Planning your next vacation or day-trip to the beach? Check out these small beach towns along the Gulf and Atlantic Coastlines of Florida. We’ve compiled a list of some of the top places to stay, eat, and things to do in each location.
Anna Maria Island
This barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico is home to white sandy beaches, crystal clear blue water, and an “Old Florida” charm. At only 7-miles long and with a speed limit of 35mph, residents and visitors primarily travel around town by bike, scooter, or on foot. Serene sunsets, a laid-back vibe, and family-friendly activities make Anna Maria Island a fun place to visit for all ages.
Tip: Hop aboard the island’s free trolley system to visit the local attractions.
- Main Sail Beach Inn 101 66th Street Holmes Beach, FL 34217 (888) 849-2642
- Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club, Autograph Collection 5325 Marina Drive Holmes Beach, Florida 34217 (941) 238-6262
- Visit the historic Bridge Street for shopping, dining, live music, and more.
- Take a guided Segaway tour around the island with Segs By The Sea.
- Rent a kayak from Beach Bums Island Attitude and explore the wildlife surrounding Anna Maria.
- The Sandbar Restaurant 100 Spring Avenue Anna Maria, FL 34216 (941) 778-0444
- Ugly Grouper 5704 Marina Drive Holmes Beach, FL 34217 (941) 778-4402
- Island Haus Coffee 5350 Gulf Drive Holmes Beach, FL 34217 (941) 896-4870
On the barrier island of Gasparilla is a small village called, Boca Grande. Surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico’s turquoise water, it is known as one of the best places in the world for tarpon fishing. Boca Grande is home to loggerhead turtles and a variety of birds. Its natural beauty, history, and wildlife make it perfect for disconnecting from city life.
Tip: The Boca Grande Marina is the only place to purchase gas on Gasparilla Island. The main mode of transportation is by bike or golf cart.
- The Gasparilla Inn & Club 500 Palm Avenue Boca Grande, FL 33921 (941) 964-4500
- Visit the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse and Museum and learn why this is the oldest structure on Gasparilla Island.
- Go beachcombing and search for unique shells and treasures from the ocean. Shelling is a popular activity in Boca Grande.
- Charter a fishing boat at the Boca Grande Marina for a fun-filled day of adventure at sea. Catch tarpon, redfish, snook, and much more.
- The Pink Elephant 491 Bayou Avenue Boca Grande, FL 33921 (941) 964-4540
- Eagle Grille & Miller’s Dockside 220 Harbor Drive Boca Grande, FL 33921 (941) 964-8000
- Tipsy Cake Company 301 Park Avenue, Suite B. Boca Grande, FL 33921 941-855-9437
Located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway lies the small coastal town of Juno Beach. It is home to some of the most abundant loggerhead sea turtle nesting spots and the 569-acre Juno Dunes Natural Area. With its panoramic sunrises, dog-friendly parks, and full-service pier, this town has something to offer for everyone.
Tip: If you’re looking to catch a wave or paddleboard, Groundswell Surf Shop offers rentals.
- Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa (4.1 miles from Juno Beach) 5 North A1A Jupiter, FL 33477 (877) 389-0571
- Wyndham Grand Jupiter (4.4 miles from Juno Beach) 122 Soundings Avenue Jupiter, FL 33477 (561) 273-6600
- Visit the Loggerhead Marinelife Center to learn about sea turtles, rehabilitation, and conservation.
- Practice your photography skills or go fishing at the full-service 990-foot Juno Beach Pier.
- Take your furry friend with you to the pet-friendly Juno Beach Park for some fun in the sun. This is an off-leash beach.
- Sinclairs Ocean Grill 5 North A1A Jupiter, FL 33477 (877) 389-0571
- Lazy Loggerhead Cafe 6 Van Kessel Parkway Jupiter, FL 33477 (561) 747-1134
- Matty’s Gelato Factory 867 Donald Ross Road Juno Beach, FL 33408 (561) 557-3539
Travel to the southernmost point of St. Pete Beach and find yourself in the charming beach town of Pass-A-Grille. This town is only one block wide and is sandwiched between the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the Boca Ciega Bay on the other. With its laid-back vibe, pink sunsets, unique shopping, and tasty eats, Pass-A-Grille is a beach town you won’t want to pass up on.
Tip: The “Free Beach Ride” offers free transportation around Pass-A-Grille and St. Pete Beach. All you have to do is tip the driver when you arrive at your destination.
- The Don CeSar 3400 Gulf Boulevard St. Pete Beach, FL 33706 (727) 360-1881
- Inn on the Beach 1401 Gulf Way St Pete Beach, FL. 33706 (727) 360-8844
- Shop at some of the most eclectic and original stores in St. Pete Beach at the historic 8th Avenue shopping district.
- Take a 10-minute boat ride on the Shell Key Shuttle over to the barrier island of Shell Key for a day of snorkeling, shelling, and dolphin watching. Sunset cruises are available, as well.
