Florida Coastal Regions

Florida is nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. It’s therefore logical to divide the state into two coasts: the Atlantic Coast and the Gulf Coast, or the East Coast and the West Coast.

Did you know that the 1,350 miles of coastline are divided into ten coastal regions? Let’s take a look:

First Coast

Northeast Florida, known as the First Coast, was the first area in the history of the United States to have been discovered and colonized by Europeans. Indeed, Spanish descendants founded St. Augustine in 1565. The name “First Coast” is also attributed as it is the first region you will cross when entering Florida from the northeast, along the Atlantic coast. This region is a true testament to Florida’s rich history: traces of Spanish colonizers who arrived more than 400 years ago can still be found. The main Florida cities on the First Coast are St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Orange Park and Fernandina Beach.

Jacksonville Florida First Coast
St. Augustine Florida First Coast
St. Augustine Florida, First Coast Waterway

By Anabel Hebert

Space Coast

The Space Coast, located in the center of Florida’s Atlantic coast, is named for its many places linked to the conquest of space. The Space Coast extends to the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the point from which all NASA space missions were launched. With a nod to the last three seconds of the countdown operated at each space mission launch, the telephone area code for the Space Coast is 3-2-1! The main cities in the Space Coast region are Palm Bay, Melbourne, Rockledge, Titusville and Cocoa Beach.

Florida Coastal Regions Kennedy Space Center Flag
Cocoa Beach Florida Space Coast
Florida Coastal Regions Kennedy Space Center Welcome Sign

Treasure Coast

The Treasure Coast is Florida’s coastal area that extends from north of Sebastian Inlet to the south of Hobe Sound. This region includes the coastal counties of Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin. It was given the name the Treasure Coast over 300 years ago, when several Spanish ships carrying gold and silver were shipwrecked off the area and all their treasures ended up in the sea. From these wreckages of the 17th and 18th centuries, several treasures have been found by treasure hunters over the past 50 years. More recently, in August 2010, a gold coin minted in Mexico in the 1650s was found near Jupiter by a man who was diving in shallow waters.

Florida Coastal Regions Beach Pier
Florida Coastal Regions Fort Pierce Beach
Treasure Coast Florida Marina

Gold Coast

Hollywood Beach Boardwalk Gold Coast Florida

The Gold Coast area crosses the southeast coast of Florida along Palm Beach and Miami.

Its name refers to real estate investment in the region by its wealthy residents.
Gold Coast beaches are well known as a playground for the rich and famous and those who love nightlife.
Popular cities include Miami, West Palm Beach, Hollywood and the famous Fort Lauderdale resort.

Lee Island Coast

With its name, one would think that the Lee Island Coast is named after an island, but it’s actually named after Lee County, home to the beaches most commonly associated with southwestern Florida. Lee County includes the islands of Sanibel and Captiva, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Estero Island/Fort Beach, Bonita Springs, and more than 100 small coastal islands. Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and other well-known American personalities spent winters in Lee County, which helped put this region on the map.

Cape Coral Lee Island Coast Florida
Edison Fort Myers Lee Island Coast Florida
Fort Myers Beach Lee Island Coast Florida
Sanibel Lee Island Coast Florida

Cultural Coast

This coastal area south of St. Petersburg was dubbed the Cultural Coast for the paradise it’s become for artists and musicians from all over Florida. This area is also popular for its tropical environment, warm climate and breathtaking sunsets. Anna Maria Island, Siesta Key and Lido Key are among the most popular beaches on the Cultural Coast.

Cultural Coast St. Pete Beach Florida
St. Pete Beach Florida Cultural Coast

Sun Coast

Sun Coast is the name given to Florida’s Central West and Southwest regions.

This coastal region includes the cities of St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa and Bradenton.

The region was named the Sun Coast because it’s the coastal area that has the most days of sunshine days per year.

This area is known for its miles of beaches, subtropical climate, sugary white sand and clear blue water.

Clearwater Florida Sun Coast

Nature Coast

The Nature Coast, which spans the northwest area of Florida, is known for its natural treasures. With its rare flowers, pine forests and towering oaks, the Nature Coast is home to several species of rare and endangered animals. You can observe these endangered animals in their natural habitats at many protected parks in the area, such as the Crystal River Preserve State Park.

Florida Nature Coast Forest
Florida Nature Coast Lake
Florida Nate Coast Swamp
Florida Nature Coast Park Trees

Forgotten Coast

The Forgotten Coast is a relatively quiet and often forgotten section of Florida – hence its name. It was named in the early 1990s by the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce after a group of tourism employees forgot to add information on the region to their brochure about Florida. The Forgotten Coast beaches have the same characteristics as those of the Emerald Coast – white sand and turquoise waters – but without the extended developed commercial space. This region has retained its Old Florida character that gives it unique charm. Apalachicola is the most popular city in the region.

Forgotten Coast White Sand Florida

Emerald Coast

Emerald Coast Pensacola Beach Florida

The Emerald Coast takes its name from the emerald green color of its waters.

The color of the water north of the Gulf of Mexico combined with white sand with a crystal base results in beautiful blue-green water in the Emerald Coast region.

Located in the Panhandle of Northwest Florida, this region includes resorts in Pensacola Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Panama City Beach and Destin.

Emerald Coast Panama City Beach Florida
Emerald Coast Panama City Beach Florida
Emerald Coast Pensacola Beach Florida