Call us biased, but we think the Sunshine State is home to the prettiest, white-sandy-beach escapes in the country. So next time you’re looking to get away, don’t sleep on the best beach towns in Florida. Because hey, after the year we’ve had, we all deserve a break. Time to use that personal day, maybe? Treat yourself and sprawl out in one of these vacation home suggestions from Homes & Villas by Marriott International and more.

Editor’s note: Please remember to follow all social distancing guidelines and local travel recommendations.

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Naples best beach towns in florida
Pola Damonte/Getty Images

1. Naples

From serene beaches to top-notch dining to some of the most gorgeous sunsets we’ve ever seen, Naples feels like another world. Make some time to visit the Naples Beach Hotel, a historic property that has been around for more than a hundred years. Otherwise, check out Clam Pass Park and walk through a gorgeous mangrove estuary preserve (about half a mile) until you reach a white sandy beach. (There’s also a trolley that winds by every few minutes if you’re feeling lazy.) Oh, and don’t forget to visit the Naples Pier, which offers striking views of the Gulf of Mexico.

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Key Largo best beach town in Florida
Courtesy of Playa Largo Resort & Spa

2. Key Largo

Consider this oceanfront spot a welcome change of pace from Miami, with picturesque sunsets, charming restaurants and quiet beachside hotels. (It’s basically the adult version of spring break.) Bring a couple of bathing suits and lots of sunscreen, and get ready to spend a few days on the water, whether you prefer fishing and sailing or riding Jet Skis and swimming.

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Bal Harbour best beach town in Florida
Courtesy of Bal Harbour

3. Bal Harbour

Welcome to Bal Harbour. You probably know this area as the unbelievably luxurious stretch of coastline you drive through to get to Sunny Isles or South Beach. While it’s barely a mile long, this neighborhood is mighty—with designer shopping aplenty, plus enough fancy-shmancy restaurants and state-of-the-art spas and hotels to keep us relaxed (and borderline broke) until the end of time.

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Jacksonville best beach town in Florida
Courtesy of Visit Jacksonville

4. Jacksonville

With more than 22 miles of quiet shoreline, Jacksonville is definitely a top contender for the best beach town in the Sunshine State. Plus, this city is replete with local art and a blossoming food scene. Pro tip: Jacksonville boasts the largest urban park system in the country, so you’ll probably want to spend a great deal of your trip outside.

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Sanibel and Captiva Islands best beach towns in Florida
Vito Palmisano/Getty Images

5. Sanibel and Captiva Islands

You haven’t truly experienced the beauty of Florida until you’ve visited Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Just off the state’s peninsula on the Gulf of Mexico, Sanibel is a perfect seaside vacation spot, replete with miles of crystal-clear waters for boating, fishing and snorkeling—plus thousands of patterned seashells waiting to be collected. With beaches spanning for more than 15 miles, Captiva Island is its own tropical paradise, too. Together, these islands also include more than 25 miles of beachy bike paths, 250 types of unique seashells and 0 (!!!) stoplights. Talk about Florida charm.

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Islamorada best beach town in Florida
Courtesy of Robbie’s of Islamorada

6. Islamorada

The four islands of Islamorada are known for having an upscale, small-town vibe with museums, seafood restaurants, boating and lots of sunshine. Don’t miss out on Founders Park, which features 45 acres of clear coastline with shallow turquoise waters, plenty of sand and palm trees to lounge under for an afternoon. Plus, book a sunset sail at Robbie’s Marina, home to its world-famous tarpon feeding, shopping and food. You’ll cruise along the open ocean for nearly two hours, catching one of the most picturesque sunsets in Florida. (Oh, and the boat is always stocked with free Champagne.)

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Sunny Isle best beach town in Florida
Courtesy of Acqualina Resort & Spa

7. Sunny Isles

Home to the best waterfront hotel in the country (hi, Acqualina Resort & Spa), Sunny Isles one of our favorite beach towns. Just under two miles long, this slice of paradise offers great places to dine, a healthy dose of adventure and plenty of things to do. The best part? One block north of Sunny Isles, escape towering skyscrapers for acres of open shoreline. Set up shop with a chair, a cooler and a stylish umbrella at Haulover Beach Park, which is one of the only areas in Miami-Dade County with a stretch of public sand and not a building in sight.

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St. Pete best beach towns in Florida
SeanPavonePhoto/Getty Images

8. St. Pete

It’s lovely year-round, but late winter to early spring is the best time to experience St. Pete’s prime 75 degree temperatures and peacefulness. (Just aim to avoid the week when spring breakers bust into town.) Plus, Downtown St. Petersburg is less than ten miles from St. Pete Beach. But because there’s virtually no traffic in the area, the drive is just under 15 minutes. That means you get to experience the excitement of downtown but squeeze in a few hours a day on the sand, too.

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Key West best beach towns in Florida
Ganesh Ampalavanar/Eyeem/Getty Images

9. Key West

Colorful pastel-painted beach houses, swaying palms, Ernest Hemingway’s historic home and the rowdy bars of Duval Street—there’s just nothing like Key West. Pro tip: Right before you hit the Seven Mile Bridge on your trip home, make a stop at Bahia Honda. This beachside park—covering more than 500 acres and with a view of an abandoned historic bridge—is perfect for a day of snorkeling, kayaking, tanning (with SPF) and boating before you head home.

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Surfside best beach towns in Florida
Photo courtesy of Christian Horan Photography

10. Surfside

Quiet beaches and downright luxury are what this Florida beach town is all about. Beyond the shoreline, there’s quite a bit of art deco history in Surfside. In the early ’30s, the Surf Club, one of the first luxury hotels to drop anchor in Miami, opened and quickly became the scene for indulgent parties with celebrity guests like Frank Sinatra, Winston Churchill and Elizabeth Taylor. Today, the property was brought back to life as the Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club. Think of this as the place where you’ll want to indulge in a lavish spa treatment, dress up and dine at celebrity chef Thomas Keller’s Surf Club Restaurant or at least spend an hour wandering through the Mediterranean-inspired grounds.

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