Florida’s west coast is dotted with white sand beaches, blue water coves and warm tropical waves of ocean water that flow up and down the majestic Gulf of Mexico coast of Florida. Unless you’ve been living in a cave, then you know of the horrible environmental damages that have taken place in the Gulf of Mexico. All five of the states that border the Gulf of Mexico have been struck with oil slicks and that includes some very environmentally sensitive areas.
But questions still remain-at least in Florida-about which beaches are open and which ones are closed, what has oil and what does. Even more crucially questioned, what beaches in Florida will have oil?
While it remains unclear to what amount of damage will continue to affect the Gulf of Mexico, it is clear that several of Florida’s premier beaches will remain open and free from any effects of the oil spill.
T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park Voted several times as Florida’s premier beach and state park, it has also been voted as the one of the nation’s best state parks, giving this Florida beach and state park one of the highest rankings ever received in Florida and the United States.
These miles of white sand beaches can be found on Florida’s “Forgotten Coast” near the paper producing town of Port St. Joe. Named after the infamous and largest landowner/corporation in Florida, St. Joes Paper Company, this swath of unparalleled beauty is actually located on the peninsula at 8899 Cape San Blas rd. and is away from the town itself. This is truly the best beach in Florida and one of my favorites to visit. Check out the Florida Stat Park Website for more details.
Sanibel and Captiva Islands The only oil on this West Central Florida beach is sun tan oil! Located south of Tampa Bay about an hour’s drive and just a hop and skip west of Ft. Myers, Sanibel and Captiva Islands are well known for their beautiful beaches and exotic shells. Rare shells wash up on this beach daily; some worth hundreds of dollars to collectors!
While camping and the rustic lifestyle suits St. Joes beach goers, Sanibel and Captiva Island are well renowned for their luxurious beach resorts and condos. If you’re looking for the lap of luxury while enjoying that small town beach atmosphere, then Sanibel and Captiva Island has just what you’re looking for. Here’s a map and directions on how to get there.
Fort De Soto Park Located in the heart of Tampa Bay and Pinellas County, Fort De Soto Park was named the top beach in Florida by Tripadvisor.com two years running. This awesome park not only has crystal clear waters and pearly white sand beaches, it sports an ancient fort, 1300+ acres spread over five islands and top notch campgrounds. Check out more on this fantastic beach by going to the Pinellas Counties Website fro more details.