27 Beaches in Florida with the Absolute Bluest Water in 2024

Written by Sanaphay Rattanavong
Updated: November 20, 2023
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Florida’s beaches are famous for their clear waters, which can range in color from a crisp emerald green to a deep sapphire blue. Here we explore the Sunshine State’s most breathtaking beaches with the most stunning of blue waters. 

Florida’s Emerald Coast Beaches

Starting in the Panhandle, we travel along the Emerald Coast, so named for the region’s emerald-colored waters.

1. Destin Beach

This beach is a dessert of sugar-white sands and glazed emerald waters. Located in Henderson Beach State Park on Florida’s Emerald Coast, Destin Beach unfurls with 6,000 feet of beautiful Gulf of Mexico coastline. This combination makes it one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. A lively tourist spot, Destin is great for families and those who enjoy water sports. And beaches.

Beautiful aerial view of beach and ocean at East Jetty in Destin Florida. Scenic nature landscape with buildings and houses overlooking the sandy shore and clean water.

Destin Beach’s sand is actually quartz crystal that has been ground down for millennia.

©Jason Finn/Shutterstock.com

2. Rosemary Beach

Rosemary Beach charms as a coastal town in the Florida Panhandle. Its clear waters and unique European colonial architecture earn it further recognition.

Drone shot of rosemary beach on sunny day

One of the friendliest of the family friendly beaches in Florida is Rosemary Beach.

©Karen Culp/Shutterstock.com

3. Santa Rosa Beach

Part of Florida’s Scenic Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach offers a quiet retreat with upscale amenities and pristine, clear water.

Palm trees on Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Santa Rosa Beach, once part of a struggling ghost town, is now seeing a resurgence.

©Paper and Posies Photo/Shutterstock.com

The Florida Panhandle’s Serene Beach Retreats

Apart from the Emerald Coast, Florida’s Panhandle hosts a variety of serene beach retreats.

4. Navarre Beach

Home to some of the state’s clearest emerald waters and longest stretches of unspoiled white sand, some call it Navarre Beach “Florida’s Best Kept Secret.”

Beautiful White Sands, Blue Sky, And Emerald Green Waters Of Navarre Beach, Florida

The

Jaws 2

film crew shot much of the movie on Navarre Beach.

©Matty B Photography/Shutterstock.com

5. St. Andrews State Park

Nature lovers flock to this state park in Panama City Beach. It features next-level clear waters and miles of hiking trails.

Pier and beach at St. Andrews State Park

Don’t forget your snorkeling gear when heading to St. Andrews!

©Duston O/Shutterstock.com

6. Miramar Beach

One of South Walton’s more laid-back beach communities, Miramar Beach is a picture-perfect seaside utopia with pristine waters and plenty of room to unwind. Be happy, don’t worry.

Beautiful  white sand beach of Miramar Beach on the Gulf of Mexico in South Walton, Florida

Miramar is named after an area in Havana, Cuba.

©Norm Lane/Shutterstock.com

7. Blue Mountain Beach

A little-known gem among Florida’s beaches, Blue Mountain is a haven of peace thanks to its calm waters and relaxed vibe. Go here to get far from the madding crowds.

Blue Mountain Beach Panorama

Named after the blue lupine flowers that surround it, Blue Mountain Beach is part of the famous 30A Emerald Coast drive.

©Rotorhead 30A Productions/Shutterstock.com

Touring Key West

Leaving the Panhandle behind, we journey to the southernmost point of the United States, the Florida Keys. Here, the waters take on a deeper hue, as if contemplating the sky and what lies beyond.

8. Smathers Beach

Smathers Beach is a popular destination for sunbathers and a jaw-dropping sight for visual artists. The water is a luxuriant aquamarine, making it a perfect spot for a day of relaxation and daydreaming or wide-eyed painting.

Key west florida Smathers beach palm trees in USA

Smathers Beach is the largest public beach in Key West.

©lunamarina/Shutterstock.com

9. Dry Tortugas National Park

This unique eco-tourism spot is accessible only by boat or seaplane. But it’s well worth the ferry ride (or seaplane jaunt, if that’s your style), since Dry Tortugas is a remote beach destination that shimmers with some of Florida’s clearest waters.

Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the smallest national parks by land area.

©Mia2you/Shutterstock.com

10. Big Pine Key’s Bahia Honda State Park 

Intensely clear waters, stunning beaches, and excellent views of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge—what’s not to like? Spanish for “deep bay,” the island is more or less, though not entirely, uninhabited.

Bahia Honda State Park, Florida

Bahia Honda State Park hosts one of the deepest natural channels in the Keys.

