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Finding the perfect Florida beach with clear water and soft white sand isn’t hard to do since Florida has many great beaches. But there are some beaches that stand out with especially crystal-clear, blue water that makes you feel like you’re in paradise.
These beaches are definitely worth a visit if you’ve never been to them. They are picture perfect and allow you to fully enjoy the tropical environment.
Whether you’re set on just relaxing on the beach with incredible views of the water, or actually getting your snorkel gear out and diving in, the clear water is mesmerizing.
Best Clear Blue Water Beaches In Florida
The clarity of the water can greatly depend on the weather. Some days the water may not be as clear as an aftermath of storms, winds, rain or other reasons. But for the most part, these places are known for their consistently clear water.
These are some of the best clear water, warm beaches in Florida starting from Northern Florida and going South. As you will notice, there are certain areas in Florida that have consistently clear water. Many of these beaches have been awarded the Blue Wave Award which is highly based on the quality of the water, clarity, and cleanliness as well as a few other factors.
Starting out the Emerald Coast is Pensacola Beach. Pensacola’s beaches are far less crowded than other beach destinations on the Emerald Coast.
The Pensacola Beach is one of the most popular places beaches in the area. It is set on Santa Rosa island, as soon as you cross the bridge. Whether you want to go swimming in the emerald-green waters, or just want to sunbathe, this beach is the perfect choice.
Further down is Langdon Beach at Fort Pickens where you have stunning beaches and the historical fort. To make this beach even more special, other than the crystal clear water and sugar white sand, is that it is one of the few beaches you can actually camp at.
Just the name makes you think of a beautiful gemstone and that’s exactly what the water resembles at Opal Beach. The water glistens in the sun with emerald and turquoise colors that makes this beach very inviting.
The best part? It is not a crowded beach like some of the others on this list. There is a $25 fee to get in the park that is good for 7 days if you are visiting, but once you do, it is yours to enjoy without the large crowds.
It is considered Pensacola’s hidden gem and worth the drive with gorgeous views. Despite being a little out of the way, this beach has great amenities that you can use.
However, if you don’t want to make the drive down the island strip and pay the park fee, Navarre Beach is a great option nearby. The water is just as clear and sparkling and it’s in a very convenient location right as you get off the bridge.
Destin is highly praised for having some of the clearest and most beautiful blue water in the state and specifically on the Emerald Coast. This is partly because of Choctawatchee Bay that acts as a filter for the water and enhances the clarity and purity of the water.
One of the most loved and prettiest beaches in Destin is at the Henderson State Park. There you will find stunning turquoise water and soft white sand.
This beach is one of the prime examples of why this coast has been nicknamed the Emerald Coast. The vivid colors and clearness of these beaches is hard to beat anywhere else in the state.
Fishing, walking the nature trails, or kayaking are all great ways to enjoy the area. You can also camp at the park if you choose to make your visit longer but you would need to book in advance as this popular place sells out quick. The cost to enter the park is just $6 per vehicle for the day.
Eglin Matterhorn Beach and James Lee Beach are two other notable beaches around Destin that offer water access.
One of the best things to do in Destin is definitely getting out on the boat so you can find many boat ramps around the area. And more than likely, you will get to see dolphins while on your boating trip.
Crab Island is located in the Destin area as well, but it is a destination of its own. It’s not exactly an island. Rather, it is a sandbar off the coast of Destin that was once a manmade island. It has now eroded into a sandbar and has become one of the most popular places to visit in the area.
If you’re wondering what are the best places to get out on the boat in Destin, this is it. It doesn’t get any more crystal clear than the water at this sandbar.
To visit Crab Island, you will need a boat to get there but if you don’t have one of your own, you can always rent or go on a tour. Some of the best tour companies that will take you to Crab Island are the Crab Island Sandbar Adventure which take you there and back or the Private Boat Charter that includes a captain to charter the boat wherever you want to go.
Rosemary Beach is one of those places that is starting to become a very popular place to visit in Florida. It is a small town, but very charming with European style architecture giving it cute coastal beach town vibes, and of course, has the perfect clear blue water as well as the soft sand beaches.
You can spend all of you day at the beach enjoying that clear water, but if you choose to explore the town, one of the best ways to do it is to rent a bike. Then you can enjoy this coastal retreat with the salty soft breeze in your hair as you pedal down the streets.
