Where to stay in Gulf Coast Beaches
There’s a distinct relaxed vibe in St Pete and Clearwater, thanks to five islands of beaches, a Caribbean-like climate and those sensational Pier 60 sunsets. Add in some wonderful sealife safari cruises and you have the recipe for an unforgettable family escape.
Those who like to go off-grid will adore this piece of ‘hidden Florida’. Peaceful beaches, kayaking and fishing excursions make it a coastal paradise. Culture and cuisine is high on the agenda too - find waterfront restaurants, galleries, opera and more.
A beautiful beach community, Naples and the neighbouring Marco Island have become known as the ‘finest town in Florida’. Find an eclectic mix of restaurants and shops, pristine beaches and the lush, adventure-filled Everglades right on its doorstep.
It’s easy to see why Bonita Springs got its name from the Spanish word for ‘beautiful’. Especially when you take an airboat tour through the Everglades and visit the stunning Lovers Key State Park. The beaches, waterparks and golf courses here are world-class too.
With dazzling beaches, top-notch seafood and a laid-back vibe, this northern tip of Estero Island is likened to the tropical Caribbean. Paddle out to meet the ‘locals’ – the dolphins, manatees and pelicans – and by cocktail hour, Times Square bustles with entertainment.
Captiva Island, the sister island of Sanibel, is where escapists come for sun, sailing and spectacular sunsets. Admire the dusky pink skies from the lookout point at Mucky Duck Pub. And from May until October, thousands of hatching turtles scramble along these shores.
Hotels in Gulf Coast Beaches
Essential Information for Gulf Coast Beaches
Our hotels on Florida's Gulf Coast are approx a 2-hour drive from Orlando and only a short drive to Busch Gardens.
Florida’s Gulf Coast offers a Caribbean-like climate and unbeatable wildlife. Here are its best attractions.
- Visit the unspoilt beaches on Siesta Key and Longboat Key off Sarasota.
- Hop on a boat from Bonita Springs to the ultra-secluded Big Hickory Island Beach.
- Tigertail beach on Marco Island is great for those with kids.
- Kayak off the beautiful Clam Pass Beach in Naples or go shelling on Vanderbilt beach.
- Find sugary sands and excellent water sports on Fort Myers Beach, Estero Island.
Sightseeing and Attractions
- Head north of Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. Explore the Greek culture and antique shops.
- Explore the art galleries, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota. For a bit of Old Florida, check out the Historic Spanish Point in Osprey.
Adventure and Wildlife
- Take the kids to see the animals at Naples Zoo or the enchanting Naples Botanic Gardens.
- Spot crocs, manatees and flamingo in the Everglades National Park.
- Tee off at the Dunes Golf Club on Sanibel Island or the famous courses of Sarasota.
- Stay in a private villa in Fort Myers, home to glorious swimming pools with lakeside views.
- Kick back with private cabanas and butler service at South Seas Island Resort, Captiva.
Food and Drink
- Sip on a sundowner and enjoy top-notch seafood at Pier 60 in Clearwater.
- Try honey infused pastries and coffee in the Greek restaurants of Tarpon Springs.
- Visit the Farmer’s Market in Sarasota for local produce and Floridian mangoes.
Events and Festivals
- March: The Gulf Coast celebrates its abundance of lobster in the Crawfish Festival, St Pete.
- October: Fort Myers hosts the annual Beach Pirate Festival.