Best beaches in Palm Beach County: Fun facts, info about your local beaches


We love our Florida beaches! With Palm Beach County’s 45-mile long Atlantic shoreline, there are lots of beautiful beaches to choose. And if you like uncrowded beaches, or want to enjoy the perfect spot to grab breakfast at the beach, we found those too! 

Here we break down the main attractions and facts on each beach from Tequesta to Boca Raton.

(This list was originally compiled by Staci Sturrock/Palm Beach Post Staff Writer)

TEQUESTA

Coral Cove Park

Vital statistics: 15 acres, 600 feet of guarded beach, open sunrise to sunset

Parking: Free

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The beach: The primary draw of this quiet Florida beach – the county’s northernmost — is the snorkeling. With clear waters and multiple rock formations within wading distance of shore, Coral Cove allows you to swim with the tropical fishes, sting rays and seahorses. In addition to its guarded beach, Coral Cove also offers 600 feet of Intracoastal Waterway frontage that’s paddleboard-perfect.

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Nearby points of interest: The fantastic Blowing Rocks Nature Conservancy kicks up surf to the north (you can actually walk to it on the beach from Coral Cove), while Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum shines a light on Florida history to the south.

Coral Cove Park: 1600 S. Beach Road, Tequesta; 561-624-0065


JUPITER

CARLIN PARK

Vital statistics: 120 acres, 3,000 feet of guarded beach, open sunrise to sunset

Parking: Free

The main attraction: North County’s marquee beach park, Carlin has it all: an amphitheater and Civic Center; bocce, tennis and volleyball courts; a 20-station exercise course; a softball field; three large picnic pavilions; a trio of playground structures; 26 shaded picnic shelters with grills; and some of the softest, cleanest sand in the county.

Nearby points of interest: Check out the historical marker in front of the park’s Lazy Loggerhead Café, which serves breakfast and lunch, and often attracts a line of hungry beachgoers. It tells the story of the U.S. Life Saving Station, built on the site of Carlin Park in 1885.

Carlin Park: 400 S. State Road A1A, Jupiter; 561-629-8775


JUPITER BEACH PARK

Vital statistics: 46 acres, 1,700 feet of guarded beach, open sunrise to sunset

Parking: Free

The main attraction: This park, with its front-row views of Jupiter Inlet, is popular with folks who enjoy fishing off its jetty, which is open around the clock. It’s got picnic areas with grills, a sand volleyball court and a historical marker detailing the Spanish galleons and merchant ships that sank beneath the waves here in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Nearby points of interest: Although dogs aren’t allowed in Jupiter Beach Park (or any county-operated park), Fido can romp on 2½ miles of off-leash beach to the south — between access markers 25 and 59 in Jupiter. Just make sure you scoop your pooch’s poop!

Jupiter Beach Park: 14775 U.S. Hwy., 1, Juno Beach; 561-624-0065


OCEAN CAY PARK

Vital statistics: 13 acres, unguarded beach, open sunrise to sunset

Parking: Free

The main attraction: The four, well-maintained sand volleyball courts and a pair of nice picnic pavilions are Ocean Cay’s calling cards. The park’s small beach is just a short walk across A1A, and it’s the only county beach that allows dogs in designated areas. The beach provides lifeguards from 9 a.m. to 5:20 a.m daily.

Nearby points of interest: Bluffs Square Shoppes plaza, across U.S. Hwy. 1 from Ocean Cay, is home not only to Locals Surf Shop’s Jupiter location, but also a Publix packed with sun-and-surf supplies.

Ocean Cay Park: 2188 Marcinski Road, Jupiter; 561-624-0065


JUNO BEACH

JUNO BEACH PARK

Vital statistics: Five acres, 300 feet of guarded beach, open sunrise to sunset

Parking: Free

The main attraction: The 990-foot Juno Beach Pier is a swell place to watch a sunrise or sunset (or stay on the sand and use it as a centerpiece for your dawn and dusk photos). Admission to the pier, which boasts a bait shop and snack bar, is $1 for spectators and $4 for those planning to fish.

