By Barry Goodknight
When one thinks of Florida, what often comes to mind is the word beach, followed by alligators, palm trees, manatees, and sunshine. And incredibly, the state of Florida possesses more miles of beaches than California with almost 2,000 miles of coastline and nearly 1,200 miles of sandy beaches. Because the state is surrounded by water it includes several coastlines. The East coast is composed of the most popular Florida beaches such as Miami’s South Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, and Daytona. The Keys, which extend into the Florida Straits, encompass Key West and Key Largo. And lastly, there is the Gulf coast, which includes the more appealing cities such as Naples and Marco Island, and the spring break capital: Panama City.
The sand on the beaches of the northern peninsula and the Panhandle is known as quartz sand, meaning that it is snow white in color and fine-grained and soft in texture. Beaches further down the state contain sand composed of small, broken shells and the sand is tinted brown in color. And in the Florida Keys, crushed coral becomes a part of the sand. It’s unfortunate, however, that most Florida beaches are artificial, no longer natural, and have been widened to accommodate tourists.
The state of Florida contains a total of 400 beaches. Some however, have been either overdeveloped or destroyed by hurricanes. Siesta Key Public Beach is a tourist favorite because it’s nearly perfect, containing white, soft, fine-grained quartz crystals over a wide beach area. And since these crystals are so reflective, you can walk on the dry sand and not burn your feet. Siesta Key is located inside Sarasota County and the public beach is almost a mile in length. It contains all the needed facilities and in addition, there is beach volleyball, a beach cafe and picnic area, and lifeguards year-round.
Lover’s Key State Park is located on the Southwest coast of Florida, in Bonita Springs, just south of Fort Myers beach. A little over 700 acres, Lover’s Key is an ecosystem of mangrove-filled estuaries and beaches. The beaches of Lover’s Key are covered with sea oats, driftwood, and shells and are some of the most naturally beautiful and appealing on the Southwest coast of Florida.
Fort Myers beach is what has come to be known as a party-goers beach. It includes a long public pier, condos, and small motels along with bars and beach volleyball 7 miles long. Fort Myers beach area is full of night-life and “red-necks.” Fort Myers beach remains an affordable tourist attraction and if you’re looking for a good time then this is the place to be.
No matter which beach or part of Florida you decide to visit you will be in for a great time. You have such a large variety of options from party type areas fit for Spring break to family centric areas where you don’t have to worry about the kids seeing outrageous behavior or excessive drinking. No matter which beach you choose, be safe and have a blast!
About the Author: This article was written by Barry Goodknight for his Beach Towels website.