be greeted by seven miles of beach, cloudless skies, sparkling turquoise waters and white sandy Florida beaches stretching to infinity.
There are lots of activities to keep you busy when not at the beach: beachfront pool, sailing, windsurfing, paddle-boating, kayaking, biking, tennis (6 Har-Tru courts), and golf (18-hole PGA championship par 72 golf course). With more than 11 miles of picturesque beach and nature preserves, Naples, Florida is the perfect Florida beach destination. Once a small fishing village and now a thriving and sophisticated town, Naples is draped in sun, sand and exceptional natural beauty. Although known for its nightlife, world class shopping, dining and challenging golf courses, eco-lovers will be happy to know Naples is only steps away from The Everglades.
Golfers can take their pick of more than 35 golf courses. While athletic visitors will find no shortage of tennis, boating, fishing, and water sports, nature lovers can hike trails and explore nature centers at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary or Wiggins State Park Beach.
North Lido Beach, Fl:
Sarasota’s best-kept secret. Privacy is the key Florida attraction on North Lido Beach. In fact, North Lido provides so much seclusion that it was once favored as a topless beach. Today this half-mile stretch, is still so private it attracts couples – both gay and straight – interested in romantic strolls. Although the sand is slightly course, the regal Australian pines edging the shore are so attractive you might not notice your feet. Conveniently located a quarter mile from St. Armand’s Circle, an outdoor shopping and restaurant district, North Lido offers something for everyone.
John Ringling had purchased these islands with plans for a major tourist attraction. Although the reality did not arrive within his lifetime, Lido and St. Armands Keys maintain world-class status featuring elegant shops, award winning restaurants and fine hotels. The islands are linked with bridges to the mainland of Sarasota as well as the island of Longboat. At the southern end of Lido Key, you’ll find 100 acres of Australian pines, picnic tables, grills, a volleyball court and playground. Nature lovers enjoy the wooden walkways, trails and canoeing opportunities at South Lido Park. Evening entertainment is only a short stroll away to St. Armand’s Key. A circular park dedicated to the memory of John Ringling, is flanked by sophisticated restaurants, nightclubs, exclusive shops and exotic boutiques.
Marco Island Beach, Fl:
On the southern most-tip of Florida’s West Coast, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, sits the majestic and pristine sub-tropical Marco Island. Gateway to the awesome land of Ten Thousand Islands, Marco Island is about 4 miles wide, 6 miles long, and a mere 90 miles west of Miami and 157 miles south of Tampa.
The pristine Gulf Florida beaches of Marco Island are perfect for swimming, surfing, or catching up on your tan. The warm Gulf of Mexico waters are inviting for snorkeling and scuba diving and the nearby National Parks and nature preserves are perfect for hiking, canoeing and kayaking. Marco Island Beach sits on the Gulf of Mexico and is close to the Everglades, Caribbean Gardens, and many golf courses. Vacationers can also enjoy para-sailing, windsurfing, and volleyball nearby.
Sanibel Island, Fl:
Welcome to a tropical island getaway on Southwest Florida’s Gulf. We invite you to enjoy an atmosphere that’s a little quieter, a little less hurried and a lot less like the rest of the world. A place of exotic tropical wildlife, pristine white sand Florida beaches and hundreds of uninhabited islands.
How would your kids like to find some of the most amazing seashells in the world? How about great Florida beaches with sugar-fine sand? A quiet place to relax with your family in the sun? Now throw in some glorious sunsets, restaurants, plus an artists’ colony.
Sanibel Island is a magical tropical retreat not far from Fort Meyers, the place that inspired Ann Morrow Lindbergh to write her famous book, Gift from the Sea.
One of the things that makes is so special is its geography. While most barrier islands have a north-south orientation, Sanibel runs east-west, which means it acts as a “scoop” to catch shells in the surf.
It’s true that Sanibel Island is a popular winter destination—that’s when its population swells. But there’s room for all since more than 40 percent of the island is protected as wildlife preserves. There are more than 17 miles of beach and 26 miles of bike trails, so you’re guaranteed to find some tranquility.
Siesta Beach, Fl:
Siesta Key (Sarasota, Florida) has three wonderful Florida beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, where you can play, relax, or walk along the water’s edge. Enjoy the sunshine and tropical breeze while you track the flight of pelicans and shorebirds, and keep an eye out for the playful dolphins. Fishing, shelling, swimming, para-sailing, boating, snorkeling – take your pick. Or just sit back and relax, enjoying the view.
Siesta Key beaches are among the finest in the world, and they have plenty of awards to prove it. The powdery white sand, stretching for miles, is breath-takingly beautiful. No matter which of our gorgeous Florida beaches you choose to visit, your time will be memorable…whether you find yourself digging your toes into the white sand as you read the latest bestseller, walking along the shore with someone you love, enjoying the splendor of a glorious sunset, or indulging in a refreshing dip in the warm tropical Gulf of Mexico waters. We hope you’ll discover the unique charm of each of these three lovely Florida beaches.