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Unique Florida Beach Experiences for Summer Vacation

Miami Beach

By Myscha Theriault – Independent Travelers Resources at

For many who make the pilgrimage to sunny Florida, it’s all about the beaches, Baby! But not everyone’s idea of the perfect beach getaway is the same. Some want to go shelling with their grandkids while others are looking for the best summer vacation opportunity or the ability to cruise with their car on the sand. Depending on your preference, there a few safe bets you can make to have the best Florida beach experience possible.

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale Beach

While well known for being a popular Florida summer vacation destination, Fort Lauderdale also offers great Florida shopping, a fun food scene and higher end hotel options for those who prefer a more genteel getaway. Las Olas Boulevard combines the best of all three with direct trolley access to the sand and surf. Break up your day with surfing or a stress-busting beach run. Both are a great way to burn those extra calories you’ll be indulging in.

Daytona Beach

Condos along Daytona Beach

Whether you’re a car racing fan or you never miss a Bike Week, there’s much to enjoy in sunny Daytona Beach. This sandy strip on the East Coast is one of the few places you can enjoy cruising with your car or motorcycle along the waterfront and offers seasonal concerts, fireworks and a moderate shopping scene. Mostly though, it’s about the machines. Racing cars, Biketoberfest and tourists in biker gear line the streets at various times throughout the year, although the town also sees its share of summer vacationers and family visitors.

Fort Myers

The World's Safest Beach

For a more sedate Florida beach experience, consider heading to the Fort Myers area. A reasonable drive from Sarasota, these Gulf Coast beaches offer some of the best shelling in the world. This makes it the perfect spot for doting grandparents and families hoping for an educational marine experience during their oceanfront vacation. Consider booking one of the areas vacation rentals so the kids can relax at their own speed and you’ll have a kitchen to prepare all of those freshly-caught fish.


Volleyball at Lummus Beach

Whether you’re talking South Beach or Miami Beach proper, this waterfront experience is nothing but sexy in South Florida. Known for celebrity spotting, great Florida spas and high-end shopping, Miami is where it’s at for travelers in search of a first-class luxury getaway in the Sunshine State. If you need to save some pennies for that Lincoln Road shopping excursion, try enjoying some of the city’s great food truck eats in one of the numerous urban pocket parks that have sprung up.

Fort DeSoto

Fort De Soto offers a shady spot to enjoy a meal

Named one of the best beaches in the country for several years in a row, Fort DeSoto Park in the greater Tampa Bay area is a wonderful free resource for locals and international travelers alike. With ruins to explore, a great dog beach and overnight camping options available, there’s lots to enjoy. Kite surfing, birding and pier fishing are also possible. Another great feature for visitors to Fort DeSoto is the recent addition of adaptive wheelchairs specifically designed to handle the beach sand. This makes the park even more accessible for those with adaptive travel needs.

Clearly, there’s no shortage of beach travel opportunities here in sunny Florida. This list represents some of my faves, but there are certainly others worth your tourist time as well.

Myscha Theriault Myscha Theriault is a syndicated columnist for McClatchy-Tribune, best-selling author, and professional blogger whose work has been featured by Forbes, MSN, the Los Angeles Times, Boston Herald, AOL, and others. Print interviews include Better Homes and Gardens, Women’s World, and All You Magazines. She is the founder of, a web site for independent travelers. You can also catch up with her on Twitter.

Originally Published on April 21st, 2012

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