Southern Living recently put out a list of the seven best islands in Florida. The site said that each island has its own personality and therefore may appeal to different types of vacationers.
Here is the full list from first to last.
- Amelia Island: Southern Living notes that Amelia Island boasts 13 miles of beaches, while Island State Park has 200 acres of forests, marshes, and beaches and is the only state park that allows horseback riding on the beach. There's also plenty to do, including golfing, shops, and art galleries.
- Anna Maria Island: This island is made up of three different towns: Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach. The island has seven miles of beaches. Additionally, plenty of picnic tables and playground equipment are available at Manatee Public Beach.
- Gasparilla Island: Southern Living describes this island as "Old Florida charm at its finest." Some of its notable features are the Boca Grande Lighthouse, the shelling, and the historic Gasparilla Inn & Club.
- Key Biscayne: This south Florida Island is home to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, which is often ranked in the top 10 best beaches in the country and is home to a historic lighthouse. The island is also close to Biscayne National Park, which boasts America's only federally recognized underwater archaeological trail.
- Key Largo: This island sits at the top of the famous Florida Keys. But another claim to fame is that Key Largo is considered the Dive Capital of the World. The island sits on top of a large artificial reef and an underwater sea park.
- Sanibel Island: Southern Living noted that this Sanibel Island lacks the foot traffic you might see on other islands and is also home to the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the nation. The main attraction, however, is the shelling, for which Sanibel Island is known.
- St. George Island: This panhandle island often flies under the radar, but it boasts unspoiled beaches. St. George Island Public Beach is dog-friendly. And the Cape St. George Light allows you to see a bird's eye view of the island's beauty.