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11 Beaches in Florida Close to Louisiana Gulf Coast

The best beaches in Florida close to Louisiana are Perdido Key, Pensacola, Navarre, Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Miramar, Santa Rosa, Panama City, Mexico Beach, Cape San Blas, and St. George Island.

Let’s dive into each beach to find the perfect place for you.

Here are some jump links to the main sections of this post to help you quickly find the information you need:
Best Beaches in Florida Close to Louisiana
Louisiana Beaches
Florida Beaches vs Louisiana Beaches
Other Beaches Between Louisiana and Florida
Water Clarity Beach Tip

11 Florida Beaches Close To Louisiana

​This map displays the 11 Florida beaches close to Louisiana in order from west to east.

Best Florida Panhandle Beach Locations

1 – Perdido Key Beach

Located on the westernmost edge of Florida, Perdido Key Beach is the closest beach to Louisiana. 

The beach offers a great spot if you like a serene and less crowded atmosphere. 
Visitors can enjoy beachcombing, birdwatching, and stunning sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico.

2 – Pensacola Beach

A half hour drive to the East, Pensacola Beach is a popular destination with its iconic white beautiful sands, live music, and historic sites. 

The beach is lined with a variety of restaurants, shops, and water activities for the whole family. 
Visitors can explore the Pensacola Beach Pier, take a dolphin cruise, or simply soak up the sun on this family-friendly shoreline.

3 – Navarre Beach

Further along the coast, Navarre Beach is another great place known for its emerald green waters and uncrowded beaches. 
The Navarre Beach Pier is a great place for breathtaking views of the Gulf. 
Nature enthusiasts can explore the nearby Navarre Beach Marine Park, home to diverse ecosystems and wildlife.

4 – Fort Walton Beach

Fort Walton Beach combines beautiful beaches with a touch of history. 

Home to historical sites like the Indian Temple Mound Museum, you can enjoy the beach and culture.
Fort Walton also offers pontoon and jet ski rentals to spend a day at Crab Island.

5 – Destin Florida Beach

best beaches in Florida close to Louisiana

Known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” Destin Beaches are famous for its crystal-clear waters and white sand beaches. 

The Destin harbor is a hub for fishing charters and seafood dining. 
Destin’s beaches, such as henderson beach state park, are perfect for families with young children.

6 – Miramar Beach

Nestled between Destin and Santa Rosa Beach, Miramar Beach offers white-sand beaches and a laid-back vibe. 

With luxurious resorts and upscale shopping at Silver Sands Premium Outlets, this beach destination caters to those seeking a mix of relaxation and indulgence.

7 – Santa Rosa Beach

As you move east, Santa Rosa Beach stands out with soft white sands and diverse landscapes. 

Part of the 30A scenic highway, this beach offers access to coastal dune lakes and state parks.

8 – Panama City Beach

Positioned in the center of the Florida Panhandle coast, Panama City Beach features the same beautiful beaches at Destin with a more lively atmosphere.

This beach offers a wide range of activities from water parks and amusement parks to vibrant nightlife. 
With its sugary sand and clear waters, it’s a favorite of spring breakers.

9 – Mexico Beach

Continuing eastward, Mexico Beach is a charming coastal community known for its small-town charm and uncrowded beaches.

The white sandy shores offer a serene environment for beachgoers, and the town has a laid-back atmosphere.
Mexico Beach is a hidden gem on the Gulf Coast, providing a peaceful retreat.

10 – Cape San Blas Beach

Further to the east, Cape San Blas is a narrow barrier peninsula with stunning white sands and clear Gulf waters.

Known for its pet-friendly atmosphere, this beach is perfect for a tranquil getaway.
Visitors can explore the St. Joseph Peninsula State Park and enjoy the picturesque landscapes.

11 – St. George Island Beach

Located to the southeast of Panama City Beach, St. George Island Beach features a more secluded and natural setting. 

The island is known for its pristine beaches, sand dunes, and wildlife. 
It’s a great destination if you prefer a peaceful setting with outdoor activities like hiking, birdwatching, and fishing.

Louisiana Beaches

louisiana wetland swamp

From New Orleans to Baton Rouge, Louisiana is known for its unique cultural heritage.  
In addition, Louisiana offers its own version of beaches different from Florida. 
Here are popular beaches in Louisiana:

Grand Isle Beach

Grand Isle, situated along the Gulf of Mexico, is a barrier island known for fishing tournaments.

Also, nature lovers can explore the nearby Grand Isle State Park which offers birdwatching, hiking trails, and a chance to experience the region’s natural beauty.

Holly Beach (Cameron Beach)

Often referred to as the “Cajun Riviera” or “Little Florida Beach”, Holly Beach in Cameron Parish near Lake Charles is a unique and laid-back coastal area. 

The Creole Nature Trail passes through Holly Beach, which attracts many visitors each year. 
While the area has experienced the effects of hurricanes (Hurricane Rita), it continues to draw visitors seeking a relaxed atmosphere and beautiful sunsets over the Gulf.

Cypremort Point State Park Beach

Cypremort Point State Park Beach is one of many hidden gems on the Louisiana coast.  

The park features a fishing pier extending into Vermilion Bay.
With its lush coastal marshes and scenic landscapes, Cypremort Point State Park Beach provides a peaceful escape from the bustle of city life. 

Rutherford Beach

Rutherford Beach, also located in Cameron Parish, is a serene and less crowded destination compared to other Louisiana beaches. 

