Best Beach Locations in Florida and Alabama ~ Southern Vacation Rentals
If you’ve never been to the beach before, deciding where to visit can be tricky! Fortunately, there is no “wrong beach” across Northwest Florida and Coastal Alabama. Some of the best beach locations in Florida and Alabama are right at our fingertips! In addition, these vacation destinations have been top-rated by publications like Southern Living, USA Today, Coastal Living, and more! Whether you’re planning for a bucket list adventure or the here and now, use this guide as inspiration for your beach getaway. We promise you won’t be disappointed!
1. Pensacola Beach, Florida
Voted “Number One Best Beach in Florida” by USA Today readers in 2018, you won’t truly believe the beauty of Pensacola Beach until you see it for yourself. The relaxed Old-Florida feel of the beach is coupled with entertainment and a range of incredible restaurants as well. Our Pensacola Beach vacation rentals offer a mix of vacation homes and condos with breathtaking views, resort-style amenities, and an unbeatable location at some of the country’s most beloved beaches.
Coming in at #2 on the same list, Panama City Beach has revamped itself into a destination perfect for families and beachgoers of all ages. There are over 27 miles of sugar-white sand and almost 100 beach access points. No matter where you’re staying, the beach is never far! There is also no shortage of fun things to do on vacation in Panama City Beach, from music festivals to premier shopping and thrilling beach activities.
Known for being a hidden gem, 30A is a quiet stretch of highway located between Destin and Panama City Beach. Ranked as #9 on HGTV’s list of “15 Top Beaches in Florida,” make 30A one of your bucket list destinations soon! Its charming coastal towns are filled with local shops, art galleries, and award-winning restaurants. You’ll find everything from beachfront condos to homes tucked away in private communities. Cruise down the 19-mile bike path with terrific scenic views, or go paddleboarding along the rare coastal dune lakes. When you stay on 30A, you’ll find something new to do each time you visit!
If Destin isn’t on your radar as the next place you should visit in Florida, it absolutely should be! Millions of visitors flock to Destin each year, and for good reason, too. What once started as a small fishing village is now a popular vacation destination for all age groups and types of travelers. With its striking blue-green water and white quartz sand, Destin’s beaches are famous for good reason. In fact, US News & World Report ranked it the #1 for Best Florida Beaches, and we have to agree! Whether you’re searching for dolphins on a charter boat or shopping at the nation’s largest designer outlet mall, Destin is sure to become your new favorite “destination” year after year.
“Florida’s Most Relaxing Place” enjoys a peaceful location between Pensacola Beach and Fort Walton Beach, in a small but charming town known as Navarre Beach. Navarre Beach is consistently ranked as one of the best beach locations in Florida; it was #12 on Southern Living’s 25 Best Beaches in America and #4 on USA Today’s 10 Best Florida Beaches list. Beachgoers enjoy calm turquoise waters, soft white sand, and access to the Gulf Islands National Seashore, a protected state park where you can spot wildlife enjoying the beach just like you.
Situated on Alabama’s coastline, Gulf Shores is one of the best beach locations in Alabama. Ranked #1 in Coastal Living’s list “The Best Beaches in Alabama,” it only takes one visit to Gulf Shores before this is your favorite destination. Miles of coastline, award-winning restaurants, and family-friendly attractions bring visitors to Gulf Shores each year. Gulf Shores is also known for its annual music festivals, oyster cookoffs, and more. Whether you’re looking for a large beach home or a condo with views of Little Lagoon, you’ll want to add Gulf Shores to your list as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Orange Beach is also recognized by Coastal Living as one of Alabama’s best beach locations. You’ll find this charming beach town right on the Florida-Alabama state line; it’s easily accessible whether you’re coming from Perdido Key or Gulf Shores. Discover entertainment at popular destinations like The Wharf or the Flora-Bama Lounge or take your boat out for a day of cruising through some of the area’s best waters. Fulfill your culinary dreams at any of the local casual or fine dining restaurants, and take to the seas with watersport rentals galore. This beach community in Alabama is the perfect place to stay for your vacation.