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Top 10 Beaches in Southwest Florida

The best beaches to visit in Southwest Florida from a local travel blogger.

Waving crashing onto trunk on the beach shore

How to choose only ten beaches in Southwest Florida? Certainly not an easy task but we focused not only on the beauty of each beach but also on the amenities, activities and crowd level.

In this list, you will find a beach for everyone. If you are into peace and quiet, be sure to check out number 2 or maybe you are into exploring more secluded spots, then definitely add number 9 to your must visit list.

Best beaches in Southwest Florida

1- Gasparilla State Park, Boca Grande

Our little SWFL Bahamas beach is what we call Gasparilla State Park. The water is clear, the sand is pristine white and the shells are many.

The beach boasts of not only one but two lighthouses and even a museum.

Girl laying in the sand in front of Boca Grande Lighthouse

2 - Stump Pass Beach, Englewood

Stump pass beach

Stump Pass Beach is for the activity and thrill seekers. The park is home to a kayak launch, boat launch pier, a 1.5 mile walk trail and the calmness of the water makes it perfect for paddle boarding.

The parking is very small, only 40 spaces, which makes this beach very secluded. Great for anyone who wants a peaceful and quiet day at the beach.

3 - Cayo Costa

Cayo Costa is a beautiful state park that can only be accessible by ferry or private boat. The island boasts of 9 miles of beautiful beach and due to its low rate of visitors, the wild life is definitely more abundant in Cayo Costa.

The park also offers cabins for visitors who would like to spend the night and wake up already on the beach. Keep in mind that there is no electricity and that means no lights and no hot showers either.

4 - Silver Key Preserve, Sanibel Island

Ready for a good walk? Silver Key preserve is one of our favorite beaches in Southwest Florida, just behind Gasparilla State Park.

We love the remoteness of it as well as the journey to get to it. You can only get to Silver Key Preserve by walking from either Blind Pass Beach or Turner Beach. It's about a 2 mile walk that is totally worth it in our opinion.

Keep in min that there are no facilities in this location so plan your day accordingly.

Silver key preserve beach in Sanibel island

5 - Bowditch Point Park, Fort Myers Beach

Bowditch Point Park is a great spot to see a dolphin or a manatee. We know because we have seen it a few times in this same location.

The park is also a great place to grill and enjoy a full day on the beach but be prepared to arrive very early as the spots are very limited.

6 - Lovers key State Park , Fort Myers Beach

Photographer's favorite beach, Lovers Key Preserve has so much character and the big parking lot is a win for all the late risers who do not have to wake up early to fight for a spot here.

There are restrooms, kayak rentals, and even a store where you can purchase finger food items, drinks, and beach related items.

7 - Delnor Wiggins Pass, Naples

One of the most well rounded beach parks in Southwest Florida, Delnor Wiggins Pass provides restroom facilities, shower stations, five parking lots, a nature trail and even a concession with a restaurant.

Not to mention the beach and the park are absolutely beautiful, comprised with nature and local wildlife.

8 - Alison Hagerup, Captiva Island

Little shell found at Alison Hagerup Captiva island

Sitting at the very end of Captiva Island, Alison Hager up is so hidden that many locals are not familiar with it.

Now, the parking is a bit steep, at $25 for two hours or $40 for a full day but if you enjoy a non crowded beach with calm waves, this one might be your beach.

9 - Don Pedro State Park

Just like Cayo Costa, Don Pedro State Park is also only accessible by private boat or ferry.

It is a 100 acre park that offers, kayak launch, fishing dock, nature trails and much more.

10 - Nokomis Beach, Nokomis

Sailing boat passing by at Nokomis Beach

Nokomis Beach is another well rounded park. Tons of free parking spaces, restroom facilities, playground, grills and picnic pavilions.

The perfect beach to spend an entire day and even throw a beach party.

Beautiful boardwalk and a lots of things to do here.


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