Best islands in Florida – Top 12 islands around Florida to visit!

Looking for the most beautiful islands off Florida Gulf Coast? Check out our list of all the prettiest & must-visit islands near Florida!

This is not a secret – the islands off Florida are fantastic! There are many great things to do in Florida, but you should know that the beauty and diversity of Florida’s islands make them ideal vacation destinations almost all year round.

From amazing Florida Keys islands to a stunning barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico called Marco Island – there is a bit of everything for everyone on the best Florida islands to vacation!

Need any ideas for holiday islands in Florida? Whether you are looking for a winter sun destination, a dream place for sunbathing or just a weekend trip in Florida, the islands close to Florida are always a great choice!

Islands off Florida types:

Pretty island:Bahia Honda Key
Small island:Pine Island
Famous island:Marco Island
Beautiful island:Key West
Historical island:Amelia Island

With just over 4,500 islands to choose from you will definitely find a perfect island to visit! Ready or not, this is our list of the top 12 Florida Gulf coast islands!

Explore the best Florida islands to visit and top ideas for days out to islands off Florida:

Best 12 Islands in Florida to visit

1. Marco Island

Best island in Florida? Marco Island is the only developed land and also the largest of the isles in Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands. Not far from Naples or the Florida Everglades, Marco Island is one of the most popular islands to visit on the Gulf Coast. There are luscious resorts, unspoiled parks, and stunning sandy beaches lining the coast.

Marco Island is much loved for its tropical climate and beautiful scenery. Not far from Marco Island is Collier Seminole State Park, which offers everything from canoeing and fishing to nature walks and picnic spots.

Where to stay on Marco Island Florida?

Florida islands - Marco Island
Beautiful Florida islands: Marco Island

2. Sanibel Island

Prettiest island in Florida? Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, Sanibel Island is famous for offering breathtaking sunsets, luxurious resorts, and its unique lighthouse. Just a short distance from Fort Myers, Sanibel Island is well known for shelling. The search for shells on the Island has fondly become known as the Sanibel Stoop, and visitors love spending the days looking for gorgeous seashells.

Local restaurants on Sanibel Island serve up delectable seafood and other local specialities. Visitors to Sanibel Island can try a hand at boating or fishing or just take time to relax and unwind.

Best hotels on Sanibel Island Florida:

Best islands in Florida - Sanibel Island
Florida islands on the Gulf Coast: Sanibel Island

3. St. George Island

Nicest islands in Florida? Hailed as being one of the very best beaches in Florida, St. George Island offers miles of shores perfect for sunbathing, shelling, and swimming. Off the north coast of Florida’s Gulf, the Island is 28 miles of unspoiled paradise. Strict building codes and low-density zoning have protected St. George Island, so there are no chain stores or high-rise buildings in sight.

Simply serene, thanks to its calming beaches and parks, St. George Island offers an abundance of quaint cottages, lush beach homes, and just two hotels.

Where to stay on St. George Island Florida?

Florida gulf coast islands - St. George Island
Florida islands list: St. George Island

4. Captiva Island

Top islands off the coast of Florida? Just north of Sanibel Island and not far from Fort Myers sits Captiva Island. This picturesque paradise is perfect for nature lovers and those who seek the great outdoors. Captiva Island is all about hiking, biking, sailing, and water sports.

The island itself is just a small slither of land that is tucked into Florida’s southwest coastline. On the very tip of Captiva Island is South Seas Island Resort, with over 2 miles of clear beaches to enjoy.

Best hotels on Captiva Island Florida:

Florida islands list - Captiva Island
Prettiest islands in FL: Captiva Island

5. Amelia Island

Top islands in Florida? It doesn’t get much more tranquil than Amelia Island, found on Florida’s northeast coast. Amelia Island has been claimed as one of the top 10 islands in all of the US, and it’s easy to see why. There are golden sandy shores and glistening blue seas, with activities such as horseback riding and whale spotting available for everyone.

This little island offers a rich history as it was once controlled by England, Spain, and France, and this history can be explored during a trip to Amelia.

Where to stay on Amelia Island Florida?

Florida islands to visit - Amelia Island
Most beautiful islands in the US Florida: Amelia Island
Katherine Welles/

6. Key West

Most beautiful island in Florida? Known for its lush beaches, lively nightlife, and historic sites, Key West is the United States’ southernmost point. Conch-style architecture donned in pastel colors line streets, and there are water sports and museums for everyone to enjoy.

