Say Hello to the Best of Florida Beaches

By: Terry Hely

Copyright (c) 2008 Terry Hely

There is over 1,100 miles (1760 klms) of beaches in Florida that stretch endlessly along the Atlantic and Gulf Of Mexico shorelines. There is no doubt that the Florida coastline has a beach to suit every visitor, no matter what your interest, be it treasure hunting, shelling, surfing, birding, people watching, Florida history, snorkeling or romantic getaway.

So pump up the beach ball, get ready to build an award-winning sand castle, put on your favorite bather and have some family fun on the beaches of your choice. Don't be surprised if a dolphin or two goes bobbing past just a few metres away as they cruise the shallow Gulf Of Mexico waters searching for their dinner.

The quality of the Florida beaches is so so good that to describe any of them as 'the best' can easily do a disservice to the others. In the following descriptions of Florida regions and their beaches, is is probably best to talk of these beaches as being 'most popular' for visitors to Florida.

Each beach is unique in its own way. Some Florida beaches are exposed to the ocean swells, some are on the ocean side of barrier islands while others lie on the leeward side of barrier islands. Some are famous for the abundance of shells, others for finding pre-historic sharks teeth. Some beach locations attract holiday makers looking for bright lights, glamor and action while others seek peace, quiet and tranquility.

** Favorite Florida Beach Destinations:

South East Coast:- Miami Beach : Key Biscayne : Fort Lauderdale

East Coast :- Cape Canaveral : Space Coast & Treasure Coast : Daytona Beach : Amelia Island

Florida Keys :- Bahia Honda at Marathon : Smathers at Key West

West Coast:- Naples : Marco, Captiva and Sanibel Islands : Clearwater & St Petersburg

Panhandle:- Panama City Beach : Destin & Fort Walton

** A Word Of Caution:

If you are going to spend any time in the water at any of the Florida beaches, it's a sensible precaution to brush up on your knowledge of 'sea lice'. The offending critters are actually microscopic jellyfish larvae. The most common cases involve the larvae becoming trapped between the bathing suit fabric and the skin. It is also quite common to find that the larvae is attached to seaweed and transfers to the body as you brush against the seaweed.

Avoid seaweed clumps in the water and walking through seaweed and flotsam deposited on the high tide line. Keep your children out of the seaweed clumps as a precaution. While the sea lice season is usually thought to be the summer period between March to August, the author has experienced stings on the Gulf Coast in late October.

The part of the body that came in contact with the larvae quickly develops scores of raised red welts that cause extreme irritation and scratching that lasta at least a few days and possibly a week or longer. Some adults may feel tired and unwell and develop a fever. Children are more likely to develop nausea, abdominal pain, fever and diarrhea.

Oral antihistamines and hydrocortisone cream provide some relief from the itching and most drugstores and supermarkets carry products for treating the stings.

There is a lot of reference material on this subject available on the internet. Just use Google to do search for 'florida sea lice'.

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