©Simon Dannhauer/Shutterstock.com

The West Coast of Florida and Its Marvels

You can find beautiful beaches all along Florida’s west coast. However, they are especially abundant in the Tampa and Sarasota regions. And we wonder why those cities are population centers.

11. Honeymoon Island State Park

Ideally situated for a beach day, this state park features four miles of white sand. Calm waters stretch just off the coast of Tampa.

Honeymoon Island State Park

Honeymoon Island State Park is a much loved by locals.

©Artiom Photo/Shutterstock.com

12. South Marco Beach

Relax and soak up some rays (but use sunscreen) on Marco Island’s world-famous beach. This beach is well-known for its wide stretches of sand and pristine water.

Marco Island South Beach Florida

Marco Island is the largest of Florida’s islands.

©Paul Harrison/Shutterstock.com

13. Fort De Soto State Park 

Located off the western coast of Florida, this state park is actually a chain of five islands called “keys.” It features some of the state’s most pristine waters in addition to its rich history and natural beauty.

Fort De Soto Park Florida

The Fort de Soto State Park spans five islands.

©GB Design Den/Shutterstock.com

14. Whitney Beach

The tranquil waters and white sands of this Longboat Key beach are legendary. It’s a perfect location for a peaceful day at the beach.

Longboat Key

Whitney Beach on Longboat Key is a haven for blue water lovers.

©Unwind/Shutterstock.com

15. North Captiva Island

Beyond idyllic, North Captiva Island is a remote paradise that offers unspoiled beaches and clear turquoise waters.

North Captiva. Florida. USA aerial looking north to south

Along with Sanibel Island, Captiva is a designated nature preserve.

©charles hester/Shutterstock.com

16. Anna Maria Island

This charming barrier island, located on the coast of Manatee County, boasts beautiful blue waters and a laid-back “Old Florida” vibe.

Manatee County, Florida

A scenic highway starts at the south end of Anna Maria Island.

©iStock.com/Thomas De Wever

Gulf Coast’s Hidden Turquoise Gems

Visitors to Florida’s Gulf Coast cannot get enough of the turquoise water. And neither can we. So, the list goes on.

17. Siesta Key Beach 

Pristine waters and soft white sand make for great naps. This dream beach has a reputation as one of the best beaches in the United States.

Siesta Key Beach

One of the best beaches in the country, Siesta Key Beach is made of 99% quartz crystals.

©Suncoast Aerials/Shutterstock.com

18. Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach, located in the heart of Florida’s Gulf Coast, is a perennial favorite among both locals and tourists. The beach is wide and white, and the water is warm and clear, making it an ideal spot to lounge in the sun. As the day comes to an end, don’t miss one of the most spectacular sunsets from Pier 60, which transforms the clear waters into a canvas of warm hues.

Clearwater Beach Florida

Often ranked as one of the best beaches in the country, Clearwater Beach is known for its amazing sunsets.

©iStock.com/Mariakray

19. Caladesi Island State Park

Just north of Clearwater Beach, Caladesi Island is one of the few remaining undeveloped spots on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The spectacular scenery and tranquil waters make it a tourist hotspot.

Family on summer vacation trip in Florida. People walking on pathway to the beach. Friends exploring island along the Gulf Coast. Caladesi Island State Park, USA, Florida.

A 25-minute ferry ride from Clearwater, the islands beaches are truly unspoiled.

©Margaret.Wiktor/Shutterstock.com

20. Sanibel Island

Known for its shelling opportunities, this barrier island offers not only clear turquoise waters, but also a chance to take a piece of the beach home with you. 

Bowman's beach on Sanibel Island, Florida

Path to Bowman’s beach on Sanibel Island. Sanibel hosts the country’s only shelling museum, the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum.

©Andriy Blokhin/Shutterstock.com

21. St. Pete Beach

Located in Pinellas County, St. Pete Beach is famous for its clear water, beautiful sunsets, and many water activities.

st. pete beach

St. Pete Beach is popular with tourists and Florida residents alike.

©Artiom Photo/Shutterstock.com

22. Fort Island Gulf Beach

Fort Island Gulf Beach nestles in Crystal River. This peaceful retreat boasts white sandy shores and clear waters. It also comes fully equipped with amenities like restrooms, showers, and picnic tables. Ample parking ensures a comfortable visit for everyone. Nature lovers will enjoy the scenic boardwalk, which is perfect for wildlife observation. Frequent dolphin sightings are a particular highlight for visitors.

Recognized as one of the Environmental Health Department’s “Healthy Beaches,” Fort Island Gulf Beach ensures high standards of water quality and safety.

