FLORIDA COASTS
THEIR CREATIVE NAMES

By  Mike Miller  Updated April 26, 2022

Florida has never been satisfied with just calling their saltwater shoreline "the beach." 

Local business people over the years come up with creative names for their particular stretch of beach and the immediate inland area.

Map of Florida's 12 CoastsMap of Florida's 12 Coasts

Some of these names stick around for awhile;  others fade into history. 

Some people say there are 10 Florida coasts.  Others say 15.  Some even more.

We will use 12 in this article.

We think these dozen coasts have names that have been here long enough they may be still used by future generations. 

We will name them off from the northeast clockwise around the state to the far west. 

Some of the "coasts" overlap a little bit with the "coasts" on either side.


THE 12 COASTS OF FLORIDA


FIRST COAST
is in Northeast Florida and includes some or all of Nassau, Duval, Baker, Clay, and St. Johns Counties.  The name derives from it allegedly being the first part of Florida that was discovered and colonized by Europeans.

Some cities include Fernandina Beach, Jacksonville Beach, St. Augustine Beach, Crescent Beach, and Flagler Beach.

Fernandina Beach DowntownFernandina Beach Downtown

FUN COAST
is a name that has been used several times around the state.  The current definition seems to include the area just north and south of Daytona Beach, including south Flagler BeachOrmond Beach and New Smyrna Beach.

Flagler BeachFlagler Beach

SPACE COAST
is a no-brainer name for the area immediately north and south of Kennedy Space Center.  It is a much better name than the original for this area, which was "Mosquito Coast." 

Cities in this coast area include TitusvilleCocoa Beach Cape Canaveral, Satellite Beach Indian Harbour Beach, Indialantic, and Melbourne Beach.

Melbourne BeachMelbourne Beach

TREASURE COAST
is named for the Spanish treasure fleets which were sunk off its shore during storms along the Gulf Stream.  There is a museum at Sebastian Inlet State Park that features artifacts from these fleets. 

Some towns in this area include SebastianVero BeachFort Pierce, and Stuart.

Vero BeachVero Beach

GOLD COAST
is an area that includes Palm Beach County all the way south through Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach.  The name was chosen because of the wealth, many high rises, casinos, and tropical weather. 

Some towns and places on interest in this area include Jupiter Island, Juno Beach,  Palm Beach Briny BreezesBoynton Beach,  Deerfield Beach Boca Raton,  Fort LauderdaleHollywood, SurfsideHaulover Beach,  Miami Beach, and Key Biscayne.

Haulover BeachHaulover Beach

PARADISE COAST
in Southwest Floridis one I don't very often hear, but there are some beautiful white sand beaches down here and some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Florida. 

Waterfront towns include Naples Marco IslandEverglades City, and Chokoloskee.  Those last two don't have beautiful white sand beaches, but are on the coast.

Naples, FloridaNaples, Florida

LEE ISLAND COAST
is another coastal name I don't hear too much, but there are some beautiful beaches in the area. 

Some of the communities include along the coast of Lee County are Bonita Springs, Estero Island, Fort Myers Beach, Fort MyersCape Coral,  Sanibel Island, and Captiva Island.

Shell Beach on Sanibel IslandShell Beach on Sanibel Island

CULTURAL COAST
is a name I rarely hear used.  It is named for the cultural activities that are prevalent in the area.  There are many art museums, theaters, and more. 

Some towns here include Anna Maria, Bradenton,  Cortez, Longboat Key, Siesta Key, and Sarasota.

Anna Maria IslandAnna Maria Island

SUN COAST
is the area west of Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg that has some of the most beautiful beaches in the state.  Most of the beaches are built up with condominiums and high rises, but there are plenty of access points. 

Some towns here include DunedinTarpon Springs, Palm Harbor, Indian Shores, Clearwater Beach, Indian Rocks Beach, North Redington Beach, Treasure Island, Madeira BeachSt. Pete Beach, Pass A Grille, and numerous other Pinellas County Beaches.

Clearwater BeachClearwater Beach

NATURE COAST
is along the west coast stretch called the Big Bend region of Florida.  There are very few sand beaches here, but lots of marshes, nature preserves, wildlife refuges, springs, and more.  Manatees love to visit this coast in cold weather because of the spring fed rivers. 

Some towns here include SteinhatcheeHorseshoe Beach, Cedar KeyHomosassa Crystal River, Hudson, Weeki WacheeHernando Beach, and New Port Richey.

Cedar KeyCedar Key

FORGOTTEN COAST
is a great name for this stretch along the Florida Panhandle that is off the beaten path and remains lightly populated.  There are some wonderful sand beaches here. 

Some towns include Mexico Beach,  Apalachicola,  Eastpoint, St. George Island,  Port St. JoeCarrabelle,  Alligator Point, and Panacea.

St. George IslandSt. George Island

EMERALD COAST
is a name that makes a lot of sense because that's the color of the water in the Gulf of Mexico along the magnificent white sand beaches that stretch for miles. 

Some towns on this coast are DestinPensacola, Pensacola Beach,  SeasideFort Walton Beach,  Santa Rosa Beach, Grayton Beach, and Navarre Beach.

SeasideSeaside

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