One drawback, is that this beach location along the 30A highway may not always be open to the public. Beach access is often restricted to overnight guests who stay in the area since the area draws in many people and can get crowded.
However, there are specific public beach access points that you can find in the area and still get to enjoy that clear water if you choose not to stay overnight in the area. Blue Mountain Beach is a nice beach to visit in this area.
Panama City Beach
Panama City has plenty of beaches with over 27 miles of perfectly white sand stretches. Even though there are many people visiting Panama City, there is plenty of room for everyone on the beach.
The water might be a notch less clear than in Destin, but it is still very clear and the color of the water is a very turquoise-blue.
One of the best places to explore is the beachfront park, St. Andrews State Park. It boasts those clear emerald water and the sugar white sand beaches.
On the southern side of the park is the Shell Island. It is an undeveloped 7-mile long barrier island with a beach and one of the best ways to spend your time on the water.
You can rent a pontoon boat, go kayaking, fishing, and enjoy the water to the fullest here. This area is also a great place to camp overnight if you are looking for a large campground with a public boat launch.
Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Honeymoon Island State Park is a little slice of paradise with clear water and white sand beaches.
The two main ways to get there are to drive across the Dunedin Causeway or take the ferry from Clearwater or St. Pete Beach. The entrance fee to the park is $8 per vehicle.
While you can’t actually stay on the island since there are no accommodation options, it is a great day trip from anywhere around Clearwater or the Tampa Bay area.
There are plenty of activities to keep you busy while on the island. With rentals available, you can grab a kayak and get out on the water, rent a beach chair with umbrella and lounge on beach, or get on a bike and go exploring more of the island.
If you get hungry, there are two cafes on the island so if you forgot to pack a lunch, don’t worry, Cafe Honeymoon and South Beach Pavilion Cafe are a great stop to get a bite to eat.
Caladesi Island is a gem of an island located right next to Honeymoon Island. It is accessible by ferry from Honeymoon Island which is $16 per person for a 15 minute ride and you get 4 hours before you have to go back.
The other option is to take your own boat to Caladesi Island if you want to be more relaxed and not stress about ferry times. It is even possible to just kayak over to this island from a part of Clearwater.
Even though it is more of an effort to get here, that’s what makes it special since not many people make it a point to go here. It is pristine, untouched beauty of an island that is still relatively close to the large cities.
Settle down into your very own spot on the beach with very few other people around you and truly relax. Then take a swim in the clear waters or go on a walk on the nature trail that will lead you through a pine forest.
If you are a shell collector looking for the best shelling beaches in Florida, you might be able to find a few good shells on this island.
The St. Pete area is fantastic with so many things to do and the water here is sure to impress. The water with its blue hue and the wide stretch of white sand might make this one of your favorite beaches in the area.
There are many attractions in St. Pete including museums, galleries, boutiques, and delicious restaurants. One of these restaurants is the Spinners Rooftop Grille that is a revolving rooftop restaurant in St. Pete with 360-degree views of the stunning water.
If you’re looking for a place to stay, the iconic Don Cesar is considered the crown jewel on this coast known as the pink castle of Florida. This hotel has its own beach access where you can use their beach chairs and umbrellas.
It is easy to spend a whole day at the beach in St. Pete soaking up the sun and the gorgeous water.
Fort De Soto Park
With just a $5 fee to get into the park, this gem of a park is definitely worth a visit. This nature retreat has everything you could possibly need for the best time at the park.
Over seven miles of waterfront and three miles of white sandy beaches, boat launching facility, camping area with over 200 camp sites, seven miles of paved trails, two fishing piers, two large swimming areas, perfect setting to see plenty of wildlife, and a historical fort to explore.
There is also a dog-friendly beach at this park so if you love traveling with your furry friend, than no need to worry, this park accommodates everyone.
The North Beach is the more popular one with a great area to swim and picnic tables where you can eat. The water there is incredibly clear and remains pretty warm year-round. It is one of the most beautiful places to watch a sunset so be sure to stick around until the sky turns into pretty pinks and oranges.
Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island is a favorite of many being more on the authentic side. The white-sand beaches and beautiful blue water really do stand out and make this island special. While there, you are almost guaranteed to see some dolphins and other wildlife.
The island is split into three different cities: the City of Anna Maria, Bradenton Beach, and Holmes Beach.
Holmes beach, located in the middle of the island, is the gem of Anna Maria Island with many beach-front properties that are available for rent, shops and restaurants that serve delicious, fresh seafood.
