Florida beaches and Water Clarity

Old Feb 22nd, 2004, 12:55 PM
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Florida beaches and Water Clarity

Would like to head down to Florida with the kids for a beach location this summer.

The past few years we have been to Mexico where the water is clear and blue.

The kids and my wife do not like the murky water we found in Hilton Head.

Wondering what the water clarity is like on the northern Florida beaches?

Is it clear and blue like the Caribbean?

Thanks to all?

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Old Feb 22nd, 2004, 01:01 PM
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We have been to several beaches in Fl & found the Destin area on the Gulf to be the nicest water. Nothing like the turquoise of the Carribean. The water around Jacksonville is murky & even down to Sanibel is not like what you're looking for. Wonder if the dredging for beach reclaimation has caused that. Nothing beats the Carribean water. We are headed for Negril Jamaica in May & can't wait.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2004, 02:56 PM
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I've heard that water color has to do with the depth of the water, what's in the water, and the sky. Gulf water in my opinion tends to be greener than in the islands. And don't for a minute think that the island water is cleaner -- a lot of the islands pump their untreated sewage into their waters, something that has been stopped for the most part in Florida.

Another problem you might find is that in certain times of the year storms in the Gulf will churn up goodies from the bottoms. So anytime there are storms (which occur regularly in the summer), expect to see whatever's offshore come onshore -- sometimes that includes shells, sea biscuits, corals, sponges, or other critters. And the water will often have a lot of debris such as seaweed.

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Old Feb 22nd, 2004, 04:59 PM
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The water in the Panhandle is gorgeous. You will not be disappointed, provided there isn't some seaweed scourge, which we've never experienced ourselves in many years vacationing there, although others have mentioned it as being problematic sporadically.

At one point we lived in Savannah but preferred HH beaches, so I know the water quality you describe--green water that you can see only a foot or less in. (They described it as healthy--healthy water allows algae to grow, resulting in the green tinge.) Who are we to know--it doesn't look "healthy" to me either. In the Panhandle, you can stand in chest deep turquoise water and still see your feet clearly. By previous standards, it might not be the "healthiest", but by anyone's standards, it's the prettiest of any FL beaches.
Old Feb 22nd, 2004, 06:29 PM
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We have visited some of the keys on the gulf side of Florida (esp. Longboat Key) and had very tourquoise/ green clear water- could see our feet when out up to our necks. Also, a bonus was that the big sea turtles were nesting on the beach in early June when we were there, that was amazing to watch. And there was a cool bird sanctuary there and an aquarium. We went into Sarasota once but otherwise just stayed on the key and loved the clear water.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 04:02 AM
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Well East and Gulf coast beaches/water in FL are very different. I think they both have pros and cons.
If clear water is your criteria then you will do better on the Gulf. The panhandle area is nice--check out Destin, or Seaside.
I prefer the East coast because I like to look for shells,sharks teeth (
on Amelia Island) walk on the beach, and ride bikes on the beach--plus you can surf, or boogie board.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 05:59 AM
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We've stayed over the years at virtually every major beach, east and west coasts, and believe the beaches and water in the St. Pete area are superb. Recently we had the good fortune of enjoying beaches in Miami, and while beautiful and golden, they just lack the finery and whiteness of the Gulf beaches west of Tampa. But really, anyplace in Fl is terrific!! It's just a matter of opinion.
Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 01:47 PM
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Sanibel's water is stirred up due to the location of the currents around the island during the tide changes.But, if you love the clear,turquise water of the Caribean, go to Captiva Island.It's on the Gulf side. It can't be beat.It's a beautiful paradise.Can you tell we loke it there & keep returning? Have fun.
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