Sitting squarely between the Atlantic Ocean and The Gulf of Mexico, Florida is the ticket to paradise for most tourists. This destination is famous for its year-round sunshine, wild nightlife, and white-sand beaches. Every summer, Florida attracts countless visitors eager to engage in fun activities like hiking, kayaking, cruising, swimming, and wildlife watching.

Florida’s picture-perfect gulf coast is full of family-friendly attractions, from world-class restaurants to emerald waters that brush against the endless coastline. However, most beaches between Panhandle and South Florida are often overlooked. Here are eight underrated but beautiful gulf coast beaches in Florida.

8 Grayton Beach

Pristine and full of character, Grayton Beach is a hidden gem on Florida’s coast. The beach boasts clear, emerald-green waters, and its stunning beauty compensates for its small size. The wooden homes, built in a Hemmingway-styled architecture, offer a spectacular view of the one-mile coastline. Additionally, the sumptuous seafood in the region is underrated. Holding an ice-cold drink while walking on this shell-speckled beach is the best way to enjoy the breathtaking views of the endless shores.

  • Location: Panhandle Gulf Coast
  • Recommendation: Visit Grayton Beach State Park for exciting nature trails and kayaking adventure

Related: 8 Most Scenic Beaches On Florida's Gulf Coast

7 Honeymoon Island

Well-known for its vast gin-clear waters, the dog-friendly beach offers four miles of shoreline to explore. Here, marine birds often outnumber the tourists, but the breathtaking sunsets make the beachgoers want to stay. The natural beach has a variety of wildlife and is a popular spot for fishing practice. Romantic couples fall in love with Honeymoon Island, with the main attraction being a gigantic ferry that cruises to nearby Caladesi Island.

  • Location: Dunedin, Pinellas County
  • Recommendation: Explore the dog-friendly nature trail suitable for hiking and biking

6 Seaside

A small town made famous by the movie The Truman Show, Seaside boasts the finest white-sand beaches and pastel-colored houses. The Instagram-ready beach attracts tourists in need of a lengthy escape during the summer. Cool attractions include gorgeous picnic spots, thrilling boat rides, and beachfront eateries offering Florida’s most delicious barbeque. But, for an overly relaxing experience, vacationers should get a refreshing massage session at Beach Ready Spa.

  • Location: Panhandle, Walton County
  • Recommendation: Take a walk in the pedestrian-friendly area and explore Seaside’s food delights at Barefoot BBQ and Cocina Cubana

Related: Guide To Visiting Florida's Largest National Forest, Apalachicola

5 St. George Island

Nestled near North Florida’s gulf coasts is another best-kept secret, St. George Island. From scenic trails to fresh seafood, the island is home to St. Island State Park and the powder-white beaches. The beach, which is open to the public, boasts camping access and flawless dunes. Fun things to do include kayaking, paddle boarding, cycling, and fishing. A picnic at the state park pavilion is also an excellent way to spend a lazy day on St. George’s Island.

  • Location: Panhandle Gulf Coast
  • Recommendation: Have an unforgettable wildlife-viewing experience at St. Island State Park, with sea turtles’ egg-laying season being the major tourist attraction

4 Bahia Honda State Park

The soothingly secluded beach is a good choice for nature lovers. Snorkeling excursions are particularly intriguing, thanks to the nearby reef with crystal clear waters. Beachgoers can soak up the sunshine and dip their toes in the cool on a warm summer afternoon. Land-based activities include hiking, camping, and seashell collection. The six cabins provide excellent accommodation overnight, but booking a reservation is recommended as the spots are only available on a first-come-first-served basis.

  • Location: Florida Keys
  • Recommendation: Take pictures at the iconic bridge that offers panoramic views of sharks swimming below

Located on the Gulf Island National Seashore, there is nothing not to love about Navarre Beach. The beach boasts emerald green water, scenic bike trails, and luxurious cruise ships. In Navarre Beach, relaxation is king. Whether fishing, swimming, or sunbathing while reading a book, the crowd-free beach is perfect for a quiet vacation away from the noisy city. Due to its strategic location, travelers can also drive to nearby vacation hotspots, namely Pensacola and Destin.

  • Location: Santa Rosa Island
  • Recommendation: Take a cruise to the deep waters and spot the energetic dolphins of the Atlantic Ocean

2 Pensacola Beach

Beachgoers in Florida often have a hard time breaking away from the hidden beauty of Pensacola Beach. From sugar-white sands to bustling beachside restaurants to turquoise waters, the beach tops the list of underrated but beautiful vacation spots in the United States. Surprisingly, most villas have affordable accommodation fees for guests who want to spend a night. A stroll at the nearby Gulf Breeze Zoo is one of the best ways to spend an afternoon in Pensacola Beach.

  • Location: Santa Rosa Island
  • Recommendation: Stay at Margaritaville Beach Hotel, Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach, and Hilton Pensacola Beach

1 Pass-A-Grille

Named after traditional fishermen who used to grill their fresh catches from the deep waters, Pass-A-Grille is an easy favorite for the locals. This tourist destination constantly ranks highly on the list of beautiful beaches in Florida. The beach features uninterrupted shorelines with postcard-worthy shimmering waters. Pass-A-Grille is home to amazing restaurants, artistic boutiques, and beachfront studios for visitors who want an extended stay.

  • Location: St. Pete Beach, Gulf of Mexico
  • Recommendation: Unwind at Pass-A-Grille Beach House, Sabal Palms Inn, Coconut Inn, and