When representatives of Visit Natural North Florida speak at travel shows, we often tout the fact that we have “no crowded beaches”. That’s partly true–we have a few “pocket beaches”. And, they’re not crowded.
If you take a look at a map of Florida, you’ll notice that there are no barrier islands between Hernando County’s Pine Island and Franklin County’s Dog Island, on our Gulf of Mexico coast. Barrier islands have white sand beaches; the coastline of Florida inside them have shorelines mostly comprised of marsh grass and rock, hardly a place to frolic in the Gulf waters.
There are, however, a few spots known as “pocket beaches” scattered throughout the region. Of course, there are plenty of swimming opportunities at our springs and riverside parks, but if you need some salt, head to our Gulf coast.
“Pocket beaches” are short and shallow, and while suited to wading rather than frolicking in crashing surf, they’re a great place to sunbathe and get your feet wet. And they’re not crowded!
Here are a few for you to consider;
—Cedar Key: the small beach adjacent to the City Park or the beach off “G” Street
—Horseshoe Beach: despite the town’s name, there is NO beach here!!
—Shired Island: the well-maintained county park, located off CR352 (the road to Horseshoe Beach) at the end of CR357 has swimming and camping facilities
—Hagens Cove: located between Steinhatchee and Keaton Beach, off CR361 is a popular shallow beach.
–-Keaton Beach: DOES HAVE A BEACH—a short one with plenty of parking, restrooms and an occasional food truck! It’s at the Gulf, just through “town”.