- Rent a fishing rod or bicycle to explore Pass-A-Grille at the Merry Pier. Check out their fresh fish and seafood market that features fish caught straight from the Gulf.
- Grace 120 8th Avenue St. Pete Beach, FL (727) 317-4770
- The Wharf 2001 Pass-A-Grille Way St Pete Beach, FL 33706 727) 367-9469
- Seahorse Restaurant 800 Pass a Grille Way Pass-a-Grille Beach, FL 33706 (727) 360-1734
Located on the Gulf of Mexico between Panama City Beach and Destin is a town called, Seaside. It’s here that you will find pastel-colored coastal homes with white picket fences and wrap around porches. Known for its 20th century “New Urbanist” design, Seaside’s community was built with the tagline, “The Dream of a Simple, Beautiful Life.” Everything from shops, dining, and the beach are all within walking distance to gorgeous cottages and homes.
Tip: There are nine unique pavilions around Seaside that are not only landmarks, but they mark the end of every street and stand as a passageway to the ocean. Pack a picnic one evening and marvel at the sunset through one of these distinctive structures.
- Cottage Rental Agency 2311 E County Highway 30A Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 (866) 966-2565
- WaterColor Inn & Resort (0.1 miles from Seaside Beach) 34 Goldenrod Circle Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 (850) 534-5000
- Let Cabana Man make your day at the beach a little more relaxing by setting up lounge chairs, beach umbrellas, or even private cabanas. If you’re looking for some extra fun, they provide kayak, paddleboard, and boogie board rentals too.
- Looking for a good beach read? Check out one of the oldest businesses in Seaside, Sundog Books, for a wild mix of classic literature, popular fiction, children’s books, and more.
- Visit the Seaside Farmers Market on Saturdays from 8:00am to noon. Taste some of the local fresh fruits and veggies, baked goods, and much more.
- Bud & Alley’s Restaurant 2236 East County Road 30-A Seaside, FL (850) 231-5900
- Great Southern Café 83 Central Square Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 (850) 231.7327
- The Meltdown on 30A 2235 E County Hwy Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 (850) 231-0952
Known as the oldest city in the nation, St. Augustine is rich with historical beauty and an old-world atmosphere. It is located on the Matanzas River and the Atlantic Ocean. Whether you’re a history buff or a beachgoer, St. Augustine is filled with places to see and things to do.
Tip: Take a walk down the oldest street in the United States, Aviles Street. Dating back to the 1570s, this cobblestone street is packed with museums, boutique shops, live music, and fine dining.
- The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens 149 Cordova Street St Augustine, FL 32084 (904) 209-5800
- Casa Monica Resort & Spa 95 Cordova Street St. Augustine, FL 32084 (904) 827-1888
- Hop onboard one of Old Town Trolley’s St. Augustine Sightseeing Tours. They offer an unlimited “Hop On & Off” privileges at 23 different stops around town.
- St. Augustine’s history is brought to life in the Colonial Quarter. This pet-friendly immersive attraction transports guests back to the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.
- Climb 219 steps to the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse and experience an unparalleled view of the nation’s oldest port, the Atlantic Ocean, and St. Augustine.
- O. C. White’s Restaurant 118 Avenida Menendez St. Augustine, FL 32084 (904) 824-0808
- The Gourmet Hut 17 Cuna Street St. Augustine, FL 32084 (904) 824-7477
- Peace Pie 8 Aviles Street St. Augustine, FL 32084 1-904-295-8232
Located on Florida’s Treasure Coast, Vero Beach is home to white sandy beaches, gourmet food and drink, museums, and cultural events. A haven for watersports enthusiasts, artists, and those looking to enjoy a relaxing getaway, Vero Beach offers an invitation to a slower pace of life.
Tip: Explore the shipwreck of the S.S. Breconshire, which is located a quarter mile in front of the Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa. The resort offers a 90-minute guided tour, which includes a kayak rental and snorkeling gear.
- Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa 3244 Ocean Drive Vero Beach, FL 32963 (877) 562-9919
- Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa 3500 Ocean Drive Vero Beach, FL 32963 (772) 231-5666
- Stroll through Ocean Drive (only one block away from the ocean) and explore boutique shops, Kilwin’s ice cream shop, and local art galleries.
- Visit the pet-friendly Farmers Market Oceanside on Saturdays from 8:00am to noon on Ocean Drive at Humiston Park. Enjoy a variety of local organic foods, botanicals, live music, and more.
- Taste some of the best local Vero Beach brews on tap at the Walking Tree Brewery.
- Cobalt 3500 Ocean Drive Vero Beach, FL 32963 (772) 469-1060
- The Wave Kitchen and Bar 3244 Ocean Drive Vero Beach, FL 32963 (772) 410-0100
- Grind + Grape 925 Bougainvillea Lane Vero Beach, FL 32963 (772) 231-5536
READ NEXT: Best Florida Beaches Guide