Best Florida Beaches Closed Due to Coronavirus—UPDATED
Covid-19 is seriously cramping the style of beachgoers in The Sunshine State. And for now, that seems like the best way forward.
Updated 11 a.m., April 20–BF
Fun in the sun and spring break go hand in hand—and there’s nowhere better in the whole USA for this classic slice of Americana than Florida beaches. From the westernmost point on the Panhandle (Flora Bama y’all!), to the Southernmost tip of the Keys, many travelers feel like this is a rite of passage—a solid sayonara to winter.
But with the spread of COVID-19 a reality, now is the time to hit pause on those plans. Across Florida, counties and municipalities are opting to close hotels in tourist-favored areas to discourage visitation, and are even taking the added extra step to close the beaches themselves. So before you hop in the car to get your dose of Vitamin Sea, check out our list of the beaches below, grouped by region and starting with the beaches closest to Orlando.
Northern East Coast Florida Beaches
- Duval County (Jacksonville Beaches): As of April 18, beaches are restricted, and are open 6-11 a.m. and 5-8 p.m., for exercise activities only. There is no sunbathing permitted, and towels, chairs and coolers are prohibited.
- Flagler County (Flagler Beach, Palm Coast, Marineland): Closed as of 3/22
- Nassau County (Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island): Closed as of 3/22
- St. Johns County (Ponte Vedra Beach, St. Augustine): As of April 18, beaches are restricted, open 6 a.m to noon, for exercise activities only. No sunbathing or sitting allowed, and restricted items include “blankets, chairs, coolers, umbrellas, tents and any item that promotes a stationary presence.”
Central East Coast Florida Beaches
- Brevard County (Cocoa Beach): Beachside parking is closed, but beaches remain open with observation of social distancing measures. Visitors may engage in activities such as walking, jogging, biking, fishing, surfing and swimming, but no sunbathing or sitting in chairs is permitted.
- Volusia County (Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach): All vehicular access ramps are now closed until further notice. County off-beach parking remains open. Beaches are officially closed, but rules have been relaxed in the following manner: “Exceptions to the closure are in place for the activities of walking, jogging, biking, fishing, surfing and swimming. Activities such as sunbathing, sitting in chairs, organized sports or lying on blankets and grouping of people on the beach remains prohibited.”
Central West Coast Florida Beaches
- Hillsborough County (Ben T. Davis Beach): Closed as of 3/19 and will remain closed until further notice; county is under a “Safer at Home” advisory as of Friday, 3/27 at 10 a.m., which restricts all movement throughout the county that is not deemed essential, with no end date at update time (3/27, 11:46 a.m.)
- Pinellas County (Clearwater): Closed
- Bay County (Panama City Beaches): Closed beginning 3/20 at least through 4/24
- Okaloosa County (Fort Walton Beach, Destin Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Henderson Beach State Park, Gulf Islands National Seashore): Closed as of 3/20 through 4/30
- Walton County (Seaside, Sandestin, Grayton): Beaches closed for 30 days effective 3/19
Southeast Florida Beaches
- Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties (Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood, Miami Beach, Palm Beach, South Beach): All Broward and Miami-Dade beaches closed by order of Governor Ron DeSantis
- Monroe County (All of the Florida Keys): Lodging is closed to all leisure visitors until further notice; the Monroe County Sheriff’s office implemented southbound traffic stops restricting road access to non-residents beginning 3/27
Southwest Florida Beaches
- Collier County (Naples, Marco Island): All beaches closed as of sunset 3/19 and will be closed until further notice
- Lee County (Ft. Myers Beach, Sanibel, Captiva; South Seas Island Resort Beaches remain open, as do some other private beaches) All public beaches are closed for 30 days beginning 3/20
This is a developing story. We will continue to update this story as closures change.