Manatee Public Beach is one of the best beaches in the area offering many water activities.
If you choose to go down to the southern side of the island, Coquina Beach is another beach that is worth visiting.
Siesta Key Beach
Siesta Key Beach is one of the top beaches in Florida so it’s not surprising that it has clear water and soft white sand that has people coming back over and over again.
The water in Siesta Key Beach is a beautiful turquoise that runs along a lengthy stretch of incredible beaches. Along with the water, what makes this beach popular is the powdery soft, white sand. The sand is made of 99% quartz so even on the hottest days it feels cool underneath your feet.
As popular as it is, this beach in Sarasota has plenty of parking with over 900 free public parking spaces at the main entrance and nice amenities to make your day at the beach perfect.
If you don’t want the crowds of Siesta Beach, but still want to enjoy the clear water of the island that stretches for 8 miles, go down South on the island to Crescent Beach. There you will find one of the hidden gems of the area, Point of Rocks.
It is a limestone rock formation that you can snorkel around while enjoying the clear water and seeing all kinds of marine life. The water is usually very calm there so it’s a perfect snorkeling place for all ages.
While the beach is the main draw to Siesta Key, the island has more to discover at the Siesta Key Village where they have many shops and restaurants.
Siesta Key is one of the best things to do in Sarasota, and if you are in the area, it is worth checking out the other islands nearby. Lido Key and Longboat Key are both islands next to Siesta Key that have beautiful, clear water too.
Sanibel Island is a very premier destination with many people seeking out the laid-back scene with incredible beaches.
It is the type of beach the whole family can enjoy with crystal-clear water and soft white sands. There is plenty of room for everyone as it is one of the lesser-crowded, clear water beaches.
All of the beaches have parking and are easy to get to. While enjoying the beach, make sure to look for shells as it is one of the best places in Florida to find shells.
The Sanibel Lighthouse is one of the most historical parts of the island first being lit in 1884. It towers at 98 feet and is one of the most recognizable features of the island.
This island is a short drive from Naples and is the largest Barrier Island within the Ten Thousand Islands. This makes kayaking through the islands one of the best things to do while visiting Marco Island.
Two of the public beaches on Marco Island are Tigertail Beach and South Beach that have multiple access points. The water is very nice and clear with white sand that is good to look through for shells.
But while the beaches are amazing, the island is very packed and there is very little room for parking. Also, most of the parking on the island is paid parking.
After the beach day, you can take a dolphin tour around the islands to see the magnificent creatures and the surrounding ecosystem.
This is one of the few beaches on this list where you won’t find white sandy beaches, but you will still find that incredibly clear blue water.
Jupiter has nice sandy beaches but it also has a very unique, rocky landscape in some of the places. One of the best places to visit these rocky formations is the Blowing Rocks Preserve. The rocks rise quite high above the sand so you get to see the waves crashing into them making for a unique sight to see.
Snorkel at Jupiter Beach Park or spend some time at DuBois Park where you can kayak, lounge in the sand or try some saltwater fishing.
Palm Beach is a hotspot for many attractions, shopping, entertainment and restaurants, but the water here deserves a mention too.
The beaches are beautiful with the most notable beach being Delray Beach. It is right alongside Atlantic Avenue, a bustling promenade, that offers the best of both worlds.
Another place that has exceptional beauty with clear blue water is the Peanut Island. It does require to take a short ferry ride or kayak to the island since it is located in the middle of Lake Worth Lagoon.
It’s the perfect place to go swimming snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, and just lounging around the island. While snorkeling, there is a high chance of seeing marine life including the gentle giant manatees.
This world famous city is also home to some of the most stunning and clearest beaches in the state. It is often the choice of vacation for people coming to visit from all over the world.
Miami has long stretches of white sandy beaches that run along the coast. South Beach is one of these legendary beaches that attracts thousands of people every year. Along this beach, you will see historic Art Deco architecture and experience some of the finest dining in Miami.
The Sunny Isles Beach is a great option too and a little less crowded. It is lined with towering residential condominiums but that doesn’t spoil how nice the water and the beach are which makes it a local favorite.
For more upscale resorts with pristine water, visit Surfside Beach. There are plenty of beaches to choose from in Miami and they all have crystal clear water and soft sand beaches.
Apart from the beaches, there are also so many things to do in Miami that you get the best of both worlds – beautiful clear water and a vibrant city life.
