Romantic Gulf Coast Getaways in Florida

The Sunshine State is the perfect place to plan your next romantic beach getaway. Florida’s Gulf Coast is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and charming coastal towns.

Traveling to Florida is like traveling to a romantic tropical island without leaving the US! You’ll enjoy romantic walks beneath the swaying palm trees, sunsets on the beach, luxury hotel stays, and many outdoor activities!

We put together a list of the most romantic beach getaways in Florida. Any beach on this list will be the perfect backdrop for creating a memorable weekend by the sea. 

Most romantic Gulf Coast getaways cover image.
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Not sure which destination along the Gulf Coast would be ideal for you and your better half?

We get it. In Florida, you can find beachside bliss around every corner. Luckily, we’re here to save you some time so you can spend less time deciding on where to go and more time planning for your unforgettable romantic getaway! Discover the best cities to explore and what scenery, places, and activities await you there, all in one place.

In this Article:

  • Top cities to visit – From the island fairytale land of Sanibel Island to the bustling city of St. Pete, there’s a romantic getaway designed for every kind of couple.
  • Romantic places to go Get an insider’s perspective on the best places to visit in each city on this list, with specific recommendations on where to eat, stay, and play.
  • Must-try activities – Make the most out of your time together with fun and romantic activities like dolphin cruises, sunset beach walks, winery tours, and more. 
Same sex couple having a picnic on the beach at sunset on the Florida Gulf Coast.
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With miles of beaches in Florida, it can be challenging to narrow it down to the best beaches, let alone the most romantic weekend getaway locations in the state. So let us help you plan the tropical beach getaway of your dreams with a full breakdown of some of the most romantic places in Florida! Bonus points if you take an extended vacation and hit them all!

5 Romantic Gulf Beach Getaways in Florida 

Florida beaches are some of the most stunning beaches in the world. So it’s no surprise many couples experience their most romantic weekend getaways along the gulf shores. Let’s dive in!

1. Destin

A row of yellow umbrellas on a white sand beach with crystal clear waters in Destin on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
Photo credit: Hilton Sandestin Beach Resort & Spa

Destin is located along the Florida Panhandle. Known for its perfect soft white sand beaches and vibrant blue waters, Destin is a great spot to spend the weekend. You could spend the entire time relaxing on the beach or exploring the city, which is quite charming. You’ll find an array of adorable shops, a long stretch of boardwalk known as the Destin Harbor Boardwalk, delicious eateries, and plenty of beachfront hotels. Before you turn in for the night, enjoy a romantic dinner for two overlooking the Atlantic coast. Destin is one the best places to prioritize quality time and incredible ocean views. 

Bonus: just a short drive from Tampa, across the Dunedin Causeway, you’ll find Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island State Park not too far from there.  It’s a great place to explore the natural beauty of Florida and do some bird watching.

2. St. Pete Beach

Walkway to the St. Pete Beach with tropical greenery and white sands on the Gulf Coast.
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Travel further into the Sunshine State, and you’ll find St.Petersburg — one of the most romantic places in Florida. St. Pete Beach offers beautiful sandy beaches and calm blue waters that will make you feel like you are in a relaxing bath. Aside from the gorgeous beaches, St Petersburg is a lovely city ripe with character. Make sure to explore downtown St.Pete’s unique shops and restaurants. You can even stop at Vinoy Park and enjoy a scoop of gelato from one of the local shops or grab a glass of wine and a good book at Book & Bottle. There are plenty of opportunities for romance in St. Pete! Plus, Clearwater Beach is close by for those interested! Don’t forget to check out some of St. Pete’s restaurants for a fine dining experience or a rooftop bar with a view! The sunsets here are unmatched! This just might be the highlight of your romantic vacation.  

3. Siesta Key

Colorful houses with docked jetskiis in Siesta Key on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
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Siesta Key is a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico known for its sandy beaches and quaint coastal town. But what sets it apart from the other beaches on our list is its shallow waters, which allow for more opportunities to enjoy marine life! If you want to spend more time in the water, snorkeling, and exploring tidepools, Siesta Key is the spot to do it. For the more adventurous types. There is an array of water sports to keep you busy in Siesta Key, plus many nearby shops and cafes. End the day with a romantic sunset on the beach and make your way back to your luxury hotel, either on the island or inland in Sarasota. 

Taking a road trip?: If you’re driving to the Gulf Coast, we highly recommend driving down the 30A and exploring some of the scenic coastal towns along the way. Think Rosemary Beach, Seaside, and Grayton Beach. It’s a beautiful drive and adds a bit of adventure to your romantic weekend getaway!

4. Naples 

Pink and purple sunset over the Naples Pier in summer in Naples, Florida.
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You may be familiar with Naples, a city in the south of Florida most widely known for its shopping and golf courses. But if you and your partner are hoping to spot some dolphins, check out Naples Pier; it’s a perfect choice. With calm waters and white-sand beaches, Naples will have you feeling romantic the moment you set foot on the beach. From boat tours and kayaking through mangroves to sipping wine at a local winery, there are plenty of exciting and romantic things to do in Naples.

5. Sanibel Island

Sanibel island lighthouse at sunset with white sands and tropical greenery.
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Last but definitely not least on your list is Sanibel Island—a small island located in South Florida, about a two-hour drive from Tampa. This island is the ultimate romantic destination. You’ll enjoy beautiful beaches, nature trails, storybook shops, romantic sunset dolphin cruises, and much more. Sanibel Island will make you feel like you and your honey are in your own little world where all your troubles melt away, and you’re left with nothing but the sea turtles, the salt breeze, a glass of wine, and each other. 


Can you drive along the Gulf Coast of Florida?

You bet! The drive is the ultimate way to explore this diverse region. From Pensacola all the way down to Everglades City and Key West, you won’t soon forget the beautiful sights that will greet you along the way.

If you are headed Southbound, we recommend starting in Pensacola and driving along US-98. For Northbound, we suggest starting in Key West and taking Route 1.

What food should we eat on the Gulf Coast?

Seafood! The local favorite is Gulf shrimp. But if you want something sweet, why not try out Tato-Nut Donuts? A classic Gulf Coast treat. There’s also Wintzell’s oysters — perfectly shucked and served with a punchy cocktail sauce.

What is the best time of year to visit the Gulf Coast?

If we had to choose, it would be between March and May and September to November. This is the optimal time to take advantage of all that Gulf Shores has to offer while avoiding the hustle and bustle (and higher prices) of peak season.

Underwater view of the couple snorkeling in the tropical sea.
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Pack Your Suitcase…

Florida has some of the most beautiful beaches, breathtaking sunsets, and, let’s be honest, nearly perfect warm weather (aside from hurricane season). It’s the ideal spot for a romantic getaway in the USA!

From nature lovers to winos and every couple in between—there’s something for everyone. There’s no need to travel out of the country to live out your romantic tropical beach vacation fantasy when Florida is just a flight or drive away! Whether you have time for a day trip or a week-long getaway, Florida is the place to do it!

I hope this breakdown of the most romantic beaches on the gulf coast helped you find your perfect weekend getaway! If you plan on taking a trip to Florida soon, let us know what’s on your itinerary in the comments!

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