Madison Ashley believes that creating beautiful memories with your loved ones does not need to be expensive, especially when we're talking about sunny Florida! We are always inspired by the waves, the beaches, and just about anything ocean-related so “salt and sand” is the epitome of our happy place.
If you can't wait to get away and spend some time soaking in the sun and enjoying the fresh ocean breeze, we came up with a list of budget-friendly beaches in Florida for you and your family to enjoy!
Cocoa Beach in Florida is known as a gateway to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The entire place has a carefree and chill vibe which is perfect for those people looking for a break. It is rich in surf history and is the perfect place for families, surfers, and lovers of nature and greens.
The city is known for its beach and surf breaks and if you want to know more about the local sports history, you can check out the Florida Surf Museum. The Cocoa Beach Pier is also close and you can catch some grub in some of the eateries there and enjoy shopping at the local shops.
If you're in the mood for a party, there are partying areas late into the night, around downtown Cocoa Beach but of course, this might have a different vibe now due to the pandemic so maybe ask the locals for some insider knowledge.
If you're here for nature, the maritime forest at oceanfront Lori Wilson Park sports a scenic coastline with beach access, pavilions, grills, dunes, and a boardwalk. This place also attracts birdlife so it's also perfect for bird-watching.
Panama City Beach
If you're close to northwest Florida, Panama City Beach is a well-known waterfront town and vacation destination. Known for miles of white-sand beaches, there are plenty of spots to relax and enjoy. Here, you can enjoy the calm, clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
There are 2 protected nature reserves nearby so if you and your family came for nature, you can go for a hike and explore the area. You might want to visit St. Andrews State Park as it is bordered by the Gulf and has hiking trails and fishing piers. For a bit of shopping, you can visit Pier Park. Major events are also usually held here but this may not be the same due to the pandemic.
If you want a more city-like vacation with a lot of absolutely beautiful beaches, you can go to Jensen Beach. It is a safe and well cared for town that isn't too crowded because it has a small population – which is perfect for families with younger kids or teenagers who want to explore.
Jensen beach is great for swimming. It has clear blue-green waters that get deep and then shallow out again. Other activities include boating, sailing, fishing, skiing, surfing, and scuba diving.
After a day enjoying the water and after a day of basking in the sand, you can go to its high-quality shopping centers and unique boutiques. After all, it is renowned as a retail shopping center of the Treasure Coast. There's also a variety of fine dining – seafood restaurants that you can enjoy.
Fun fact: Jensen Beach was once known as the "Pineapple Capital of the World" and still holds an annual pineapple festival.
Daytona Beach is known for Daytona International Speedway as it hosts the iconic Daytona 500 NASCAR race making it a hot destination for adrenaline junkies and beach lovers alike.
You'd think that this place is an expensive destination as it packs tourists but you'll be surprised as vacations here are pretty friendly on the budget. Why? Because once you're about a block west of the road that runs along the beach, the place can seem old and run down. Just take a nice bicycle ride and enjoy the beautiful classic vibe of the town.
The beach is famous for its wide beach and smooth, hard-packed sands where driving is allowed in designated areas. This is where you can make your dreams of “back of the pickup, stargazing at night with some cold drinks and nice music” come true.
There are also boardwalk rides and arcades for you to enjoy as well as go-karts, laser tag and water slides at Daytona Lagoon Water Park.
Daytona Beach Bandshell stages free summer concerts but this might be kept on the down-low right now due to the pandemic.
New Smyrna Beach
Not too far from Daytona Beach is a surf hub known for its beaches. New Smyrna Beach has everything from vibrant local food scenes to the performing and visual arts.
Enjoy a 17-mile stretch of white sandy beaches that offers some of the finest wave action on the east coast. It is a hotspot for surfers because its wave breaks are perfect for both professional and amateur surfers alike.
There’s also a dog beach located on the north side of the jetty at Smyrna Dunes Park so don't think twice about bringing your fur babies.
Other notable places to visit are the Canaveral National Seashore which is a 57,000-acre national park smack between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River, the Esther Street Beachfront Park which has an amazing ocean view, and Ponce Inlet and its tallest lighthouse.
If you're up for a day of just exploring the area, you'll be pleased to know that its downtown is lined with palm trees – perfect for that mandatory instagrammable or postcard shot. If you're looking for shops and art galleries, you can go to Canal Street Historic District and the New Smyrna Museum of History.
We hope these budget-friendly beaches have given you plenty of information to inspire your next beach destination. And, if you want to make your vacation extra special and memorable, remember that you can create beautiful moments with Madison Ashley's ocean-inspired jewelry.
© Madison Ashley USA (2021)