Beaches Near Tallahassee
Tallahassee is located just 22 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, which is home to some of the world’s top beaches. With more than 1,600 miles of coastline and beautiful, sugar-white sand, there are plenty of options for residents looking for beaches near Tallahassee.
Below are a list of 9 of the area’s best beach spots to escape summer heat and enjoy the surf and sand.
Cape San Blas
For one of the best Tallahassee day-trips, look no further than Cape San Blas. Within Cape San Blas is St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, which was named The Best Beach in America by Dr. Beach. As an added bonus: it’s rarely crowded, so you and your family can enjoy peace and serenity.
Located approximately 2 hours from Tallahassee, this beach is worth the drive. The crystal clear water and pristine white sand make it a popular destination for snorkelers, swimmers and sunbathers alike.
Other popular activities in the area include kayaking, canoeing, bird watching (there are over 200 bird species located in Cape San Blas) and hiking to the historic Cape San Blas Lighthouse. Originally constructed in 1883, the lighthouse has weathered many a storm, and as a result, has been rebuilt and even relocated numerous times. More adventurous visitors can hike approximately 1 mile along the beach to spot the lighthouse that continues to stand against the stormy seas.
Carrabelle Beach is one of the closest beaches to Tallahassee. Located just 50 miles away, you can get there in under an hour. Covered pavilions, public bathrooms and no state park entrance fees, make Carrabelle beach popular among residents and visitors alike.
There are numerous parking spots available, but because of the proximity to the city, on weekends the beach can be crowded with swimmers and sunbathers. So arrive early or, if your schedule permits, consider taking a weekday trip to this beach near Tallahassee.
Dog Island may be one of Tallahassee’s best kept secrets! When it comes to nearby beaches you won’t find this one on many other ‘Best Beaches Near Tallahassee’ lists. Part of the reason is, Dog Island isn’t easily accessible. But if you can get there, you’ve truly discovered paradise.
It’s not uncommon to be the only one on the beach, so you can enjoy the soft sand and sunshine in complete solitude.
Located just off the coast of Carrabelle, the island can be seen from Carrabelle Beach. Visitors can get there via motorized boat or airplane, as there is a small airstrip located on the island. But if those options seem out of reach, fear not. There’s a ferry that runs to and from the island that you can charter for a relatively low cost.
For more of an au naturale experience, trekk on over to Hagan’s Cove. With its unique natural beach and shallow wading waters, visitors can get up close and personal to shorebirds, horseshoe crabs and more. Because the low tide exposes mud flats, this area is a popular place for scalloping… and you don’t even need a boat.
Wade right out into the water and scoop them up. For more than a quarter mile, the water is only waist deep.
Similarly to Hagan’s Cove, Keaton Beach, located just 11 miles north is another popular scalloping location. The amenities at this natural, public beach include picnic areas, a children’s play area and restrooms for when nature calls.
Visitors also have access to a boat ramp and 700-foot pier. Fish on!
Mashes Sands Beach & Bald Point State Park
Located only 36 miles from Tallahassee, Mashes Sands Beach & Bald Point State Park are some of the closest beaches near Tallahassee. Despite the proximity, there are fewer crowds here than some other nearby beaches, like Carrabelle Beach.
The shallow water and tidal pools are perfect for beachcombers and swimmers alike.
Mashes Sands is more rustic. With a pier and a boat ramp, it’s the perfect place for fishermen. Whereas Bald Point State Park has showers and picnic tables, which is ideal for families looking for more of a typical beach day getaway. Because it is a state park, there may be a small fee to enter.
St. George Island
St. George Island is a bit more of a haul, being 1.5 hours minutes southwest of Tallahassee, but it’s worth the drive. This is your quintessential beach town. In fact, many local Tallahassee residents own beach homes down here. There are also numerous house rentals available as well.
With almost 30 miles of beachfront, St. George Island is consistently ranked as one of the top beaches in America, yet because of its more remote location, visitors never experience the crowding that is common on the beaches in south Florida.
The white sand and soothing sea provide the perfect vacation spot for Tallahassee residents looking to escape for a day (or a long weekend). Nearby there are plenty of shops and restaurants worth exploring as well. Take Fido along, as many of the beaches and boardwalks are dog friendly!
St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
While most people know St. Marks for its lighthouse, the area also boasts a small, but serene sandy white strip of shore as well. Although only a few feet wide, it’s just enough for you and a friend to set up the beach chairs and enjoy the breeze.
As a wildlife refuge, you won’t find picnic tables or some of the amenities other beaches near Tallahassee have to offer, but you do have the possibility of spotting plenty of cool wildlife, so bring your binoculars.
Seaside is the furthest ‘close beach’ to Tallahassee, but the quaint vibe of the town makes the day trip 100% worthwhile. Pack your picnic basket and head to Seaside’s Grayton Beach State Park. Grayton Beach continually ranks as one of the most beautiful and pristine beaches in the United States, in part due to the gorgeous sunsets. If you want to see it for yourself, there is camping available (including traditional rustic camping and cabins with more amenities).
With restaurants, local shops and even a farmer’s market, Seaside is the perfect place to spend the day, or a long holiday weekend. Pastel homes with white picket fences line the shoreline. When you get there, it may look familiar – this town was the backdrop for the late 90s film “The Truman Show”, starring Jim Carrey.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tallahassee Beaches
Is there a beach in Tallahassee?
While there is not a beach located in Tallahassee, the nearest beach can be found just a half hour away. Additionally, Tallahassee boasts a number of nearby lakes, which are perfect for swimming and cooling off during the hot summer months.
What’s the closest beach to Tallahassee?
While the closest beach to Tallahassee is Mashes Sands’ Bald Point State Park (36 miles), the nearest resort-style beach is St. George Island.
How far is St. George Island from Tallahassee?
St. George Island is located approximately 90 miles south of Tallahassee, FL.
For other outdoor activities in Tallahassee and the surrounding area, visit our Outdoors page, found here.