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Top Florida Attractions

Top Florida Attractions: beach town

Paul Costello

Best Beach Towns

Thanks to more than 1,350 miles of sandy shoreline, beach hopping in Florida is a connoisseur’s sport. Here, four of our favorite seaside spots.

East Coast

Delray Beach: Despite its cosmopolitan vibe, with boutiques and galleries and the glossy Seagate Hotel & Spa ($$), the cozy downtown feels like a village—and fronts an inviting, umbrella-dotted stretch of sand.

Vero Beach: Stay at Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa ($$) and stroll the virtually crowd-free shore. The town’s cultural offerings are surprisingly good—check out the musicals at the Riverside Theatre and the modern collection at the Vero Beach Museum of Art.

West Coast

Anna Maria Island: As notable for what it doesn’t have—namely, high-rise buildings along the water—as for what it does: seven miles of quiet, tree-fringed beach and unpretentious seafood shacks like the Rod & Reel Pier (941/778-1885; $$).

Gasparilla Island: Park your bike on the one-lane road and search for lightning whelks at low tide, then head to the 1890’s lighthouse to look for roseate spoonbills. After you’ve fished for tarpon, kick back on the porch at your hotel, the Gasparilla Inn & Club ($$).

Did you know? No matter where you are in Florida, you’re never more than 60 miles from the ocean.

Jane Wooldridge


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