Florida Vs. California Beaches – Beach life compared


Beaches make wonderful vacation destinations because they offer something for everyone. Tourists can enjoy both the land and sea attractions while watching some of the most beautiful sunsets this world has to offer. If you are planning your next vacation, you might be wondering, is Florida or California the better beach destination?

Florida beaches tend to be more tropical, with warmer weather and clear waters. California beaches, which are a bit cooler, are often enjoyed for their surfing. Both are beautiful in their own ways.

Continue reading as we compare both states’ beautiful coastlines to give you a better idea about which one you would rather visit during your next vacation.

Miami beach Florida
Miami South Beach Florida

Weather

The last thing anyone wants to do is plan an expensive vacation only to find they hate the weather conditions, which is why it is important to understand the climate before you book your trip.

California Weather

Because California is such a big state, with varying elevations, the weather changes depending on where in the state you plan to go. However, California tends to be less humid than Florida, with less rainy days. The water temperature is a bit cooler in California as well. People might be surprised to find that the beaches are not as sunny and warm as they expected, with fog and wind being common during the summer season.

 SpringSummerFallWinter
Average ClimateVacationers can enjoy temperatures in the high 60’s to low 70’s. Rain and wind are more common during the spring.Vacationers can enjoy temperatures in the high 60’s to 70’s. Morning will often be foggy, but it typically clears by mid-afternoon.Vacationers can enjoy temperatures in the 70’s to 80’s. Rain becomes more frequent in the late fall and mornings may be chilly.Vacationers can enjoy temperatures in the low 60’s. Morning are chilly, with frost some days, and rain is more common.
Average Water TemperatureRanges from 50 degrees in the north to 60 degrees in the south.Rages from 52 degrees in the north to 68 degrees in the south.Ranges from mid 50’s in the north to mid 60’s in the south.Ranges from 51 degrees in the north to 60 degrees in the south.

Source: Current Results

Florida Weather

The weather patterns in Florida do not vary as significantly from one city to the next because Florida is not as large as California. Florida tends to be a bit warmer, but people often complain about the humidity. However, many beaches receive a coastal breeze that helps fight the humidity. If you are looking for a more tropical beach, Florida would be your preferred destination.

 SpringSummerFallWinter
Average ClimateVacationers can enjoy temperatures from the low 50’s to high 80’s. Temperatures are more unpredictable in the spring with wind and morning fog common.Vacationers can enjoy temperatures from the 70’s to high 90’s. Humidity levels are highest during the summer with rain and hurricanes possible.Vacationers can enjoy temperatures from the low 60’s to high 80’s. It is not as humid as summer and the weather is cooler and dryer.Vacationers can enjoy temperatures from the low 60’s to mid 70’s. Cool, dry days are common, and humidity is at its lowest during the winter months.
Average Water TemperatureAverage temperatures range from 61 degrees in March to 82 degrees in May.Average temperatures range from 80 degrees in June to 87 degrees in August.Average temperatures range from 81 degrees in September to 66 degrees in Nov.Average temperatures range from 65 degrees in December to 55 degrees in February.

Source: Current Results

Coastline

The coastlines of these two states vary quite significantly. Florida is more coastal, with white sand and clear water.

California Coastline

California has over 840 miles of coastline, which makes it the third-largest state coastline in the United States. However, the climate and terrain of California’s legendary coastline vary significantly from the north to the south. Additionally, there are quite a few areas where the coastline is narrow or nonexistent, especially in the coastal mountains.

Venice Beach LA California

The northern coast is not as popular as the southern coast for beach vacations because the water temperature does not reach friendly temperatures. People still enjoy walks along the beach, but chilly weather and fog often hinder people from splashing around in the waves.

The southern coast is what people often think about when they think of California beaches. Although water temperatures are still cooler than on other Mediterranean coasts, the shallow waters get warm enough to swim in. The sun-kissed beaches along the southern coast are home to sandy beaches and giant celebrities.

Florida Coastline

Although Florida is about 2.9 times smaller than California, its coastline is about 260 miles longer than California’s. Florida is well known for its tropical beaches—complete with white sand and clear turquoise waters. However, people might be surprised to learn just how diverse the Florida coastline is. In fact, there are 10 “coastal regions” in Florida.

The terrain varies between tropical beaches, mangrove swamps, and marshes, with each area having its own unique presence. Although vacationers often opt to visit the more tropical of Florida’s coastal beaches. Many of these beaches are in their natural condition, and vacationers can enjoy the shallow, clear waters.

Sea Life

Not everyone visits the beach to enjoy the sand and sun, and some of us enjoy watching the various forms of life that inhabit the area.

California Sea Life

The beauty of California’s shoreline continues far below the depth of its oceans, and there are many exciting ways that vacationers can experience this beauty.

Scuba diving is a common vacation activity, and although California’s waters are not as clear as Florida’s, they offer some of the best scuba diving in the world. From the breathtaking coral at Breakwater Cove to the plethora of sea life that is nourished by the upwells of Noonday Rock, divers can enjoy many exciting diving experiences.

Tide pooling is another terrific way to have a close encounter with animals you might otherwise never get to see. There are many great tidepool locations scattered around the state, from San Diego to Laguna Beach, and each one offers a diverse array of sea life.

Although there is a vast assortment of sea creatures to be spotted in California, some of the more popular animals include dolphins, two-spotted octopus, green sea turtle, spiny lobster, sandcastle worms, crabs, starfish, gray whales, and sea slugs. In addition to sea life, bird watchers can enjoy many coastal birds such as the ashy storm petrel, the brown pelican, the double-crested cormorant, and the common murre.

Florida Sea Life

Florida offers a vastly diverse animal population and what creatures you can expect to see differs in each location.

Scuba diving is a popular tourist activity and Florida’s crystal waters make it one of the best places for novice divers to explore. Vacationers can choose from a wide variety of locations, with each one offering something different. New divers will love the shallow waters of Dry Tortugas National Park, which offers stunning views of colorful corals, while more experienced divers might enjoy a cave dive at Devil’s Den.

There are tons of unique species that enjoy the warmer waters of Florida, and vacationers might expect to see whale sharks, rays, manatees, sea turtles, dolphins, hammerhead sharks, goliath groupers, octopus, sand dollars, and crabs. People visiting the everglades might meet dolphins, otters, manatees, alligators, crocodiles, snakes, lizards, turtles, and much more. Bird watchers might enjoy watching seabirds such as laughing gulls, pelicans, sanderlings, dowitchers, and an assortment of herons.

Conclusion

As far as which beach destination is better? Well, that is really up to you. You might prefer the colder beaches of northern California to the humid beaches of Florida in the summer. Or you might like the warm, calm waters of coastal Florida over the choppy surfs that California offers. At the end of the day, both coasts are beautiful in their own way, and you might end up loving both!

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John Cunningham

John is a writer, classic car and whiskey lover, men's shopping enthusiast and self appointed DIY expert. His greatest passion is repairing in the workshop, making old classics look and run like new again!

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