Nearby points of interestLoggerhead Marinelife Center oversees the operation of the Juno Pier. The center, which serves as a hospital to injured sea turtles, is just south of the pier in Loggerhead Park. (Photo by Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)

Juno Beach Park: 14775 U.S. Hwy. 1, Juno Beach


LOGGERHEAD PARK

Vital statistics: 17 acres, 900 feet of guarded beach, open sunrise to sunset

Parking: Free

The main attraction: Loggerhead Marinelife Center is the centerpiece of this kid-friendly north county beach park, which includes picnic areas, play structures and a nature trail on the west side of U.S. Highway 1. The center, which cares for injured sea turtles that have been rescued along our coast, is a popular destination for field trips, birthday parties and scouts. It’s open seven days a week, and admission is free, although donations are encouraged.

Nearby points of interest: Look for the old historical marker — near the southern edge of the Loggerhead parking lot – commemorating the site of the 7½-mile Celestial Railroad. South Florida’s first rail line, it connected Jupiter and Juno Beach.

Loggerhead Park: 14200 U.S. Hwy. 1, Juno Beach


JOHN D. MacARTHUR STATE PARK

Vital statistics: 438 acres, two miles of unguarded beach, open 8 a.m. to sunset

Admission: $5 per vehicle (limit two to eight people), $4 per single-occupant vehicle, $2 for pedestrians, bicyclists or extra passengers

The main attraction: The only state park in Palm Beach County, MacArthur truly is a local treasure. A 1,600-foot boardwalk carries you from an exhibit-filled nature center to a beach of untamed, abiding beauty. And if your party isn’t up to the walk, trams will ferry you between the parking lot and beach. Reef and rock outcroppings in shallow water near the park are a popular destination for snorkelers and scuba divers hoping to see squid, schools of snook, and colorful tropical fish.

Nearby points of interest: No need to leave MacArthur to extend your outing. The park offers nature talks and walks, fish-tank interpretations, performances by bluegrass bands and complimentary kayak lessons. 

John D. MacArthur State Park: 11611 Ellison Wilson Rd., Palm Beach Gardens; 561-624-6952


RIVIERA BEACH

OCEAN REEF PARK

Vital statistics: 13 acres, 700 feet of guarded beach, open sunrise to sunset

Parking: Free

The main attraction: A shady park area loaded with picnic tables, grills and a playground is connected by board walks to a deep beach with plenty of room to stretch out.

Nearby points of interest: Ocean Mall’s restaurants and shops. It’s a short drive south.

Ocean Reef Park: 3860 N. Ocean Dr., Riviera Beach; 561-629-8775


RIVIERA BEACH MUNICIPAL BEACH

Vital statistics: 17 acres,1,000 feet of guarded beach, open sunrise to sunset

Parking: Free

The main attraction: You want to dip your toes in the Atlantic? In the Sunshine State, you can’t wade any farther into the ocean than on Singer Island, Florida’s easternmost point. The beach’s Ocean Mall, a strip of beach shops and open-air restaurants, was refurbished a few years ago; grab a Slurpee at the 7-Eleven before crossing the dunes. The upgraded beach complex includes new pavilions and a playground, and good volleyball and tennis courts.

Nearby points of interestJohnny Longboat’s and Two Drunken Goats in Ocean Mall are lively places to grab breakfast, lunch, dinner or a drink, or, a short drive away, you can take in the sunset at Sailfish Marina. (Photo by Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

Riviera Beach Municipal Beach: 2511 Ocean Dr., Riviera Beach; 561-845-4070


PALM BEACH

Vital statistics: Six miles of beach with lifeguards stationed just north of Worth Avenue, open sunrise to sunset

Parking: $5 per hour

The main attraction: Where ritzy Worth Avenue meets the ocean, this easy-to-reach beach recently underwent a renourishment project to replenish its sand. But the beach is so close to Ocean Boulevard that you can walk along the salmon-covered sea wall and take in beautiful blue views without removing your shoes.

Nearby points of interest: The Worth Avenue clock tower is made for photo ops at sunrise and sunset, and Worth Avenue itself is made for window-shopping. 

