"While each of the hundreds of beaches around the state carries its own beauty and intrigue, there’s just something special about those along the Gulf of Mexico. Aside from the stunningly gorgeous sunsets, the best Gulf Coast beaches are said to have the softest sand, the clearest waters, the most fun nature trails and the best fishing.
A lively scene can be found on Clearwater Beach, popular for its vast stretches of powdery sand, tons of nearby shops and restaurants, nice hotels and a nearby aquarium, pier and downtown hub.
Couples love Anna Maria Island, a sweet beach cottage town that’s ideal for a B&B weekend and a beachfront candlelight dinner.
Sarasota County is home to beaches that include award-winning Siesta Key, renowned for its soft white sands, Venice Beach, perfect for finding sharks’ teeth, and Manasota Key, where you can escape to find some quiet time.
The 1,600-acre Lovers Key State Park in Fort Myers Beach, a cluster of four barrier islands, is an outdoor lover’s paradise with miles of trails filled with wildlife, kayak and paddleboard rentals and plenty of spots to picnic, swim and fish in peace."