If you are looking for an epic Florida vacation, then here are some of the best Florida East Coast islands that you must explore.
The Sunshine State is home to over 4,500 islands, making it tough to decide on the ideal Florida vacation spot for tourists.
That being said, the East Coast of Florida is home to tons of gorgeous islands you may not expect! The Gulf Coast isn’t the only good place to go for islands!
Some of the best Florida islands not only offer pristine beaches to relax on but historic sites, fun outdoor attractions, wildlife preserves, and more that the visitors can explore. So, there are a lot of fun things to do in Florida apart from enjoying the beach.
There are beautiful Florida islands where you can enjoy a luxury retreat, an outdoor adventure, or quiet time on a secluded private island.
From luxury resorts to family-friendly cottages, to beachfront hotels, there is no shortage of amazing vacation resorts in Florida.
So, whether you are looking to plan a romantic weekend getaway, a family vacation, or a couples retreat, you can easily find an ideal Florida island on the east coast.
Are you still confused about where to plan your next vacation in Florida? Then, read our list of the 10 Best Florida East Coast Islands that you must explore!
10 Best Florida East Coast Islands To Explore
One of the most offbeat northeast islands in Florida, Amelia Island edges coastal Georgia and is located north of Jacksonville.
Amelia Island is often overlooked by travelers for the southern Florida islands. As a result, the beaches of Amelia Island are quiet and secluded, perfect for families.
Travelers can enjoy a lot of fun activities on this island including taking the Amelia River Cruise to enjoy the view of the barrier island.
That’s not all, the island also features beaches that are home to sand dunes and sea oats. Plus, it is ideal for surfing.
Plus, you can easily find shark teeth along the shores and the Ford Clinch State Park pier at this one of the best Florida east coast islands.
With 13 miles of coastline, visitors can make the most of the gorgeous beaches here and indulge in different activities in Amelia Island such as swimming, paddling, shopping, and more.
Fernandina Beach is the island’s biggest town where you can explore the historic district of Victorian architecture.
You will find many stunning resorts, spas, and golf courses here where you can enjoy a family vacation or a romantic getaway.
Trust me, if you are looking for the top islands on the east coast of Florida for a getaway, then Amelia Island is the perfect choice for you.
Located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River, Hutchinson Island is one of the best Florida islands on the east coast that you cannot skip.
The barrier island is divided into two sections – North Hutchinson Island and South Hutchinson Island. The North Hutchinson section is 28 miles long and runs between Fort Pierce Inlet and Sebastian Inlet.
On the other hand, South Hutchinson Island is 23 miles long and runs between Stuart mainland and Fort Pierce Inlet.
One of the top Northeast islands in Florida, Hutchinson Island is home to gorgeous beaches, diverse wildlife, stunning overlooks, nesting sea turtles, and more.
You will find no shortage of things to do in Hutchinson Island and can indulge in activities like building sandcastles, swimming, relaxing, and more.
Plus, there are lots of fun beaches to explore here such as Jensen Beach, Stuart Beach, Chastain Beach, and more.
If you are interested in kayaking or paddleboarding, then Jensen Beach is a good choice. Plus, Hutchinson Island is a popular spot among surfers due to the favorable waves found here.
From visiting the historic downtown Jensen for shopping and dining to learning about boats and cars at the Elliott Museum, this island is an ideal vacation spot for everyone.
With so many beautiful beaches and fun activities to choose from, Hutchinson Island makes to be one of the best Florida East Coast islands to explore for your vacation!
With gorgeous views, Key Biscayne is one of the top islands on the east coast of Florida that can be easily accessed from Miami beaches.
Key Biscayne is one of the best southeast Florida islands that is located between Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park and Crandon Park.
This barrier island was once a coconut plantation but now has been turned into Crandon Park. The park is a paradise for nature lovers and features an international tennis center, hiking trails, and more.
On the island, you will find a plethora of quiet and secluded Florida beaches where you can relax and enjoy the clear turquoise water.
