Many people dream of having a beach all to themselves. Because we have a boat, we often get to be on deserted beaches. But you can find deserted, and semi-deserted beaches in Florida, at certain times. It also helps if you have a boat with a low draft.
These photos are just a few from the past six years of travels.
Near Ponce Inlet, by Boat
It can be tricky boating around here. Storms can make changes to the boating lanes by shifting the sand around.
L-R below are all photos from travels north to the Ponce Inlet area. That pretty little river with the blue-green water is no longer there. The beach area is part of Disappearing Island, which is a popular place for boaters to hang out at low tide. On this particular day, the place was not deserted, but close enough. A boater further down the channel needed help pushing his boat off the sand.
The last time we went up that way, to the Inlet, the sand had shifted, and everything looked different.
Go during the week because this place is packed on weekends, and especially when the weather is hot.
Ponce Inlet and Park Beaches by Car
Drive over the North Causeway in New Smyrna and take a left on Peninsula Ave.. At the end of the road is Smyrna Dunes Park. All photos below come from that area. It is the end of the peninsula that is one side of Ponce Inlet and the park wraps around from the beach side to the river side. It is also a dog park, so be ready for dogs. They are not supposed to run free, but people do it.
Parking at the park can be tough at busy times. And it costs money. However, if you go early in the day, or late in the day, you may be practically alone here. And when the tide is out, the beach is huge and wide.
Drive onto the beach and walk around the jetty and it will bring you to the same place.
Most Visited By Us
When we go boating, we usually visit the places below. Three Sisters is a group of islands at low tide. At high tide it is all shallow water. We take the boat in behind the big island and anchor. Then we explore, swim and / or fish.
This is where I’ve seen some wonderful wildlife like a living sand dollar, tiny sea star, and big red hermit crab. There were lots of stingrays in the water one time that made walking a bit creepy. We have to hit the area at low tide or it’s not as much fun. And sometimes low tide is too high to create dry ground. You never know.
The first photo below is the channel pass that leads from the main channel to the backwater area. We mostly stay out of the main channel as there are lots of “no wake” zones which makes travel slow. Also, the backwater islands are where we see the good stuff.
The big photo below is where we stop quite often. It’s a good place to swim and cool off. Shelling is not so great, but I’ve found some interesting things on this beach, like olive shells (a rare find here), a pretty knobbed whelk, and there are always hermit crabs.
The ocean beach is never truly deserted. With condos and houses all along the coast, someone is always out on the beach. During the day it is a drive-on beach. I visited after a storm that blew in jellyfish and made the sand bumpy and full of ruts. I pretty much had the beach to myself.
When a storm is rolling in, the beach empties pretty quickly too. But of course no one should be on the beach during a thunderstorm.
The Inlet beaches are usually a lot less crowded than the drive-on beach.
The condos visible in both photos below (they are just above the white truck in the storm photo) are the same group of condos. The storm photo was taken from the ocean beach. The other photo is from an island beach across the river that runs behind the condos.
7 thoughts on “Deserted Beaches, Where and When”
Wow, what a fantastic blog post! I absolutely love reading about deserted beaches and your experiences have truly been enlightening. Your photos are simply stunning and paint a vivid picture of the breathtaking beauty of these locations.
I have to say, I’m so grateful for this post. I have always dreamed of visiting a deserted beach and your advice on where to find one in Florida has been incredibly helpful. I especially appreciate the tips on visiting Ponce Inlet and Smyrna Dunes Park, and the information about the Three Sisters Islands. I can’t wait to check them out!
One contribution I would like to make to the post is that, while it’s important to always be cautious during thunderstorms, it’s also crucial to be mindful of the tide. I’ve heard that tide changes can make exploring these beaches quite challenging, so it’s always a good idea to check the tide charts before setting out.
Thank you again for this fantastic post. I look forward to exploring some of these stunning beaches for myself.
Beauty abounds on the beaches you’ve shared ~ looks wonderful, my dear friend Pam! Have a great weekend 🌞
Thanks Phil.. Thought I’d share the warmth. You too!
It is a dream to have your own boat and visit deserted beaches – there are lots of deserted beach in Donegal. Just not many people!
I would love to see Donegal. I see it through your beautiful paintings! I am lucky to have a little boat that takes me to some of Florida’s best spots.
You could wear those jumpers of yours in Donegal, Pam
I know. I need to move! Donegal sounds perfect.