There’s a reason Florida is known as the Sunshine State. Going to the shore is the best way to enjoy the warm weather. So even though Winter Haven is in the middle of nowhere, you can still take a day expedition to the coast.
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to sunbathe, read a book, build sandcastles, play beach volleyball, have lunch, go for hikes, or dive; beaches are the perfect setting for all these and more. With our checklist of beaches as your guide, you can find several suitable for diving within a reasonable driving distance of Winter Haven.
8 Best Beaches in Winter Haven
St. Augustine Beach
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St. Augustine Beach is accessible by car in just under three hours. Jeep drivers will appreciate this easy entry to the area. Then, travel back in time by visiting places like Anastasia Island and the Spanish Coquina Quarries. This beach is well worth the trip because of all the fascinating history you’ll find there.
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Vero Beach is a tiny community on the other side of the Indian River Lagoon. In addition to the ocean, there are many other attractions nearby this place. There is a sanctuary for brown pelicans in North Vero Beach’s National Wildlife Refuge. There are many pathways to explore in South Beach Park in Vero Beach. Tropical vegetation and waterways lined with water lilies await you at the McKee Botanical Garden.
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Gardenville Beach has a lot of excellent facilities, like lifeguard, clean toilets, dining areas, and a playground. Swimming, surfing, fishing, sunbathing, paddle boarding, and yachting are just some of the aquatic sports that can be enjoyed at Gardenville Beach.
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You can see the power station and all of Tampa Bay from Apollo Beach. The Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach is well-known for supplying electricity to the Tampa Bay region. The 5 miles of powdery white sand are pulverized coquina shells. The Atlantic’s powerful waves flood the shoreline, which can cause powerful currents and turbulent surf.
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At Bahia Beach, you can relax as you ride the waves and take in the splendor of your surroundings. The beach is tranquil and pleasant for diving and other aquatic activities. However, remember that any time you venture into Florida’s shoreline waterways, you should exercise extreme care due to potential hazards and the rapidity with which ocean conditions can shift.
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A well-known astronaut, Scot Kelly once called it “the most beautiful place from space.” This beach is very popular among college students who go here for year-end parties and celebrations. Families with children may also go here as the place is peaceful and rarely crowded.
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Dunedin Beach is known as the “Home of Honeymoon Island” because its beaches feature green-blue seas and powdery white sand. The shores of Dunedin are widely regarded as among the world’s finest. The facilities are excellent, too, and many tourists go here to experience the beautiful beach and calming salt breeze.
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While there is no pollution in the water, the sediment is mostly volcano ash, making the ocean appear murky as you walk around. The shoreline is still accessible, but aquatic activities such as fishing and diving are discouraged. But now, Lido beach is still popular and people can now bathe and enjoy the beach.
Frequently Asked Questions
Winter Haven is located a bit far from the direct shoreline making the place rely on the nearest beaches like Dunedin Beach and Lido Beach.
Famous landmarks in Winter Haven include the Chain of Lakes and Cypress Gardens, now a component of LEGOLAND Florida Resort. It’s a popular place because many beaches near the site surround it.
Traveling southeast from Winter Haven is 223 miles via the Florida Turnpike. Travel nonstop between Winter Haven and Miami takes 3 hours and 35 minutes.
From Winter Haven to Clearwater Beach heading west is 75 miles via FL 60 W. And going from Winter Haven and Clearwater Beach is 1 hour and 25 minutes.