You have access to multiple beachfront resorts, nature preserves, golf courses, palm trees, and more to enjoy on this island.
If that wasn’t enough, Key Biscayne is also home to the only federally recognized underwater archaeological trail – Biscayne National Park’s Maritime Heritage Trail.
For water lovers, this national park is the perfect place to enjoy diving, snorkeling, and boating to explore the underwater trails and corals found here.
The 19th-century Cape Florida Lighthouse is also a popular attraction on this island and one can take stunning photos on the walkway leading to this lighthouse.
Whether you are planning a luxurious vacation or a romantic one, Key Biscayne is one of the best Florida East Coast islands to visit!
Are you looking for a secluded beach in Florida to enjoy? If yes, then one of the top Florida islands on the east coast to explore is Jupiter Island.
This island is almost 11 miles long and located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River. Jupiter Island is south of Hutchinson Island and is home to gorgeous beaches, nature preserves, and wildlife refuges.
That’s not all, the island also features celebrity homes of the likes of Celine Dion, Tiger Woods, Alan Jackson, and so on.
Visitors can reach this island from the town of Hobe Sound in the north via the SE Bridge Road. If you are traveling from the south, you can use the S beach road to reach the island.
There are a lot of fun things to do on Jupiter Island such as nature watching, hiking, and swimming at the Nature Conservancy Blowing Rocks Preserve.
Apart from that, you can also enjoy walking trails and watch gators at the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary. Also, don’t forget to visit the 1860 Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum for a quick history lesson.
Whether you wish to relax and swim at waterfront parks like Carlin Park or enjoy a stay in a beachfront hotel, Jupiter Island is one of the best islands that you cannot miss out on in Florida.
Canaveral National Seashore
Canaveral National Seashore is one of the popular barrier islands to visit on Florida’s East Coast.
This island is home to an open lagoon, beautiful beaches, coastal hammocks, salt marsh, sand dunes, and pine flatland habitats.
Canaveral National Seashore is also a sanctuary for many endangered species such as sea turtles, wood storks, West Indian Manatee, Florida scrub jay, and so on.
Over 1045 plant species and 310 bird species can be found in this park.
One of the best things about this island is that it is one of the top places to visit from Orlando and features a natural beach. As a result, there are no vendors or hotels on the beach, making it perfect for travelers who want a raw experience.
The island is perfect for outdoor activities such as horseback riding, swimming, surfing, kayaking, boating, fishing, and more.
You will also find several historical and natural trails here that can be explored in the winter months.
So, if you are looking for one of the offbeat Florida East Coast islands to visit, then Canaveral National Seashore is a perfect choice.
If you are looking for the best Florida East Coast beaches to enjoy, then plan a trip to the beautiful Anastasia Island.
This 14-mile-long barrier island is located across the Bridge of Lions from the historic St. Augustine.
It is one of the best islands to visit on Florida’s east coast as it exudes a laid-back beach town vibe along with a historic Spanish accent.
Another unique fact to know about this island is that it was the first Florida coast to be discovered in 1565 which is why it is called the First Coast.
A small part of the island is within St. Augustine’s city limit which is why visitors can also head to the Saint Augustine beaches to make the most of their trip.
There are lots of fun things to do on this island such as shopping in the historic district of St. Augustine, visiting the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, and so on.
The island is also home to over 1,600 acres of white sand beaches, dunes, maritime forests, and more where you can enjoy swimming, hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities.
For a relaxing day, you can pack up a picnic and spend the day on one of the amazing family-friendly beaches such as St. Augustine Beach, Treasure Beach, and more.
Trust me, there is no shortage of fun and unique things to do here which is why it is one of the best Florida East Coast Islands to visit.
Little Talbot Island
Another popular barrier island, Little Talbot Island is one of the few islands that still remain underdeveloped in Northern Florida.
With 5 miles of coastline that is home to pristine beaches, this is one of the top islands off the east coast of Florida for a family vacation.