Palm Beach Municipal Beach: 375 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach; 561-838-5483


PHIPPS OCEAN PARK

Vital statistics: Three acres, 1,300 feet of guarded beach, open sunrise to sunset

Parking: $5 per hour

The main attraction: Twin beaches separated by a fire station, quiet Phipps Ocean Park is an outdoor playground with an interesting history: The wide flat top of the dune here was once A1A, which was moved west after a 1947 hurricane. This pristine park includes a grassy area with picnic tables and grills, a playground and six tennis courts. Note: Pack your water shoes if you plan to walk on the beach; at low tide, rock formations are exposed along the shoreline.

Nearby points of interest: The Little Red Schoolhouse, which dates back to 1886, was the first house of learning in South Florida. Now tended by the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach, the one-room structure now stands just south of Phipps. Even if it’s not open when you visit, you can read the historical marker and peek in the windows.

Phipps Ocean Park: 2201 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach


LAKE WORTH

R.G. KREUSLER PARK

Vital statistics: Four acres, 450 feet of guarded beach, open sunrise to sunset

Parking: $2 per hour

The main attraction: A large, grassy area greets you as you exit your car at Kreusler. This little beach may live in the shadow of the much larger Lake Worth Municipal Beach complex, but that means its lot is also easier to navigate and its sands are often more laidback.

Nearby points of interest: See Lake Worth Municipal Beach – it’s a very short walk away. (Historical note: The park is named after oilman Richard G. Kreusler, a 47-year-old member-elect of Palm Beach’s Town Council who was gunned down through the front door of his Palm Beach home in 1976. The murder remains unsolved.) (Photo by Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)

R.G. Kreusler Park: 2882 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach


LAKE WORTH MUNICIPAL BEACH

Vital statistics: 1,300 feet of guarded beach, open from 8 a.m. to midnight Sunday-Thursday and 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday

Parking: $2 per hour

The main attraction: Renovated in 2013, Lake Worth’s beach and casino complex is one of the crown jewels of the county coastline. In addition to the reconstructed casino building (home to shops, restaurants and a ballroom-for-rental, which has made the beach a more attractive wedding destination), the facility features the 960-foot William O. Lockhart Municipal Pier, modern playground equipment and Benny’s on the Beach, where you can dig into Stuffed Red Raspberry Granola French Toast directly over the breaking waves. During the winter months, the city of Lake Worth also builds Friday-night “Bonfires on the Beach.”

Nearby points of interest: You really can make a day (and evening) of it at Lake Worth beach, but if you need a change of scenery, cross the Intracoastal and wind down in downtown Lake Worth, where dozens of bars, eateries and bands playing live music await. 

Lake Worth Municipal Beach: 10 S. Ocean Blvd., Lake Worth; 561-533-7395


LANTANA

LANTANA MUNICIPAL BEACH

Vital statistics: Eight acres, 745 feet of guarded beach, open sunrise to sunset

Parking: $1.50 per hour

The main attraction: Lantana’s beach has suffered from erosion more than many beaches in the county, and at high tide, the strip of sand is particularly narrow. That doesn’t detract from the views (and sounds) that can be enjoyed while dining and drinking al fresco at Dune Deck Café, located high above the waterline. Keep in mind: Dune Deck is cash only, although an ATM is parked out front.

Nearby points of interest: The beach is just north of Eau Palm Beach, so if you’re presentable, you can head for the resort’s pool-area bar for a (pricey) beverage. Also, kitty-corner to the beach, the Plaza del Mar shopping center is home to John G’s (where lines for breakfast regularly form out the door), the Ice Cream Club and Manalapan Pizza. 

Lantana Municipal Beach: 100 N. Ocean Blvd., Lantana; 561-540-5000


OCEAN RIDGE

OCEAN INLET PARK

Vital statistics: 11 acres, 600 feet of guarded beach, open sunrise to sunset

Parking: Free

The main attraction: This small but mighty beach, which rests on the south side of the Boynton Beach Inlet, offers a slew of ways to enjoy the waves. Fishermen cast off the jetty (which is open 24 hours), snorkelers explore the artificial reef just off the shore, watercraft fans watch boats navigate the inlet, and shutterbugs find this stretch of beach, dotted with large rocks, to be fertile ground for camera creativity.