It’s hard to just pick one place in the Florida Keys where the water is the clearest. If you’ve ever done a trip from Miami to Key West, you have seen the incredible turquoise water along the way. Driving down the Overseas Highway, you get to visit many places in the Keys and enjoy the water to the fullest.
The vivid colors and the clear water make it the ideal place for snorkeling in Florida. You can expect to see plenty of marine life including fish, corals, sponges, crabs, rays, sea turtles and dolphins.
One of the best places to get out in the water and enjoy the clear water is Key Largo. It is known as the “Diving Capital of the World” and is home to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park which is the first undersea park in the United States.
The park has one of the best snorkeling reefs in the area and of course the Christ of the Abyss Statue that can be seen when diving down.
Although the Keys aren’t known for the best beaches in the state, there are still some beaches you can enjoy together with the incredible water. One of these places is the Bahia Honda State Park. It has some of the best stretches of sand in the Keys.
Although in the Keys, Key West is a destination of its own. Being the Southernmost point of the continental U.S. it has arguably some of the most stunning, clear water that you can get to by car.
Fort Zachary State Park is the best way to enjoy the water from the island with a small fee. The park has places where you can stretch out on the beach, lounge in hammock between the trees, have a picnic or swim in the enticing water.
The rocks around the best swimming beach in the park are a good place to do some snorkeling and see all the fish that live around the rocks. Unless it is a windy day, the water is calm making it a great spot to snorkel around the island.
The next best beach in Key West is the Smathers Beach. It is the largest public beach on the island at half a mile long. Some consider this beach the most scenic one on the island but the Fort Zachary State Park Beach definitely gives it some competition.
Key West offers many tours to get off the island and onto the water. The list is endless with all the water activities you can do while in Key West. Cruises, snorkeling, dolphin watching, sailing, glass bottom tours, wildlife tours, parasailing, kayaking and so much more can be done with one of the top companies in key West, Fury.
This National Park in Florida is only accessible by boat or plane and has some of the most stunning clear water beaches in Florida. These islands are located just 70 miles west of Key West but it is one of the least visited national parks.
What makes this National Park more fascinating is the historical Fort Jefferson. It is one of the largest brick masonry structures in the United States that covers 16 acres. Taking a tour of the fort and learning more about its history will help you learn more about the history of the Keys.
Snorkeling while at the Dry Tortugas is one of the best experiences in such clear water. The reefs are home to a variety of species and you might be surprised at the marine life you see there. You can spend all day in the water chasing fish and spotting colorful corals.
The islands are known for being home to a large number of species of birds as well, so bird watching is another favorite activity of visitors. Sit back and relax on one of the beaches to watch all of the wildlife around you, just don’t forget your binoculars.
Have you ever wanted to camp on a remote island under the stars? Well this would be your chance so be sure to bring all of your camping needs with you. Once the eventful day is over, pitch up a tent and enjoy the cool breeze of the ocean while looking up at the bright stars since there is no light pollution around.
Florida’s Best Clear Water Springs
Now that we have explored many of Florida’s best clear water beaches, we cannot leave out the crystal-clear springs. There are over 600 springs in Florida and they have some of the clearest water you will ever see in Florida. We will just highlight just some of the clear water springs.
True to its name, Crystal River is one of our most favorite crystal-clear water springs in Florida. The Three Sister’s Springs is the best place to get out into the water and go snorkeling to see the manatees that live in the water. Seeing the manatees is one of the best things to do in Crystal River in the winter time.
You can take a manatee tour or just get out into the water by renting a kayak. After a day out on the water, make to stop by one of the restaurants and get a taste of delicious, fresh seafood.
The clear and turquoise water in Weeki Wachee will amaze you. When the sun hits just right, it lights up even brighter with those aqua colored hues.
Rent a boat or a kayak to explore more of these natural springs while relaxing in the beautiful natural setting.
What makes this natural spring destination even more different from others is that they have a mermaid attraction that has been open for years.
What Florida Beaches Have the Clearest Water and White Sand?
For the clearest water, we would recommend going to the Destin area or from Miami down to the Keys. There you will find that the water is the clearest and most blue. These places are great for snorkeling since you will be able to see clearly underwater as well as all kinds of other water activities.
For clear water and the softest white sand, we recommend going to Siesta Key. But, whichever beach you choose to explore on this list is sure not to disappoint.