Top Coastal Escapes: Discover the Best Beaches Near Tallahassee

Despite being inland, Tallahassee is conveniently located near some of the most beautiful and pristine beaches in the southeastern United States. Each within a few hours of Tallahassee and definitely one of the prettiest drives in Florida!

port st joe beach at night

Tallahassee’s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico allows for easy access to some of Florida’s most pristine beaches. Each beach has its unique charm, and no two are quite alike. From the shallow waters of St. George Island State Park to the natural wonders of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, these beaches promise a memorable coastal experience.

The beaches near Tallahassee offer more than just sun and surf. They provide a sense of escape, a connection to nature, and a chance to create cherished memories with loved ones. Whether you’re planning a beach trip with family, seeking a shady spot for relaxation, or hoping to explore the wild coast of Florida, you’ll find these beaches to be a welcoming and unforgettable destination.

As you embark on your journey to explore the beaches near Tallahassee, you’ll discover that each one has its unique character, and they all share a commitment to preserving the natural beauty of Florida’s Gulf Coast. With an island getaway feel and an abundance of activities, these coastal destinations offer something truly exceptional.

In the following list, we’ll delve into each beach’s unique characteristics, available activities, and amenities. Whether you’re interested in scuba diving, wildlife watching, or simply basking in the sun’s warmth, these beaches near Tallahassee offer a diverse range of experiences. So, pack your sunscreen, grab your beach gear, and get ready to explore the coastal paradise that awaits just a short drive from Tallahassee.

Here is a breakdown of beaches with driving distance!

blue parrot tiki bar on st george

St. George Island

Considered the “best” local beach my most that live here, it is often listed in the top 10 nationwide too!

Imagine your toes sinking into the soft sands of St. George Island State Park—the perfect place for those seeking serenity by the sea. With picnic tables nestled beneath the shade of palm trees and public restrooms for convenience, it’s an excellent place for families and nature lovers. While you bask in the emerald waters and soak up the summer sun, keep an eye out for sea turtles, as they often nest along this stretch of pristine shoreline.

You can also take advantage of the awesome restaurants and bars too!

  • Description: St. George Island State Park is a barrier island paradise featuring pristine white sand beaches, clear Gulf waters, and a tranquil ambiance. The park offers a serene escape, making it a perfect destination for relaxation and outdoor activities. St. George Island State Park, situated on St. George Island, is renowned for its untouched beauty. With shallow waters, pristine white-sand beaches, and an island getaway feel, this park is a great place for relaxation. Picnic tables, picnic shelters, and public restrooms are available, making it an excellent choice for families. Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the miles of coastline, where sea turtles nest during the summer months. The crystal-clear waters and friendly beaches create a welcoming environment for visitors of all ages.
  • Location: St. George Island is located about 80 miles southwest of Tallahassee and is accessible via US-319 S and US-98 E.
  • Entrance Fee: The park has an entrance fee of $6 per vehicle.
  • Activities: Visitors can enjoy swimming, shelling, fishing, birdwatching, and hiking along nature trails. The park also has picnic areas and offers excellent stargazing opportunities.

st marks lighthouse

St. Marks

The St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, the closest beach to Tallahassee, offers a unique blend of natural beauty and accessibility. Picnic shelters provide shade, and the area is known for its most beautiful beaches. Not blue water but it is normally clear.

Here, you can immerse yourself in the wonders of the Gulf Coast’s wild side. The refuge is a sanctuary for various bird species, including bald eagles, and is a great option for those who enjoy hiking and exploring nature trails.