The coast here is home to gorgeous beaches, sand dunes, and salt marshes that visitors can easily explore.
A short drive from downtown Jacksonville, Little Talbot Island State Park in Florida is a unique mixture of coastal woodland and beach setting. What does this mean?
Well, the island has white sand beaches and perfect surfing waves but you will also find here fallen trunks of palm and cedar trees that act as natural sculptures.
There are lots of fun activities to enjoy on Little Talbot Island such as beachcombing, fishing, wind kayaking, surfing, and more.
You can also indulge in wildlife watching here as it is home to bobcats, white-tailed deer, raccoons, armadillos, and so on.
One of the highlights of this island is the Boneyard Beach where you can climb the bones of the bleached oak trees that have fallen onto the shores after years of erosion.
You can also visit the Blackrock Beach where you can find some of the oldest rock formations in the world. The beautiful black rock formations line the shoreline here and make it a sight to behold.
Apart from that, this island also has plenty of biking trails and camping facilities that visitors can use.
Overall, Little Talbot Island is one of the best Florida East Coast Islands to explore for outdoor lovers.
Situated between the Atlantic Ocean, Lake Worth, and the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), Palm Beach is one of the best Southeast Florida Islands to visit.
The island is 14 miles long and is particularly famous for its historic hotels, majestic golf courses, and extravagant estates.
Visitors can plan a trip to Palm Beach island from mainland West Palm Beach via the Flagler Memorial Bridge and the Royal Park Bridge.
This island is perfect for anyone who is looking for a laid-back vacation while being pampered in one of the luxurious resorts available here.
Another fun thing about this island is that it was winter home to many celebrities such as the Vanderbilts, Kennedys, Rockefellers, and more.
There are lots of unique things to do on Palm Beach. You can visit the native and endangered animals at Palm Beach Zoo or explore the Cox Science Center and Aquarium.
For art lovers, exploring the Norton Museum of Art is a must. Plus, there are lots of shopping outlets to peruse in this area.
So, if you are looking for fun East Coast Florida islands for your summer vacation, then Palm Beach is definitely a good choice.
One of the biggest islands in the Florida Keys, Key Largo is one of the top islands off the east coast of Florida that you must explore.
Located at the upper end of the archipelago, Key Largo is known as the Dive Capital of the World and features lots of fun water adventures.
The island is home to a 510-foot artificial reef named John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is USA’s first underwater park that you must visit. It is the perfect place for diving and snorkeling with lots of marine animals including dolphins.
For those who aren’t interested in going underwater, glass-bottom boating is a great way to get introduced to the area’s rich marine life.
Trust me, you will find a lot of amazing things to do on Key Largo for your trip.
If you are looking for a relaxing vacation, you will also find many beachfront resorts and restaurants here where you can enjoy a drink while taking in the views of the stunning Florida coast.
Overall, Key Largo is one of the best Florida East Coast islands where you can plan an epic vacation with your family or friends.
Virginia Key is an 863-acre barrier island that is located in Biscayne Bay and can be accessed from the mainland using the Rickenbacker Causeway.
This beautiful island is close to mainland Miami and is home to several gorgeous beaches. Apart from being famous for its preserved beauty, Virginia Key is also famous for its history during the United States’ segregation period.
There are lots of amazing attractions to visit on the Virginia Key island such as the Miami Marine Stadium, Miami Seaquarium, and more.
Unlike other East Coast Florida islands, Virginia Key offers a less crowded environment where travelers can enjoy their time in nature.
From swimming to fishing to picnicking, there are a lot of fun things to do on the beaches of this island.
Virginia Key Beach, a popular beach near Miami, charges an entry fee but offers complete infrastructure complete with lifeguards and security guards.
That’s not all, Virginia Key Beach Park also features mountain biking trails for all skill levels where you can immerse yourself in nature and spend some time away from the crowd.
Trust me, if you are looking for a quiet island a short distance from Miami, then Virginia Key is one of the best Florida East Coast islands to visit.