Indeed, some of the world’s finest beaches can be found here, including those at Clearwater and St Petersburg – or St Pete’s as the latter is now officially known. A natural playground for outdoor enthusiasts, there are water sports in abundance, beachcombing on quiet offshore islands, volleyball, horse riding, cycling and golfing.
Where to stay in Gulf Coast Beaches
There’s a distinct relaxed vibe in St. Pete/Clearwater, thanks to five islands of beaches, a Caribbean-like climate and those sensational Pier 60 sunsets. Clearwater Beach which was voted as America’s Best Beach on TripAdvisor’s annual list of the 25 Best Beaches for 2018, with St. Pete Beach ranked at number 7. 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.
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.