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Hidden Gems: 5 Florida Beaches That Offer Sweet Seclusion

dry tortugas

From the Atlantic coast to the Gulf of Mexico, there’s a Florida beach for every kind of beachgoer. If you prefer your sun and surf with less crowds, there are miles of hidden gems that offer the peaceful coastal tranquility you are looking for.

Dry Tortugas National Park

For the ultimate private retreat, head to the most remote beach in Florida at Dry Tortugas National Park. From the quiet of Historic Fort Jefferson to the living reef just begging to be explored with a snorkel, this far-flung Florida beach will leave you feeling refreshed and reflective. The quiet, crystal-clear waters and complete calm are second to none.

You can ride the ferry back to the mainland, but if you choose to camp, you’ll enjoy the night under a blanket of stars, drifting to sleep to a soundtrack of rolling surf.

santa rosa beach
Santa Rosa Beach (Photo: Patrick Farrell and Peter W. Cross)

Santa Rosa Beach

Perched on Florida’s sunny panhandle, Santa Rosa Beach welcomes tourists with rippling emerald waters and sand so white it looks like glittering sugar.

Though Florida’s Emerald Coast is popular, it’s still possible to find a secluded spot along the 26 miles of pristine beaches. If you need a break from the sun, the area boasts other peaceful retreats as well. Stroll into Point Washington State Forest from Santa Rosa Beach or tuck into a delicious dinner at one of South Walton County’s dining establishments.

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Caladesi Island State Park

Just off the coast of Clearwater Beach lies Caladesi Island State Park. It’s both a sleepy paradise and a hideout for herons, egrets, and other starlets of the Great Florida Birding Trail.

You’ll need to allow at least half a day for a visit to this slice of white powder and mangrove forests. You can access the park only by boat. Fortunately, a ferry runs regularly from Honeymoon Island, yet another of Florida’s hidden, glittering coastal gems.

st george island
St. George Island (Photo: Summer Gonzalez)

St. George Island

A trip to St. George Island will feel like stepping onto one of the last unspoiled beaches in the country. The sandy coast of the island has won countless accolades as one of the most beautiful beaches in the United States.

What makes St. George even more special is that the island is protected against high-rise buildings or national chains. The relaxed community is instead punctuated by charming cottages, local inns and delights such as Aunt Ebby’s Ice Cream, Weber’s Little Donut Shop and Paddy’s Raw Bar.

Bahia Honda State Park

Turn south toward the Florida Keys – Big Pine Key, specifically – to spread a beach blanket on your slice of private paradise. Bahia Honda State Park, like many of Florida’s other state parks, offers the chance to bask in the sun next to impossibly clear waters while a gentle breeze keeps you cool.

Bahia Honda State Park has gained popularity over the last few years, so it might not be correct to call it “hidden.” However, the park can close when it reaches capacity, so you should always be able to find a personal retreat on the beach. And if the energy of couples and families on the sand isn’t serene enough, grab your snorkeling gear and immerse yourself in the inimitable calm of the park’s emerald waters.

Start planning your Florida vacation today.


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One Thought on “Hidden Gems: 5 Florida Beaches That Offer Sweet Seclusion

  1. I have been going to the sunshine state since a mere lad but never found any of these beaches. I have heard of a couple, Pine Key most notably, but thank you for the excellent and adventurous suggestions for this septuagenarian. Always appreciate your insight re travels.

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