The Five Cleanest Beaches in Florida’s Southwest

Thursday, July 23, 2015
Florida Beaches are some of the most famous in the world. Florida has party beaches and secluded beaches, private beaches and wide open public beaches. Finding the right beach for you and your family can even present something of a challenge.

The only beach that’s ever going to bring you down is the beach that’s simply not well-tended. Beaches need to be cleaned, and regularly, and sadly, many are not. Here’s our quick list of the cleanest and most attractive beaches (and beach areas) in Florida’s southwest – by and large – already some of the most world-class beaches in Florida.

1) Greater Fort Myers Beaches
photo source: Google
Fort Myers is already a universe of the spectacular. The entire range from secluded and quiet to loaded-with-people-and-fun is there. Estero Island stretches some seven miles lined with 25 public beaches and development, night spots and eateries and all ending with the Fort Myers Beach Fishing Pier.

Lovers Key State Park is a lot quieter, but as a state park, it’s also a little more meticulously maintained. With West Indian manatees and dolphins calling it all home, it’s got to be kept up to keep things nice for them. On the very northern tip of the island, Bowditch Point Regional Park features another natural setting and plenty of space for picnics and quiet days. 

2) Sanibel Island Beaches
photo source: Google
Sanibel Island is one we talk about a lot, in part because it’s a little more developed than our own North Captiva Island. Sanibel is happily connected to the mainland by a road and it’s still one of the best places in the world for collecting seashells. Sanibel’s best are world’s way from everything you’ve experienced and these are just a couple of the best.

Tarpon Bay Beach sees some of the roughest water in the area, though it’s seldom more than choppy. Gulfside City Park is similar and even longer, stretching all the way to Lighthouse Beach on the very eastern end of the island. A little more dramatic, the Causeway Beaches line the

Sanibel Causeway that connect Sanibel with Punta Rassa on the mainland. These couple of smaller islands are taken up mostly by roadway (Causeway), but they’re still surprisingly refreshing and offer a relatively rare dog-friendly beach experience.

3) Captiva Island Beaches

photo source: Google

Due to their striking Caribbean waters and white sands, the beaches along the full five miles of Captiva Island are the pride of the Gulf. The single most popular of these beaches are in and around Alison Hagerup Beach Park, nearly the only place likely to be crowded anywhere on the island – and even then, not exactly wall-to-wall people. Restrictions like motorized vehicles and alcohol are a lot more broadly enforced here, but all that goes towards a nearly always pristine beach experience, too. 

Of course, just across Blind Pass, the North Captiva Island beaches are just as inviting, and a little more natural, owing to the fact that most of the beaches here are on the edges of the island’s considerable nature preserve (similar to what you’ll find on Sanibel Island).

4) Marco Island Beaches

photo source: Google

For many south Florida beachgoers, Marco Island is exactly what the doctor ordered. This is not your barren undeveloped desert island, but then civilization does have its advantages. You’ll not want for refreshments, organized tours and activities or pretty much anything. If you do want to go in for something more natural, Tigertail Beach just to the north of the main strip is a paradise for birds, picnics and secluded waterfront. And as secluded as things get, you’re still quite close to all that civilization. Of course, heading north again towards Naples, beachgoers are greeted again by some of the area’s most acclaimed beaches of all. Naples, Florida greets a magnificent sea with white sand, usually intelligent development and plenty to see and do. 

5) Boca Grande Beaches

photo source: Google

Northern neighbors of North Captiva Island, Boca Grande is just beyond Cayo Costa State Park, an island of paradise beachfront all its own. But Boca Grande is beloved for its mix of charming 19th century history and blue-blood self-confidence. Some very well-heeled visitors spend winters here. They do so because the edges of Boca Grande are remarkably well maintained. Service and some exceptional fishing are widely available and the beaches are some to be reckoned with. Most visitors stick to the beaches of Gasparilla Island State Park, but nearly the entire Gulf side of the island is wide open, with a few privately maintained exceptions. Some very wild and untouched beachfront exists here too. So do your best to hide your tracks and don’t leave anything behind when you visit.

From North Captiva Island, we’re frequently ushering guests to the boat or ferry service that will whisk them off for a day of fun and sun – fishing, wildlife watching and more. But of course, we’d be thrilled to hear your experience of any of the beaches above, or a favorite we may have left out. Just let us know in the comments or drop us an email.


  1. I have never been in Florida but I've heard so many great stories about the beach from those people you've been there. I will keep this in mind.

  2. Wow! the waters are really that clean. Pwede ng i-compare sa Bora.

  3. All the waters are crystal clean. I have not been to Florida, but I would love to visit this some day soon.

  4. I want to visit SANIBEL beach someday. I learned about that beach from reading books of Ms. Hilary Wynne's Alexa Reed series. My husband's eldest daughter lives in FL and I saw photos of them from that beach as well, just beautiful.

  5. The Boca Grande looks like the best of all of the ones in the list. Florida is such a paradise when it comes to beautiful beaches.

  6. We love the beach! I wish we could visit any of these lovely beaches in Florida someday.


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