Those looking for the energy and madness which Key West is famed for should head to Duval Street. Walking tours are perfect for those who want to see everything Key West Island has to offer, including gorgeous gardens, courtyards, and homes.

Read also: Best hotels in Key West Florida

Best hotels on Key West Island Florida:

Islands south of Florida - Key West
Florida islands to visit: Key West

7. Anna Maria Island

Islands to visit near Florida? Just 10 minutes away from Bradenton is Anna Maria Island. A stunning seven-mile strip of white sandy beaches lines the island, which sits between the peninsular of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. Anna Maria Island boasts an old timely vibe, thanks to the strict building regulations in place.

A trip to this tranquil island feels like a journey back in time, with excellent dining options and unbeatable scenery. Anna Maria Island is very close to other firm favorites, including Lido Key, Siesta Key, Longboat Key, and Venice. Planning a weekend away in Florida? This island is a must-visit!

Where to stay on Anna Maria Island Florida?

Best Florida islands to vacation - Anna Maria Island
Islands around Florida: Anna Maria Island

8. Gasparilla Island

Most beautiful islands in Florida? Gasparilla Island is a section of a chain of barrier islands on the Gulf Coast. It is separated from mainland Florida by Pine Island South and Charlotte Harbour. On the south end of the Island is Gasparilla Island State Park, a unique island gem that is well worth a visit.

The main attraction is the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse, which was built in 1890 and can still be seen today. Popular activities in Gasparilla Island include snorkeling, swimming, and fishing.

Best hotels on Gasparilla Island Florida:

Islands around Florida - Gasparilla Island
Florida West Coast islands: Gasparilla Island
Stephen B. Goodwin/

9. Bahia Honda Key

Pretty islands in Florida? Bahia Honda Key is a remote island that was transformed into a tropical destination thanks to the railroad to Key West. It really is one of the best islands to visit in Florida! Bahia Honda Key is home to a beautiful state park that is one of the southernmost in Florida. There is a beautifully secluded white sandy beach that sits between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic.

Bahia Honda Key boasts not just one but three of these stunning beaches just within the state park. This tiny island has become known for having some of the clearest waters in the area. It is also one of the most popular vacation destinations in Florida!

Where to stay on or around Bahia Honda Key Island Florida?

Best islands in Florida - Bahia Honda Key
Islands south of Florida: Bahia Honda Key

10. Pine Island

Best small islands in Florida? Just 30 minutes away from Fort Myers is the laid back Pine Island. The secluded little island is great for fishing, relaxing, and nature spotting. Although small, Pine Island is the largest off of Florida’s Gulf Coast.

It has the atmosphere and vibe of a small town, with the views and scenery of a tropical paradise. The waterways in the Pine Island Aquatic Preserve are perfect for canoeing and kayaking and is just one of three aquatic preserves.

Best hotels on or around Pine Island Florida:

Islands near Florida - Pine Island
Quiet islands in Florida: Pine Island
Jim Schwabel/

11. Siesta Key

Best islands off Florida coast? Not far from popular Sarasota is Siesta Key, adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. The main beach on the Island, Siesta Public Beach, has been hailed as the best beach in the nation. Siesta Key is just 8 miles long and offers plenty of choice when it comes to dining, nightlife, and shopping.

The island is much loved for its deep turquoise waters, perfect white sand shores, and excellent amenities. Siesta Key is known as being a quaint and quirky island that offers something for everyone.

Where to stay on Siesta Key Island Florida?

Florida coast islands - Siesta Key
Beautiful islands in FL: Siesta Key
Suncoast Aerials/

12. Key Largo

Best island in Florida Keys? Hailed as the diving capital of the world, Key Largo has deep, clear oceans with an abundance of underwater wildlife to explore. The first of the beautiful Florida Keys, Key Largo is home to the biggest artificial reef in the world. There is the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the USS Spiegel Grove, and the African Queen.

A visit to Key Largo is not complete without glass-bottom boating at Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Key Largo offers endless water sports opportunities, or for the more faint-hearted, some lovely spots to relax and watch the sunset.

Best hotels on Key Largo Island Florida:

Islands close to Florida - Key Largo
Most beautiful islands Florida: Key Largo

Florida islands FAQ:

How many islands are in Florida?

Florida has just over 4,500 islands which makes it the 2nd highest number of all US states. From Amelia, Sanibel to Marco Island there are so many beautiful islands in Florida!

What are the islands south of Florida called?

Located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, the beautiful Florida Keys are an archipelago of stunning islands stretching about 120 miles off the southern tip of Florida state.

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