Less Crowded, Less Expensive Summer Beach Alternatives

Summer is beach time in the Sunshine State for Floridians, but not only are as many tourists now coming to Florida in summer as in winter, there is a higher percentage arriving by automobile.

If your pocketbook is a little low this year and you don’t like crowded beaches you might want to consider these alternative beach destinations.

Instead of Miami and Fort Lauderdale, think of visiting the Florida  Keys .  The summer image of hot, humid, and hurricanes seems to scare people away from the Keys.  Last year 106,000 tourists packed Key West in March, but only 36,000 arrived last August.  Do you really think hurricanes can’t hit Miami?

FLORIDATRAVELR beach at Fort-Zachary-Taylor

Beach at Fort Zack Taylor in Key West

Instead of Daytona Beach, visit nearby New Smyrna Beach where there are summer concerts, a boardwalk, good restaurants, and a similar beach.  Dr. Beach calls NSB as one of the ten best beach towns in Florida and Travel and Leisure lists the town as the only Atlantic Coast town that is a “cool surf town.”

Besides, if you are a history buff like me, you can stay at the 1885 Riverside Hotel and Spa – something that Daytona Beach does not have.

FLORIDATRAVELER new smyrna beach -Riverview-hotel and spa

1885 Riverside Hotel & Spa in New Smyrna Beach

If Sanibel and Captiva Islands are too rich for your blood, an alternative is Fort Myers Beach.  If you want a beach village of shops and restaurants, stay at the north end of the Fort Myers Beach.  If you want the rustic tropics, stay at the southern tip so you can go into Lovers Key State Park where you can canoe, kayak, or swim.


Lovers Key State Park at Ft Myers Beach

Instead of Sarasota, visit Venice or Englewood (the Charlotte side).  The shops and sites of Venice are near the hotels and condos near Venice Jetties.  Laid back with great fishing and boating at Stump Pass State Park is Englewood, where giant condos don’t block the sky.

FLORIDATRAVELER laid back stump pass

A Lazy Day at Stump Pass, Englewood

Saint Petersburg Beach and Clearwater Beach can be packed with automobiles from commuting mainlanders, but, despite popular Johns Pass with its restaurants and shops, most of Treasure Island is family-oriented and resembles vacations at the beach from the past.

Panama City and Pensacola Beach get really packed on weekends, and while Destin can get its crowds, Destin Beach spreads out to less developed beach sites.  It is the same great white sands and home-spun fun.


Destin With Its Great White Sand

About floridatraveler

Historian and travel writer M. C. Bob Leonard makes the Sunshine State his home base. Besides serving as content editor for several textbook publishers and as an Emeritus college professor, he moderates the FHIC at www.floridahistory.org
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1 Response to Less Crowded, Less Expensive Summer Beach Alternatives

  1. Pingback: Spread the wings | Cheer Dream

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