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8 Top Beaches to Explore in Southwest Florida

by Arelys Alexander

Visiting the beach when you are on vacation in Florida, or even enjoying a relaxing weekend off if you live here, is a must for anyone looking to make the most out of our sunny days. Whether you want to unwind and relax or play volleyball or any other sports available on our shores, you can find the perfect beaches in Southwest Florida to make the most out of your day.

Florida’s proximity to the coast on all sides means there are plenty of beaches from which to choose.  Some are wonderful, and some have seen better days, so it’s important to know what beaches will coincide with your activities.  Here are some of the best beaches (from north to south) you need to explore while in Southwest Florida:

The best pet friendly Beach in Venice, Florida 

Brohard Beach Paw Park

If you’re looking for a beach where you can bring along your four-legged friends, the Brohard Beach Paw Park is the perfect place for you. Counted among the best dog-friendly parks in Florida, visitors get access to various amenities including dog fountains, leash posts, restrooms, waste disposal bags, fenced areas for large and small dogs, and more. Cleaning up after dogs is the responsibility of the pet owners and as long as the dog is not being a nuisance, they can easily play off-leash.

dog at dog beach in florida

world-class beaches in Sarasota, Florida

Siesta Key Beach

Hailed for having award-winning beaches, Siesta Key has the most gorgeous white sand beaches you can visit. The high quartz content of the sand in Siesta Key’s beaches gives it a sparkle unlike any other and because it reflects heat so well, the sand stays cool even on the hottest days.

Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota FL

The Siesta Key Beach was given the title of ‘The World’s Finest Whitest Sand,’ in the Great International Sand Challenge, so it is definitely worth a visit. 

Lido Beach

Often-underrated thanks to its location near world-famous Siesta Key Beach, Lido Beach is the favorite of many Sarasota locals thanks to its slightly smaller crowds. Lido Beach is located on Lido Key, just across the Ringling Bridge from downtown Sarasota, which is also home to the famous St. Armands Circle shopping district.

You'll find many of the classic Florida beach amenities here like watercraft rentals, kayaking, mangrove forests, and much more.

the best beaches in Fort Myers, Florida

Bunche Beach Preserve

Situated near Sanibel Island, Bunche Beach Preserve is classified as a tidal wetlands area. You can find sandy beaches, salt flats, and mangroves here and care is taken to keep them preserved in their natural state. When the tide is low, many tidal pools and sandbars are exposed, allowing the chance to hunt for shells, crabs, and starfish, as well as watch marine birds hunting for their meal.

Guided kayaking opportunities are also available. Sunsets are exceptionally beautiful in this area and many people love to simply sit and watch the beautiful display of colors around this time.

Lovers Key State Park

Lovers Key State Park is a popular place for many to visit because there is so much to see and do here. Covering an expansive area, the park is spread across four barrier islands, canals, and different tidal lagoons. The stunning beach here was listed in the Top 10 Florida Beaches by the Travel Channel.

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Marine wildlife is also plentiful here and there is a high chance you can spot a school of bottlenose dolphins or a herd of manatees grazing in the seagrass. Pets are not allowed on this beach to avoid disturbing the delicate marine life as many rare species visit the park including ospreys, bald eagles, egrets, and more.

popular beaches in Naples, Florida

Clam Pass Park

Clam Pass Park is a great beach for some family-friendly fun in the sun. The sand is soft, white, and perfect for building sandcastles and the water is warm and calm. It is also in close proximity to a mangrove forest which houses many different butterfly species.


With opportunities to view the coastal birds and other marine life through guided nature walks that are hosted by the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Clam Pass Park offers a fun, educational way for you to spend your time. 

Vanderbilt Beach Park

Vanderbilt Beach in Naples FL

One of the most popular beaches in North Naples, Vanderbilt Beach Park, is coveted for its sandy beaches. Here you can expect to find picture-perfect white sand and warm, emerald green water. Close proximity to many shopping malls, restaurants, and oceanfront hotels makes it the perfect spot for locals and tourists alike. During the winter months, you can also indulge in some bird watching and observe the migratory routes of various birds.

The Beaches of Marco Island

Tiger Tail Beach

Quiet, isolated, and only accessible after wading through shallows, Tiger Tail Beach on Marco Island is the perfect place for watching marine wildlife and bird watching. The beach is listed by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission among the Best Birding Sites in Southwest Florida.

Various species including bald eagles, ospreys, pelicans, red knots, snowy plovers, and more hunt and nest here. Marine wildlife including sea turtles, manatees, and other coastal wildlife can also be found and observed with the help of guided nature tours.

If you are looking to move to Southwest Florida on a part-time or full-time basis, consider moving into a luxury home community or neighborhood that provides easy access to our beaches. 

London Bay Homes can build your luxury home in all of the most beautiful areas of Southwest Florida from Naples to Sarasota. Contact us to learn more about our beautiful residences in Southwest Florida and start building your dream Florida home.

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