Peaceful View At The Gulf Islands National Seashore Florida

Fort Island Gulf Beach is consistently rated as healthy by the Florida Department of Health.

©Jordan Hill Photography/Shutterstock.com

The Aquatic Playground of the Gulf of Mexico

23. Crab Island

This is a special beach where the clear waters of the Gulf meet a diverse underwater ecosystem and day-drinking. Despite its name, Crab Island in Destin is actually a submerged sandbar where boaters can anchor and swim in waist-deep water.

Aerial image of the Destin Harbor in Destin, FL, showing the East Pass, Crab Island, and the Marler Bridge.

Crab Island was once an island, but eroded away. Now, it’s only accessible by boat.

©Michael Fitzsimmons/Shutterstock.com

East Coast Clarity

24. Palm Beach’s Glamour and Charm

Palm Beach is one of the few places that manages to successfully blend opulence and natural beauty. The crystal blue waters of this East Coast haven are renowned for their stunning contrast to the city’s glittering skyline. When you need a break from the frenetic city and its one thousand and one headaches, head to the wide, clean beaches. Those in search of a lavish beach vacation often choose Palm Beach due to its picture-perfect beaches, clear waters, and upscale shopping, dining, and nightlife.

Palm Beach, Florida. Amazing aerial view of coastline.

The only recorded snowfall in Palm Beach Country occurred in 1977.

©pisaphotography/Shutterstock.com

25. Anastasia State Park

St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States, has a unique blend of historic allure and scenic splendor. Its coastline is dotted with beautiful beaches and clear waters that have drawn visitors for centuries. Anastasia State Park’s 4-mile stretch of pristine beach offers clear waters and a variety of recreational opportunities. After a day at the beach, take in the city’s history at the centuries-old Castillo de San Marcos or wander the quaint cobblestone streets of the Old City. St. Augustine’s clear waters and timeless charm make for an unforgettable beach vacation.

Anastasia State Park

Anastasia State Park is home to some of Florida’s most popular beaches, given its quartz sand, abundant wildlife, and ancient sand dunes.

©Candis Bridges/Shutterstock.com

See the Best of Miami’s Coast

Finally, visiting Miami is a must if you want to see the best of Florida’s beaches.

26. Biscayne National Park

Some of Florida’s finest white sand beaches can be found in Biscayne National Park, which is located in Miami-Dade County. It’s a popular destination for snorkelers and scuba divers.

Florida, USA, Key Biscayne National Park and the beach, aerial view

Biscayne shelters the only living coral reef in the continental United States.

©aka_An_Lee/Shutterstock.com

27. Miami Beach

Known all over the world as a premier beach destination, Miami Beach is renowned for its crystal blue waters and exciting nightlife.

South Beach, Miami Beach. Florida.

The south end of Miami Beach is frequented by celebrities of all stripes.

©Mia2you/Shutterstock.com

Summary of the 27 Florida Beaches With The Bluest Water

Here are the bluest Florida beaches:

RankFlorida Beaches
1Destin Beach
2Rosemary Beach
3Santa Rosa Beach
4Navarre Beach
5St. Andrews State Park
6Miramar Beach
7Blue Mountain Beach
8Smathers Beach
9Dry Tortugas National Park
10Big Pine Key’s Bahia Honda State Park
11Honeymoon Island State Park
12South Marco Beach
13Fort De Soto State Park
14Whitney Beach
15North Captiva Island
16Anna Maria Island
17Siesta Key Beach
18Clearwater Beach
19Caladesi Island State Park
20Sanibel Island
21St. Pete Beach
22Fort Island Gulf Beach
23Crab Island
24Palm Beach’s Glamour and Charm
25Anastasia State Park
26Biscayne National Park
27Miami Beach

Conclusion

With 1,350 miles of exquisite coastline, Florida offers a variety of clear-water beaches, each with its own distinct appeal. Whatever floats your boat, water sports, shell collecting, or simple chillaxation, Florida’s beaches will not disappoint. So, grab your sunscreen and swimming gear (or a paperback novel); it’s time to head to the beach.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Andriy Blokhin/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Embracing the interplay between the arts, nature, and technology, Sanaphay Rattanavong sculpts narratives through both data and human/animal-focused lenses at A-Z Animals, primarily in the realms of weather, culture, cleantech, and climate resilience. His specializations also include creativity and animal intelligence. And cats. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Bennington College and has labored for more than 10 years in the trenches of journalistic, blog, magazine, and fiction writing. An outdoor enthusiast who also enjoys the finer things in culture, Sanaphay resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with stints in Toronto, Ontario.

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