I love the beach. My hubby…not so much. His famous line is, “I would love the beach…if there was no sand….and if it was a pool.” Haha. It makes me laugh every time. It doesn’t matter though, because I still drag him with our family to the beach as often as possible.
But I could live at the beach. Just plant my toes in the sand and listen to the waves. The kids love to build sand castles, fish and swim. Beach life is the best life!
So, this is my family’s countdown for the top 5 beaches in southwest Florida. By the way, these are totally our opinion..some people may like other beaches better, but this is the with the reasons why we love them…
Best Beach in Boca Grande
If you follow my posts at all you know that we are HUGE Boca Grande Island fans. We go there as often as possible. Totally digging island life on Boca Grande. Check out one of our visits with a little video of a day at Boca Grande!
I also have a TON of Insta-Stories from our many, many visits to Boca Grande. Check out my Boca Grande Insta-Stories here!
There are many beaches on Boca Grande and one thing we love about each beach is that it’s quiet. Because you have to pay to get over the bridge, it isn’t as hectic as the other beaches. I guess a lot of people don’t like to pay the $6 toll, but we don’t mind at all. Totally worth it for a quieter atmosphere and blue water beaches. We love it.
Did I mention the blue water? I am serious when I say the water is so blue that we feel like we are in the Caribbean Islands. It’s definitely worth checking out.
There are several public beaches on Boca Grande island. Once you get to the four way stop in town, make a right and go around a curve and drive down that long road to find several spots to stop and have a fabulous beach day.
Best Beaches in Englewood
This is our favorite beach in Englewood! During season it can be super hectic, but off season it is wonderful. We love it. Check out why we love Englewood Beach so much! The thing Maggie loves about it is that there are a bazillion (yes, that’s right, a BAZILLION) seashells and sharks teeth.
The parking isn’t always great because it can be packed and you may have to drive around a bit to find a spot, especially during the busy winter seasons.
Stump Pass Beach Park is a great beach in Englewood! There is a beautiful walking trail that we love to take. I have no idea how many miles long the trail is. Maybe 2 miles? But they have a bunch of outlets to the beach along the way where you can park for a great beach day.
It is $3 to park and during the winter tourist season it is BUSY!! So beware. We went in the summer when it was very low key.
Best Beaches in Fort Myers
Bowditch Point Park
This is getting close to Sanibel Island. In fact there is a spot near the Sanibel causeway that is said to be a great beach spot. Reviews say that if you go early, you can even have the place to yourself (depending on the day of course).
Parking is limited at Bowditch Park so make sure to keep that in mind when planning the time you are heading to the beach.
There are so many great beaches in Fort Myers, but Bunche Beach located on the San Carlos Bay is another fan favorite. I have never been, but reviews say it’s a great beach. It is said that parking is easy and you just walk right onto the beach.
Fort Myers Beach
I haven’t been to Fort Myers Beach in FOREVER (that was said in my best “Sandlot” voice- please tell me you know what I am talking about). Actually, the last time I was there was when I was in college and that story is for another time and another place.
But this beach is beautiful and happening! If you are looking for the place to be at- this is where all the people are at! They also have a lot of fun restaurants and shops nearby so it’s a great tourist place to visit. If you are looking for quiet, I would not suggest Fort Myers Beach.
Best Beaches in Naples
Barefoot Beach Preserve in Naples
Naples is absolutely beautiful. It’s charm and tropical feel basically defines why people come to Florida! I do have a confession though. I have yet to visit any of the beaches in Naples, FL. Naples is a little bit of a drive for us. Southwest Florida is very spread out. However, I have heard wonderful things about Barefoot Beach Preserve in Naples. I have even heard reviews that it is a hidden gem in Southwest Florida.
It’s located at the end of Barefoot Beach Drive almost hidden away so make sure you don’t miss it! Because it is hidden away is probably why it is voted a great beach in Naples- it’s quiet. We love when the beach is not super busy!
Marco Island Beaches
Marco Island is at the southern tip of Naples, FL so it is further south than any of the other beaches listed here, but I have heard that the two public beaches on Marco Island are beautiful. You get the real Caribbean feel when visiting.
There is the Marco Island South Public Beach Access and there is also Tigertail Beach that is a public beach on Marco Island. Would love to hear your thoughts on this beach in the comments below!
Best Beaches in Sarasota
If you are looking for a little quieter experience, Manasota Beach might be a great choice in Sarasota county. There is an extra parking lot that makes for a less hectic time trying to park and the beach is very nice.
We love Nokomis Beach. The water is super clear and blue. Parking isn’t too bad, but it depends on when you go (I would say that for every beach).
South Lido Beach
They say South Lido Beach is one of the best beaches in Sarasota. We have never been but keep trying to make plans because of the great things we have heard. It can get very busy though, so plan accordingly.
Siesta Key Beach is voted one of the top beaches in the United States. It has beautiful white sand that feels like baby powder under your feet, so you don’t get burned walking to your spot on the beach. It’s so, so pretty! You have to visit! The parking isn’t horrible either…they have lots of parking so you aren’t circling for days waiting for someone to pull out. The facilities are very nice as well and they have the Siesta Key beach park that looks like a giant sandcastle!!
The only thing is that the parking can be super busy at Siesta Key during the busy winter season.
Those are some of the best beaches in Southwest Florida according to Facebook groups and local moms. Have a great beach day! Let us know which one you loved or didn’t love in the comments below.
Let me know in the comments which beaches in the area are your favorite. I would love to get your opinion.