Florida’s West Coast Beaches


Albany Muria

Cayo Costa State Park is perfect for those who want to disconnect from the modern world and simply connect with nature

On the opposite side of the infamous Miami Beach reside beautiful beaches with white, cold sand that are open for exploring. These beaches reside in small islands on the west coast of Florida. Many of which include Sanibel Beach, Cayo Costa State Park and Anna Maria Island.

Anna Maria Island: Just an hour away from Tampa, Anna Maria Island is a secluded island perfect for a summer vacation getaway. Coquina Beach is one of the best public beaches on the island, which isn’t too crowded and the sand is colder than ever. The island is home to delicious local restaurants, like Vinny & Cheryl’s Italian Kitchen. There is also a free trolley service that takes tourists to tour the whole island. Anna Maria Island also has the cutest little boutiques, where one can buy anything ranging from jewelry to local beach attire.

Sanibel Island: Famous for its beautiful seashells, Sanibel Island is perfect for a relaxing family vacation. The island offers great fishing spots and beautiful sea-shelled sanded beaches. For bike lovers, the island is safe for family bike rides; a great way to experience its breath-taking weather and foliage. For a private beach with a available fishing spots, try Bowman’s Beach!

“Visiting Sanibal was the perfect ending to my summer. The outdoors activities that the island has to offer, from going to the beach to kayaking at Tarpon Bay, allowed me to disconnect, relax and appreciate nature,” junior Natalia Clement said.

Cayo Costa State Park: Looking for an a deserted island getaway? Cayo Costa State Park is the right place. This state park allows for camping and includes cabins for up to 6 people. The only way to get to the island is by going on a 45 minute ferry boat ride from 5 different locations. The best part about the beach is its isolated and peaceful atmosphere, which allows a true connection with nature. Cabin rentals range from $40-50, so make your reservation now!

“The beaches up north tend to be less crowded than the ones here such as South Beach. The color of the water and waves are also very different. Also the cleanliness of the beaches tend to differ,” senior Cathryn Cordes said.

There’s nothing better than sand that keeps your feet cold and an isolated beach. Try visiting all these islands this summer, as they have much to offer!