Five favorite spots for beach getaways in Florida

There’s nowhere quite like Florida. It’s a state that’s perhaps best known for its theme parks, though the Sunshine State’s appeal reaches further than whimsical worlds. There’s great shopping to be had in Florida’s city-like malls, superb dining, and a medley of golf courses, for starters. But then come the beaches – the biggest crowd pleaser of all. They come in all flavors, too – stylish, secluded, and downright special – it’s all on offer when you enjoy a stay in one of Florida’s beachfront rentals. Dive in to discover some of the best places to find them.

Beachfront vacations in St. Augustine

The nation’s oldest city may be best known for its Spanish colonial architecture, but it’s by no means short of stunning stretches of sand. Beachfront rentals start to pop up near Anastasia State Park and continue peppering the shoreline all the way to Crescent Beach – leaving you with plenty of options for renting a beachfront home in St. Augustine. When you’re not topping up your tan or dipping in and out of the ocean, a change of scenery might come courtesy of a ride on the Old Town Trolley – a hop-on/hop-off tour taking in the 17th-century Castillo de San Marcos and the Fountain of Youth, as well as more light-hearted picks like the San Sebastian Winery.

Oceanfront rentals in Miami Beach

One for the cool crowd, Miami Beach sizzles all year-round, making it a great destination for winter sun vacations in Florida. The obvious choice is to nab one of the oceanfront condos and apartments that front the super-cool South Beach – the Miami of travel brochures counting the pastel-hued Art Deco Historic District and uber-stylish Ocean Drive among its highlights. There’s a quieter side to Miami Beach, of course – those beachfront vacation house rentals in North Beach ideal for those travelers who want a relaxed base for their Florida beach getaway, but don’t want to be too far from the action at SoBe.

Florida beach rentals in Naples

Hemming the Gulf of Mexico shoreline in south-west Florida, Naples has long been a favorite vacation destination. There’s a little something to appeal to all ages here – not least miles of golden-sand beaches dotted with luxe vacation rentals to call home for a while. Elsewhere, you can stroll along the city’s historic pier, built in the late 1800s, explore the shops and galleries in the charming old downtown, or discover a calmer side to Naples by taking a free trolley through lush mangrove forests to the secluded beach at Clam Pass Park. And then there's Everglades National Park, less than an hour’s drive from most Naples rentals and making for an intriguing side trip.

Beachfront pads in the Florida Keys

No guide to the best beach getaways in Florida would be complete without a nod to the Sunshine State’s coral cay archipelago. It all kicks off in Key Largo, the first of the Keys offering visitors the chance to fish, kayak, and swim with dolphins – often just steps from your rental. The same great chances to enjoy the water are served up further south at Key West, though the nation’s southernmost spot is also famed for its nightly sunset celebrations in Mallory Square. Afterward, the bars along Duval Street are lively spots to enjoy a nightcap before heading back to your beachfront pad.

Oceanfront rentals in South Walton

There’s a good chance you’ve heard South Walton go by another name, this collection of Gulf-facing beach communities in the Florida Panhandle also known as SoWal and 30A – the latter referring to the scenic highway of the same name. 30A rentals promise easy access to sugar-white sands and emerald-green waters, along with a medley of things to keep you occupied when you’re taking a breather from the beach. Oceanfront vacation homes in Destin are among the most sought-after of 30A rentals, especially for those looking for vacation options for large groups who prefer a bunch of activities on the doorstep.