TRAVEL — 08 June 2015
A beach in Florida for every interest, activity

By Patti Roth

Destinations Magazine

Blowing Rocks Preserve, Jupiter Island 

Intriguing Anastasia limestone rock formations and restored Old Florida native habitats are impressive features of the beach. When the surf is especially animated, waves bounce against the rocks, sending saltwater splashing high into the air. When the ocean is flatter, visibility may be suitable for snorkeling along the offshore reef. The preserve is managed by The Nature Conservancy. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. most days; guided nature tours 11 a.m. most Sundays; entry fee is $2 for teens and adults and free for younger kids; food is not permitted on-site. 574 S. Beach Road, Hobe Sound, 561-744-6668, nature.org/blowingrocks

Beaches of Amelia Island 

Tall dunes add visual interest to the scenic beaches on this island in northeastern Florida. A prime example is Fort Clinch State Park, where wide, quiet beaches on the Atlantic and Cumberland Sound share the park with an historic fort. 2601 Atlantic Ave., Fernandina Beach, 904-277-7274, floridastateparks.org, ameliaisland.com

Shell Island, Panama City Beach

This natural uninhabited barrier island between the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrew Bay is basically beach, with some dunes and wildlife. No structures. No trash bins. No restrooms. Accessible by boat, including Shell Island Shuttle. Bring everything you want, and leave with it. The island is part of St. Andrews State Park. 4607 State Park Lane, Panama City Beach, 850-233-5140, visitpanamacitybeach.com/beaches/shell-island

Jetty Park Beach, Cape Canaveral  

The distinctive features of this beach include the up-close vantage point for cruise liners and cargo ships going in and out of Port Canaveral. The park, which is part of the Port Canaveral property, is brimming with amenities, including a snack bar, watersports rentals, umbrella and chair rentals, lifeguards and outdoor showers for rinsing off the saltwater. 9035 Campground Circle Cape Canaveral, 321-783-7111, jettyparkbeachandcampground.com

Dog-friendly stretch of Jupiter Beach, Jupiter  

Well-behaved dogs and their human pals romp on the sand and swim in the ocean in a long, wide stretch of Jupiter Beach. The 2.5-mile dog-friendly area is accessible at crossover numbers 25 to 59. The nonprofit organization Friends of Jupiter Beach partners with the Town of Jupiter to maintain the beach. On A1A, north Marcinski Road, Jupiter, 561-748-8140, friendsofjupiterbeach.org; Jupiter.fl.us

Siesta Beach, Sarasota 

The nationally acclaimed beach on the Gulf’s Siesta Key is famous for its distinctively soft sand that is nice on feet because it doesn’t overheat in the sun. Amenities include a playground, snack bars, shaded picnic tables and volleyball. Another highlight is the dolphin sightings. 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key, 941-861-5000; scgov.net

 

Destinations is an annual travel supplement of the Sun Sentinel, produced by City & Shore Magazine

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