There's a common misconception that Florida's beaches are completely inundated with locals and tourists as soon as the temperature hits 65 degrees. While this is true of many stretches of sand, it's not true of every spot in the sunshine state. With perfect weather year-round, many beach lovers head to the well-known destinations that are close to cities such as Miami or Tampa and forget that there are some under-the-radar spots that see very few people annually.
Everyone knows that when it comes to finding that one spot that's known by few and coveted by even fewer, they seem non-existent. We're here to prove that with such a large state, there's bound to be some oceanside views that have yet to be controlled by the masses. Even if it takes hiking to a secluded island to avoid sharing a towel space with other people, these spots are worth it - trust us.
St. George Island
The description of St. George Island sounds like more of a dream than an actual destination. With 28 miles of shimmering sea that meets a stretch of flawless coastline, it's hard to believe that this island is constantly full of tourists or locals. This island juts out slightly into the Gulf of Mexico with the closest major hub being Panama City to the west and Tallahassee to the (far) northeast. Before the bridge to this section of land, there's nothing but wilderness in the form of state parks, making the trip to St. George Island just as scenic as the island itself.
While this state park isn't making any list for having major attractions or entertainment venues, its calm shores, quaint inns and bed and breakfasts, and few well-known dining establishments are reason enough to visit. Its remoteness is probably why the island is known mostly by fishermen and those who make the drive to explore the state parks, take advantage of the warm Gulf waters (and its seafood), or explore the nearby Cape St. George Lighthouse.
Cayo Costa State Park
Located on the far opposite end of the state, Cayo Costa State Park is an offshore barrier island that's just off the coast of Fort Meyers and Cape Coral. However, there is a caveat to visiting this state park, and it's also the reason that so few people line its shores: it can only be reached by boat.
While this seems like a hassle, a bit of research or a boat rental can easily get you from point A to point B in no time. The trip itself is very short and incredibly scenic, and it's worth it for the view along the way. Upon pulling up to this island, you'll be convinced that you've found a hidden Bahamas beach off the coast of Florida, only to realize that dreams do come true... In the form of pristine white-sand beaches and calm, crystal-clear waters. This is the best place in the state for shelling and beachcombing, and it's a popular spot for overnight camping and cabin rentals, as well.
Not far from Clearwater off the coast of Dunedin sits Caladesi Island. It was once part of Honeymoon Island, which is right next to it, but was separated following a hurricane storm surge. Now, it sits as a semi-remote piece of land that's easily accessible by walking from Clearwater Beach, and the walk is definitely worth it for these views.
The beach is made up of white quartz sand which makes it sparkle and glimmer in the sunlight, and its uncrowded shores mean that these aquamarine waters are perfect for swimming and cooling off. The beach in this state park also features more amenities than most, with shaded pavilions and a playground for families and kids. Other activities here include kayaking through the nearby mangroves and hiking through the easy path that winds its way through the wooded area of the park.
Just off the coast of South Naples, Keewaydin Island is perfect for both beachgoers and boaters. Occasionally, there will be food and drink boats on the opposite side of the island, and it does see more people on the weekends. However, if you're visiting during the week or hanging out on the beachside closest to the Gulf, you shouldn't see too much traffic.
It's a well-known spot for the locals of Naples but not known much outside of the city, which keeps it fairly secluded. It's also a haven for wildlife and visitors can see anything from deer to the rare panther. This beach is also dog-friendly (the only one in Naples) which is another reason it's well-loved by the locals. You will need a boat to get to Keewaydin, though, but it's worth it for some seriously secluded beach time.