Life’s a beach at our favorite places
With so many white sandy beaches on the Gulf Coast side of Florida it is almost impossible not to find a good spot to get sand between your toes and enjoy the feel of the tropics and the islands. With that in mind, as residents in this tropical paradise we would like to offer our top picks of favorite spots to relax and soak up the sun with our feet in the white sand beaches.
Number 5 – Boca Grande
Hey if the Bush (George H, George W and Jeb) family have vacation homes here it can’t be all bad. With crystal clear water and two light houses to camp near it reminds us a lot of Sanibel only the night life and shops are not as spread out as Sanibel / Captiva. The Gasparilla Inn in known worldwide and has been host to many presidents.
Number 4 – Sanibel / Captiva
Two Islands for the price of one is never a bad deal. With the Lighthouse beach to visit, tons of natural wetlands and wildlife to see at the J.N. Ding Darling Natural Wildlife Preserve there is plenty to do. Captiva and Sanibel beaches offer legendary shelling with sea shells covering most of the beaches. With over 250 kinds of Sea Shells your going to want to have a nice hotel room to store them in until you take them home. So we recommend the South Seas Island Resort.
Number 3 – With it’s own “Time Square” and plenty of shops and restaurants nearby Fort Myers Beach is a great place for everyone from those looking for something out of the ordinary for Spring Break to families looking for plenty of uncrowded beach space with playgrounds and plenty of facilities and events like the international sand castle building contest and wake boarding contests Fort Myers Beach offers something for everyone. We recommend the Pink Shell Resort here. The kids will love the pool.
Number 2 – It’s a tie! Lido Beach in Sarasota, FL and Lovers Key in Bonita Beach, FL
Lido beach is a great beach for everyone. It is close to the hustle and bustle of Sarasota’s St. Armond’s Square (really it’s a circle) which offers great restaurants like Tommy Bahama and Columbia with upscale shops like the Wyland Gallery and Crazy Shirts. It also has the Mote Marine Laboratory for families. A rescue facility / Aquarium for Florida’s Sea life.
Literally translated Beautiful Beach in English Lover’s Key State park offer some amazing beaches and plenty of room to just stretch out. The thing about this beach we like is virtual seclusion. Unfortunately this means just beach, water and sand. The kids may get bored quickly because there are no restaurants and beach shops nearby. Not to fret though because Fort Myers Beach is just a short drive away. Check out Lovers Key State Park for some of the nicest beach and views in the area.
Number 1 – With the famous 5th avenue not far and plenty of pristine beaches, piers and other scenery, crystal clear water and nearby activities for adults and families The Naples beach and Naples pier area makes a great place to stay. The Naples Zoo is not far from the beaches but the area is most known for it’s upscale dining and shopping. The Inn on Fifth is hard to beat as the place to stay and the dining ranges from the upscale to upscale chains like Tommy Bahama to the nightlife of McCabe’s Irish Pub which can’t be beat. There is something for everyone in the Naples beach area.
What did we leave out? Another of our favorite beaches that did not get mentioned is Marco Island. Why? The area is more secluded and residential and the beaches are really reserved more for the Hotels that are on the Island. Public access is not as readily available which is important if you are not staying right on the water. Still Marco Islands beaches are very nice and they do have a number of nice restaurants and shopping in the area.
Next time around we will list some of our favorite gear for the beach. What we feel are the best of the best of beach gear.