If you’re looking for good weather and relatively crowd-free sightseeing, October is one of the best times to visit Florida. Florida’s heat begins to let up a little in September and, after the Labor Day celebrations, the summer crowds start to subside. So, kick off your sandals and get ready to hit the beach in the Sunshine State.
There is a best beach to suit every taste in Florida. Find your favorite beach in the Sunshine State.
- Key West: This beach lover’s heaven is the southernmost point in the United States and is famous for water sports, lively nightlife and – you guessed it – beaches. Key West is Florida’s irreverent subtropical paradise flourishing with natural beauty and unabashed romantic appeal. The beaches here are ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Smathers Beach has a two-mile-long shoreline, which boasts a sandy shoreline. It’s great for families with kids as the currents never get too strong.
- Clearwater Beach: This beach has been named number 1 in the U.S. on TripAdvisor’s list of Top Beaches for 2019, 2018 and 2016. This white-sand beach spans a narrow, 3-mile stretch of the Pinellas Peninsula on the Gulf Coast. With warm gulf waters, beachside dining and awe-inspiring sunsets, Clearwater Beach is a bucket list beach to visit. Shallow water makes this beach an ideal playground for families. And off the beach, it’s easy to bike through the city. With a network of more than 10 trails, it’s easy to spend the day on a bike exploring. Walk along the palm-lined Beach Walk Promenade or shop at the Shoppes on Sand Key and the SurfStyle store on Beach Walk. And Florida is known for its sunsets. Every day, locals and visitors gather on Clearwater Beach and watch the sunset. Catch a great view from Pier 60 during their nightly Sunsets at Pier 60 festival where you can shop for handmade arts and crafts.
Stay: Avalon RV Resort or Bay Bayou RV Resort
- Captiva Island: This tropical paradise offers some of the best fishing and boating in Florida. Located near Fort Myers off Florida’s Gulf Coast, Captiva Island has a magical feel. The beaches are some of the most unique barrier islands of the world, with the east-west orientation. If you decide to take a break from camping, the South Seas Island Resort spans 330 acres and covers the northern half of the island. Only resort guests have access to the property. Beachcombers visit Sanibel and North Captiva for the perfect pastel coquinas, sand dollar shells and false angel wings. Try Captiva Cruises to explore Cabbage Key, Boca Grande, Useppa for dolphin cruises, beach and shelling or sunset cruises. Check out the water to get the true Southwest Florida experience. If you love wildlife, the dolphin and wildlife excursion cruise is your ticket to see Atlantic bottlenose dolphins in their natural habitat. You may also likely see manatees, pelicans, bald eagles and more. Captiva’s siter island, Sanibel, is connected via a short bridge so visitors can easily explore both.
Stay: Siesta Bay RV Resort
- Cocoa Beach: Renowned for its calm, consistent waves, Cocoa Beach is an ideal place to learn to surf. Cocoa Beach is an hour’s drive east of Orlando, offering an easy beach-style nightlife from cool jazz clubs to beach side cafes. Visit the iconic Ron Jon Surf Shop, the world’s largest surf shop, encompassing 52,000 square feet of everything you could possibly need for the beach lifestyle. The Space Coast is home to over 100 of the best surfing spots on the East Coast. Did you know that 11-time ASP World Champion surfer Kelly Slater hails from Cocoa Beach? If fishing is more your style, explore one of the many fishing charters or just throw a line off the pier. The Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier has been a local favorite for over 50 years and offers panoramic views of the Atlantic. Grab some fresh seafood, custom drinks or an ice-cold beer and revel in the ocean breezes. The Cocoa Beach boardwalk stretches 800 feet over the Atlantic Ocean, and offers an array of shops, restaurants and boutiques. Head east a few blocks to Roberto’s Little Havana for some delicious traditional Cuban cuisine.
Stay: Sonrise Palms RV Park
- Panama City Beach: Boasting nearly 100 public accesses to 27 miles of beaches, it’s easy to find the perfect stretch of sand. And the sand is powdery, white and stays cool, even on the hottest days. This gem-of-a-getaway features tourmaline-green waters and nonstop activities. It’s the perfect vacation destination for families. Want to swim with dolphins? Stop by Adventures at Sea and they got you covered. Take dive lessons at the Dive Locker and become scuba certified. And the Gulf of Mexico is famous for its deep-sea fishing. Book a spot on a party boat or schedule a private charter. On land, there are several golf courses in the area ranging in skill level and price. Check out Bay Point’s semi-private Nicklaus Golf Course at the Wyndham Bay Point Resort where hole No. 17 features a green design reminiscent of a fishbowl. Signature hole No. 5 offers spectacular water views of the Grand Lagoon and St. Andrews Bay. Or stop by Barley’s Bike Rental and explore the beach on two wheels. After all the fun in the sun, relax at Capt. Anderson’s and watch the fishing fleet unload. Or enjoy the gorgeous 25,000-gallon aquarium at Saltwater Grill.
- Vero Beach: Relax your mind, body and spirit at this small beach town. This elegant, yet funky-at-heart city is a haven for golf, water sports and fishing. Start your trip with a visit to the McLarty Treasure Museum to learn more about Vero’s connection to one of the world’s most legendary shipwrecks. This low-key tropical paradise has been called the Hamptons of Florida. Seagrape Trail Beach Access is approximately 1/2 mile south of County Road 510. This beautiful, secluded beach is a treasure hunter’s dream, many silver coins from the 1715 sunk Spanish Fleet have been recovered along this stretch of beach. With side open spaces and plenty of facilities, Jaycee Beach is a favorite for families in Vero Beach. Couples can visit the Vero Beach Museum of Art and dip into Cuban food and upscale cocktails at Gloria Estefan’s chic Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa. Have breakfast at the Lemon Tree, an old-fashioned café with delicious lemon-blueberry pancakes.
Stay: Vero Beach Kamp
Florida’s Beach Warning Flag program uses a four-color system to show water conditions and potential safety risks.
- Green: Low hazard, cam conditions, exercise caution
- Yellow: Low hazard, moderate surf and/or currents
- Purple: High hazard, dangerous marine life.
- Red: High hazard, high surf and/or strong currents
- Double Red: High hazard, beach closed to the public
- No Flag: Still exercise caution