The beach offers a quiet retreat with stretches of sandy shoreline.
Additionally, Visitors often find seashells along the coast and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of this hidden gem.

Fontainebleau State Park Beach

Located on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, Fontainebleau State Park offers a scenic beach within easy reach of the big easy.

The freshwater lake makes it a perfect spot for picnics and water activities. 
Also, the park also features hiking trails, camping facilities, and historic ruins to explore.

Waveland Beach

Just across the state line lies the Mississippi gulf coast, Waveland Beach offers the perfect day trip from New Orleans. 

In addition, this beach along the Gulf of Mexico is known for gentle waves and murky water. 
Visitors can enjoy beachcombing, fishing, and beautiful views of the Gulf. 
Waveland offers a relaxed atmosphere and is a great day-trip option from the city.

Bayou Segnette State Park

While not a traditional beach, Bayou Segnette State Park provides a waterfront escape near New Orleans. 

The park features a man-made beach area along Bayou Segnette, offering a sandy shoreline for sunbathing and picnicking. 
Moreover, it offers a convenient outdoor retreat for locals and visitors.

Venetian Isles Beach

Situated along the eastern edge of New Orleans, Venetian Isles community beach overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway. 

While relatively small, it provides a peaceful setting for residents and visitors to enjoy the waterfront. 
In addition, the area is known for boating and fishing due to its close proximity to Lake Pontchartrain.

​Florida Beaches vs Louisiana Beaches

Comparing Louisiana beaches to Florida beaches is like comparing seafood to oranges.
No pun intended.

While both Louisiana and Florida Gulf Coast beaches offer unique experiences, the distinctions lie in water clarity, sand characteristics, and the primary uses of the beaches.

Louisiana Gulf Coast Beaches

louisiana beach
  1. Water Clarity:
    • Louisiana’s Gulf Coast beaches, including Grand Isle and Holly Beach, contains muddy water that is less clear compared to some Florida beaches. The presence of sediment from the Mississippi River contribute to murkier waters in this region.
  2. Sand Characteristics:
    • The sandy beaches along the bayou state offer natural beauty and shallow water. The sand varies in color with a more earthy tone containing a mix of soft sands, sediment, and shell fragments.
  3. Primary Uses:
    • Louisiana’s Gulf Coast beaches are often utilized for recreational fishing, crabbing, and birdwatching. The emphasis here is on the natural environment, and the beaches serve as a serene coastal landscape.

Florida Gulf Coast Beaches

  1. Water Clarity:
    • Florida’s Gulf Coast beaches, such as Destin, offer the clearest water. The absence of significant river discharge directly into the Gulf contributes to the clarity, providing excellent visibility for underwater activities.
  2. Sand Characteristics:
    • Florida’s Gulf Coast is celebrated for its powdery white sand, particularly in areas like Clearwater Beach. The fine, sugar-like sand is a defining feature, creating a soft and comfortable beach experience.
  3. Primary Uses:
    • Florida’s beaches are the best places for family vacations. In addition to sunbathing and swimming, these beaches are popular for dolphin cruises and water sports such as snorkeling, paddle boarding, and jet skiing. The vibrant beach communities offer entertainment, shopping, and dining.

General Comparisons

  • Natural vs. Developed Environments:
    • Louisiana’s Gulf Coast beaches often provide a more natural and untouched environment, with an emphasis on the coastal ecosystem and local culture.
    • Florida’s Gulf Coast beaches, particularly in tourist-centric areas, are more developed and offer a mix of entertainment and recreational opportunities.
  • Recreational Focus:
    • Louisiana’s Gulf Coast is known for its focus on recreational fishing, crabbing, and enjoying the natural surroundings.
    • Florida’s Gulf Coast beaches cater to a broader range of recreational activities including fishing, water sports, beach games, sunsets, and a lively social scene.
  • Mosquitos
    • Mosquitos in Louisiana prevent visitors from fully enjoying the beach as compared to Florida.  Environmental conditions, such as the presence of standing water in coastal marshes and wetlands, contribute to abundant breeding grounds for mosquitoes in Louisiana.

In summary, Louisiana emphasizes a more natural environment.

Florida’s Gulf Coast is known for its clear waters, fine sand, and diverse recreational options.

Other Beaches Between Louisiana and Florida

Biloxi Beach, nestled along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, is known for its easy access, free parking, and vibrant atmosphere.
This popular destination offers visitors a mix of entertainment with its lively casinos, waterfront dining, and beachfront activities. 

Dauphin Island, located off the coast of Alabama, presents a southern coastal experience. 
Known for its great beaches and natural beauty, Dauphin Island is known for bird watching.  
Furthermore, it features the Audubon Bird Sanctuary and the serene setting of the Gulf of Mexico. 

On the Alabama-Florida border in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach combines great beaches and a family-friendly ambiance. 
With a range of water activities, including fishing charters and dolphin cruises, Orange Beach provides a coastal escape filled with both relaxation and adventure. 

Each of these Gulf Coast destinations offers a unique coastal experience and caters to a variety of visitor preferences.

Water Clarity

The water quality and clarity increase the further east you go.  
Ultimately, if you prefer clear water choose Navarre beach or a beach East of Navarre.

destin florida beach water clarity


In conclusion, the 11 beaches in Florida close to Louisiana invite visitors to explore the diverse beauty of the Gulf Coast. 

From the uncrowded beaches of Perdido Key to the bustling energy of Panama City, each beach weaves its unique charm into the coastal fabric. 
As the sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida beaches close to Louisiana offer visitors white sands, warm waters, and unforgettable memories.

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