Nearby points of interest: Brush up on your local history by seeking out the park’s marker about the inlet, which was constructed in the mid-1920s. And a heads up for always-hungry beachgoers: Until the park’s café reopens, you’ll need to plan well ahead on the food front. There aren’t any stores or restaurants in the immediate vicinity.

Ocean Inlet Park: 6990 N. Ocean Blvd., Ocean Ridge; 561-629-8775


OCEAN RIDGE HAMMOCK PARK

Vital statistics: Eight acres, 1,100 feet of unguarded beach, open sunrise to sunset

Parking: Free

The main attraction: What this low-key beach lacks in amenities – it doesn’t have restrooms, and it’s one of only two Palm Beach County beach parks without lifeguards (the other is Jupiter’s Ocean Cay) – it makes up for with the singularly beautiful trail that zig-zags to the beach through dense coastal hammock. Walking through it feels like you’ve entered a fairy tale set in South Florida.

Nearby points of interest: Looking for lifeguards or, uh, restrooms? Ocean Inlet Park is just to the north, and Boynton Beach Oceanfront Park is just to the south. But both will be more crowded than this little spit of solitude.

Ocean Ridge Hammock Park: 6620 N. Ocean Blvd., Ocean Ridge; 561-276-3990


BOYNTON BEACH

BOYNTON BEACH OCEANFRONT PARK

Vital statistics: 12 acres, 985 feet of guarded beach, open sunrise to 9 p.m.

Parking: $5 per vehicle May 1-Nov. 15; $10 per vehicle Nov. 16-April 30

The main attraction: Although it has an Ocean Ridge address, this fully realized beach park is a Boynton Beach production. It caters not only to sun worshippers but also folks who just want to look at the ocean, and listen to the waves, without staking out a spot on the sand. Soaring sun guards cover benches, and Jeffrey’s Snack Shack serves sandwiches and ice cream, strawberry lemonade and virgin Bloody Mary’s (it’s cash only). Picnic tables, grills, pavilions, a volleyball court and a playground round out the opportunities for recreation at this well-designed city park. 

Nearby points of interest: Keep your tropical buzz going with a visit to Two Georges or Banana Boat, two longtime Boynton landmarks on the Intracoastal Waterway. They both offer seafood staples, tropical drinks and live music with water views.

Boynton Beach Oceanfront Park: 6415 N. Ocean Blvd., Ocean Ridge; 561-742-6565


GULFSTREAM

Vital statistics: Seven acres, 600 feet of guarded beach, open sunrise to sunset

Parking: Free

The main attraction: Gulfstream Park is often referred to as “a hidden gem,” thanks to its low profile and small size. The well-manicured park area is packed with shady picnic tables (about 20 total), grills, a play area and swings for toddlers. Because parking is free and the lot isn’t that large, competition for a space can get heated.

Nearby points of interest: Grab huge, handcrafted sandwiches to go at Seaside Deli & Market. Forget your sunscreen or want to pick up a skim board? Pop into friendly Nomad Surf Shop, a local landmark since 1968.

Gulfstream Park: 4489 N. Ocean Blvd., Boynton Beach; 561-629-8775


DELRAY BEACH

DELRAY MUNICIPAL BEACH

Vital statistics: 7,000 feet of beach (some of which is guarded), open sunrise to sunset

Parking: $1.50 per hour at metered spots along the east side of Ocean Boulevard and at westside lots in Sandoway Park, Sarah Gleason Park and Anchor Park.

The main attraction: Swimming, surfing, sailing, Frisbee-throwing, kite-flying … There’s room for it all, plus volleyball (bring your own ball and play on one of seven well-maintained courts), on Delray’s top-rated, two-mile public beach, named by “Travel Holiday” magazine as the best public beach in the Southeast for swimming.

Nearby points of interest: Start your beach day with an outstanding Bloody Mary at Caffe Luna Rosa or refuel from all your ocean adventures at Boston’s on the Beach. At Sandoway House Nature Center, you can witness shark and alligator feedings; check out the 10,000-shell seashell collection; or climb to the second-floor observation deck and grab a pair of binoculars for a different view of the beach.