St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge

  • Description: St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge is a unique coastal destination known for its diverse habitats, tidal creeks, and abundant wildlife. It offers a natural escape for outdoor enthusiasts and birdwatchers, with its serene and picturesque surroundings.
  • For those who cherish natural public beaches, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge is a must-visit. The refuge offers a unique beach experience with an island-like atmosphere. Picnic tables and shady spots are perfect for a beach trip with young children. Explore the marine life through scuba diving, or take a day trip to discover the warm waters and crystal-clear water of the Gulf of Mexico. St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge is one of the prettiest beaches in the area, and its miles of coastline provide plenty of space to unwind and soak up the sun.
  • Location: Located about 40 miles south of Tallahassee, the refuge is accessible via US-98 S and Lighthouse Rd.
  • Entrance Fee: Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.
  • Activities: Visitors can hike along nature trails, explore the St. Marks Lighthouse, go birdwatching, and take a scenic drive through the refuge. Fishing and wildlife photography are also popular activities.

panama city beach

Panama City Beach and St. Andrews Park

If you’re willing to venture a little farther, St. Andrews State Park is just a 30-minute drive from Tallahassee. This beach paradise boasts crystal-clear waters and white-sand beaches, making it a beloved spot for beachgoers. There are a lot of hotels and great places to hang out.

The park is always a good option. The park’s excellent facilities, including plenty of parking and shaded picnic areas, make it a fantastic destination for families with small children. Although most of the beaches in this area and easy access and beautiful. This is spring time- it does start to get busy!

busy pc beach

Panama City Beach

  • Description: Panama City Beach, often referred to as the “Spring Break Capital of the World,” is a renowned coastal destination along Florida’s Emerald Coast. This stunning beach offers a magnificent stretch of fine white sand kissed by the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a bustling beach with a lively atmosphere and an array of water sports, making it ideal for adventure seekers and beach enthusiasts.
  • Location: Panama City Beach is located about 90 miles southwest of Tallahassee, accessible via US-231 S and US-98 W.
  • Entrance Fee: Some public beach access points may have parking fees, typically around $5 per vehicle.
  • Activities: Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, beach volleyball, jet skiing, parasailing, and fishing. The beachfront also boasts beachfront bars, restaurants, and shops.

port st joe park

Port St. Joe and Cape San Blas

These two are often confused – they are actually in the same place. Port St. Joe park is at the end of Cape San Blas.

Port St. Joe is another hidden gem that boasts some of the prettiest beaches and amazing beaches in the area. Its powdery white sands and warm Gulf waters make it a beach vacationer’s dream.

Here, you can enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming during the summer months, where the emerald waters and marine life come alive.

This was taken at sunset on Port St. Joe Beach. As you can see, we had the beach to ourselves!

St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

  • Description: St. Joseph Peninsula State Park is a natural haven offering stunning beaches, clear waters, and a diverse ecosystem. It’s a perfect blend of natural beauty and outdoor activities.
  • Location: Located at the tip of Cape San Blas, it’s about 100 miles southwest of Tallahassee via US-319 S and FL-30 W.
  • Entrance Fee: The park has an entrance fee of $6 per vehicle.
  • Activities: Visitors can swim, sunbathe, hike nature trails, go birdwatching, and enjoy picnics. Kayaking and fishing are popular in St. Joseph Bay.

Cape San Blas

  • Description: Cape San Blas is a pristine barrier island known for its tranquil beaches and the gentle waters of St. Joseph Bay on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. It’s a place of unspoiled beauty and a true escape from the hustle and bustle.
  • Location: Cape San Blas is located about 100 miles southwest of Tallahassee and is accessible via US-319 S and FL-30 W.
  • Entrance Fee: There may be parking fees at certain access points, typically around $5 per vehicle.
  • Activities: Visitors can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and picnicking. The area is also known for excellent fishing opportunities.

alligator point

Alligator Point and Bald Point

These are both in the same area too. When you get onto Alligator Point it is to the right and Bald Point is to the left.

Alligator Point Beach

  • Description: Alligator Point Beach offers a serene and secluded coastal experience, with a focus on nature and wildlife appreciation. It’s an excellent choice for those seeking a tranquil beach getaway.
  • Location: Alligator Point is located about 50 miles south of Tallahassee via US-319 S and Alligator Dr.
  • Entrance Fee: The beach is free to access.

