Discover The 7 Most Dangerous Florida Beaches To Be Wary Of This Spring Break

Written by Niccoy Walker
Updated: May 9, 2023
Share on:

Advertisement


Each year around the Easter holiday, students from all walks of life participate in spring break, a week’s long vacation in the warm sun. People travel from all over the country to subtropical climates, where the water is pleasant, and the air is balmy. And, of course, Florida is at the top of that list. This southern state provides mild to hot temperatures during the spring, and its beaches are an oasis for those needing an escape from still-frigid climates. But many of the popular beach spots in Florida have a bad reputation. Discover the seven most dangerous Florida beaches to be wary of this spring break and learn what makes them so treacherous.

This southern state provides mild to hot temperatures during the spring, and its beaches are an oasis for those needing an escape from still-frigid climates but danger is still present.

Why are these seven Florida beaches so dangerous? Find out now. Plus, here’s the study that breaks down and compares these deadly beaches.

1. New Smyrna Beach (The #1 Most Dangerous Florida Beach)

New Smyrna Beach features miles of white sand and pristine waves.

©iStock.com/Javier_Art_Photography

South of Daytona is the surf hub known as New Smyrna Beach. The area features 17 miles of white sand beaches and pristine waves. The city surrounding it has a unique art scene, hotels, and delicious cuisine. However, this surfing destination is not for the faint of heart. New Smyrna Beach is the deadliest beach in the U.S., with 32 shark attacks, 10 surf zone fatalities, and 120 hurricanes since 1851. It has an overall danger score of 8.14/10. If you like sharks, this beach is for you. If you prefer to leave your vacation with all your limbs intact, maybe skip it.

2. Cocoa Beach

Daytime Cocoa Beach Pier aerial view, Cape Canaveral, Florida

Seven shark attacks and seven surfing fatalities have occurred at Cocoa Beach since 2010.

©Zhukova Valentyna/Shutterstock.com

Cocoa Beach is the gateway to the Kennedy Space Center. This area is famous for its surf breaks, fun atmosphere, and proximity to Orlando. It is the perfect little beach town that all spring breakers envision when making yearly plans. Unfortunately, Cocoa Beach also has a danger score of 7.57 out of 10. While most Florida beaches have seen at least 120 hurricanes since the mid-1800s, this beach, in particular, has also had seven shark attacks and seven surfing fatalities since 2010.

3. Ormond Beach

Ormond Beach Shore line  Sunrise

Ormond Beach is a resort area with a small-town feel. It has seen eight surfing fatalities and four shark attacks.

©Matthew Rigsby/Shutterstock.com

Located in Volusia County, north of Daytona, Ormond Beach is a resort area with a small-town feel. It’s popular for its sandy shores, diverse ecosystems, and stretches of marshland. And people spend their days surfing, sunning, swimming, and fishing. But Ormond Beach scored a 7.48 out of 10 on the danger scale. This area has seen eight surfing fatalities and four shark attacks since 2010.

4. Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach, Florida, view of Front Beach Road

Panama City is a vacation destination. But 24 people have died surfing its waters.

©Rob Hainer/Shutterstock.com

Panama City is a waterfront beach town and vacation destination. It’s located in Northwest Florida in the Panhandle along the Gulf of Mexico. There are 27 miles of pristine beaches, perfect for all kinds of water activities and spring break events. However, Panama City Beach scored 7.16 out of 10 on the danger scale. This area has witnessed two shark attacks and 24 surfing fatalities. So maybe don’t surf.

5. Melbourne Beach

Wooden stairs to the beach by the ocean from a private home in Florida, Melbourne Beach. Typical beach view in Florida

This pretty beach is known as a family-friendly vacation destination.

©Sergey and Marina Pyataev/Shutterstock.com

Melbourne Beach is in Brevard County on the Space Coast along the Indian River Lagoon. It’s known as a family-friendly vacation destination, providing many fun activities. You can spend the day swimming, snorkeling, fishing, golfing, and much more. However, this quaint beach isn’t the safest haven. Melbourne Beach scored 6.35 out of 10 on the danger zone. This beach has had three surfing deaths and six shark attacks since 2010.

6. Jacksonville Beach

Jacksonville, Fl

Jax Beach has witnessed three shark attacks and three surfing fatalities since 2010.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

Jacksonville Beach, or Jax Beach, is in Northern Florida in Duval County. The beach is a resort city popular for its lively atmosphere, beautiful resorts, and delicious restaurants. It’s a famous fishing and golfing area, but people also enjoy swimming and surfing. Jacksonville Beach scored 6.02 out of 10 on the beach danger scale. The area has experienced three shark attacks and three surfing fatalities.

7. Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Lauderdale is the ultimate spring break getaway. But the beach has had three surfing deaths and two shark attacks.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

Oh, Fort Lauderdale, the ultimate spring break getaway for antsy college students. Located on Florida’s southeastern coast, this city features 23 miles of golden beaches, boating canals, luxury hotels, upscale restaurants, and all kinds of shopping. And even though it’s the last beach on the list, Fort Lauderdale is still one of the most dangerous Florida beaches. It scored 5.37 out of 10. The area has seen three surfing fatalities and two shark attacks since 2010. 

Land Wildlife Around Florida Beaches

Here are some land animals you could see during spring break.

  • Iguanas
  • Armadillos
  • Key deer
  • American alligators
  • American crocodiles
  • Roseate Spoonbills
  • Bald eagles
  • Ibis
alligator looking at camera with mouth open

Alligators, crocodiles, armadillos, iguanas, and sharks are just some of the wildlife in Florida.

©iStock.com/tobiasfrei

Marine Life Off Florida’s Coasts

What could be swimming in Florida’s marine waters? Potentially these species:

  • Sea turtles
  • Manatees
  • Dolphins
  • Corals
  • Manta rays
  • Spiny lobsters
  • Crabs
  • Many sharks, including great whites, tiger sharks, bulls sharks, hammerheads, sandbar sharks, lemon sharks, blacktips, nurse sharks, and dusky sharks.

Summary Of The 7 Most Dangerous Florida Beaches To Be Wary Of This Spring Break

RankBeachLocation
1New Smyrna BeachVolusia County, halfway between Daytona Beach and Titusville 
2Cocoa BeachBrevard County, south of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the Kennedy Space Center
3Ormond BeachVolusia County, north of Daytona
4Panama City BeachNorthwest Florida in the Panhandle along the Gulf of Mexico
5Melbourne BeachBrevard County on the Space Coast along the Indian River Lagoon
6Jacksonville BeachNorthern Florida in Duval County
7Fort LauderdaleSoutheastern coast

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Javier_Art_Photography


Share on:
About the Author

Niccoy is a professional writer for A-Z Animals, and her primary focus is on birds, travel, and interesting facts of all kinds. Niccoy has been writing and researching about travel, nature, wildlife, and business for several years and holds a business degree from Metropolitan State University in Denver. A resident of Florida, Niccoy enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and spending time at the beach.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.