Bald Point State Park

  • Description: Bald Point State Park is a hidden coastal gem known for its diverse habitats, including sandy beaches, tidal marshes, and maritime forests. It’s a tranquil and lesser-known destination for those seeking a peaceful beach experience.
  • Location: Situated on Alligator Point, the park is about 50 miles south of Tallahassee and can be reached via US-319 S.
  • Entrance Fee: The park has an entrance fee of $4 per vehicle.
  • Activities: Visitors can explore nature trails, go birdwatching, spot wildlife, enjoy picnics, and embark on a scenic drive through the park. Fishing is also popular along the fishing dock.

Before you get to Alligator Point you can hit Mashes Sands which is on the left before you go over the bridge.

Mashes Sands Beach

  • Description: Mashes Sands Beach is a charming beachfront area known for its calm waters and stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a peaceful spot for beachgoers looking for relaxation and natural beauty.
  • Location: Situated in Panacea, Florida, Mashes Sands Beach is approximately 40 miles south of Tallahassee via US-319 S.
  • Entrance Fee: The beach is free to access.

Other Local Beaches

These beautiful beaches near Tallahassee, Florida, offer diverse experiences, from lively and bustling shores to tranquil and secluded getaways. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a deep connection with nature, you’ll find a perfect beach destination to suit your preferences and interests. Enjoy the sun, sand, and sea as you explore the natural wonders of Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Grayton Beach State Park

  • Description: Grayton Beach State Park is a natural oasis known for its pristine, untouched dunes, sugar-white sand, and emerald-green waters. It’s an unspoiled gem that offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The park is home to a diverse ecosystem, making it a paradise for nature lovers.
  • Location: Situated along County Road 30A, Grayton Beach State Park is approximately 100 miles southeast of Tallahassee.
  • Entrance Fee: The park has an entrance fee of $5 per vehicle.
  • Activities: Visitors can swim, sunbathe, hike nature trails, go birdwatching, and have picnics in shaded areas. Kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing in Western Lake are also popular activities.

Wakulla Beach

  • Description: Wakulla Beach, located within Wakulla Springs State Park, offers a unique beach experience along the pristine Wakulla River. The beach features a beautiful riverbank with opportunities for swimming and picnicking amidst the shade of towering trees.
  • Location: Wakulla Beach is about 20 miles south of Tallahassee and can be reached via US-319 S and Wakulla Springs Rd.
  • Entrance Fee: The entrance fee to Wakulla Springs State Park is $4 per vehicle.
  • Activities: Visitors can swim in the refreshing Wakulla Spring, go on riverboat tours, explore nature trails, and enjoy picnics. Wildlife sightings, including manatees and alligators, are common.

Shell Point Beach

  • Description: Shell Point Beach is a hidden gem known for its quiet shores and beautiful vistas. This beach offers a peaceful retreat where visitors can enjoy the natural surroundings and coastal ambiance.
  • Location: Shell Point Beach is situated about 30 miles south of Tallahassee via US-319 S and Shell Point Rd.
  • Entrance Fee: The beach is free to access.

Dog Island

  • Description: Dog Island is a remote and secluded paradise known for its untouched beauty, sandy shores, and clear waters. It’s an escape from civilization, offering a pristine beach experience.
  • Location: Dog Island is situated southwest of Carrabelle, Florida, accessible by boat or ferry.
  • Entrance Fee: There may be fees associated with ferry transportation.

Old Carrabelle Beach

  • Description: Old Carrabelle Beach is a quaint and serene beachfront area with calm waters and a laid-back atmosphere. It’s a peaceful spot to unwind and enjoy the coastal ambiance.
  • Location: Carrabelle, Florida, is approximately 50 miles southwest of Tallahassee via US-319 S.
  • Entrance Fee: The beach is free to access.

The beaches near Tallahassee are not only a great place to soak up the sun and enjoy the sea but also an excellent destination for nature enthusiasts. The warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, marine life, and miles of coastline create the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable beach vacation. So whether you’re planning a day trip with young children or seeking scuba diving adventures, these beaches have something for everyone.

Discover the coastal wonders of the Tallahassee region and embark on a beach vacation that combines natural beauty, friendly beaches, and miles of coastline. As you explore the crystal-clear waters, white-sand beaches, and marine life, you’ll find that these beaches offer much more than meets the eye.


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