Delray Municipal Beach: South Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach; 561-272-3224


ATLANTIC DUNES PARK

Vital statistics: Seven acres, 450 feet of guarded beach, open 8 a.m. to sunset daily

Parking: $1.50 per hour

The main attraction: If you prefer solitude and serenity to the busier scene on Delray’s primary beach, Atlantic Dunes is for you. And you’ve got two ways to reach the beach from Ocean Boulevard. The most direct route is the wide boardwalk. The other, marked by a small sign bearing the image of a blue stick figure, is a hard-packed, 300-foot nature trail that leads you through a tropical hammock. The live oaks and seagrapes can get so dense that you might need to lift your sunglasses to see the path ahead.

Nearby eats: Fill your picnic basket with gourmet goodies from the Trader Joe’s on Linton Boulevard or from The Fresh Market on Federal Highway just north of Linton.

Atlantic Dunes Park: 1605 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach; 561-243-7250


BOCA RATON

SPANISH RIVER PARK

Vital statistics: 95 acres, 3,588 feet of guarded beach, open 8 a.m. to sunset daily

Parking: $16 weekdays, $18 weekends and holidays The main attraction: Locals sing the praises of this clean, uncrowded beach, which is accessed through tunnels that connect the 940-space parking lot (on the west side of Ocean Boulevard) to the sand.

Nearby points of interest: Spanish River is popular with school groups, picnickers, fishermen looking for bites in the Intracoastal Waterway and joggers who enjoy running more than a mile of nature trails. History buffs will want to pause at the marker honoring Florida’s Barefoot Mailmen. (Photo by Libby Volgyes/Special to The Palm Beach Post)

Spanish River Park: 3001 N. Ocean Blvd., Boca Raton; 561-393-7815


RED REEF PARK

Vital statistics: 67 acres, 3,600 feet of guarded beach, open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily

Parking: $16 weekdays, $18 weekends and holidays

The main attraction: This lush park has much to recommend it – it’s shady, super-clean and family-friendly. But it’s the snorkeling in waist-deep water that brings people back. The easily accessible rock and reef outcroppings on the sound end of this beach attract schools of multicolored tropical fish — and snorkelers just learning to find their sea legs.

Nearby points of interest: Located on the west side of Ocean Boulevard, Gumbo Limbo Environmental Education Center is technically part of Red Reef Park. It’s home to indoor and outdoor aquariums, a butterfly garden and a sea turtle hospital. Open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. And, just south of the park, members of the public can tee up at Red Reef Executive Golf Course.

Red Reef Park: 1400 N. Ocean Blvd., Boca Raton


SOUTH BEACH PARK

Vital statistics: 25 acres, 1,670 feet of guarded beach, open 8 a.m. to sunset daily

Parking: $15 on weekdays, $17 weekends and holidays

The main attraction: If you ordered a beach from central casting, it would look a lot like the one accessible from South Beach Park. The little park provides no picnic facilities, but its Boca Raton beach siblings – Spanish River and Red Reef – aren’t far away, and are loaded with grills and tables.

Nearby points of interest: Just south of the park is a pavilion that overlooks the beach from on high. It’s a great place to enjoy the sea breeze, or take a selfie with an ocean backdrop, without getting your feet sandy. Although the current structure was renovated in 2003, a pavilion has stood on this site since the early 1900s. It remains a popular photo-op spot, and visitors may only park for one hour in this area ($2 per hour on weekdays, $3 per hour on weekends).

South Beach Park: 400 N. Ocean Blvd., Boca Raton; 561-393-7810


SOUTH INLET PARK

Vital statistics: 11 acres, 850 feet of guarded beach, open sunrise to sunset daily

Parking: $2 per hour on weekdays, $3 per hour on weekends and holidays

The main attraction: Palm Beach County’s southernmost stretch of sand, South Inlet Park is — no surprise here — just south of the Boca Raton Inlet. Picnickers will find plentiful tables, grills and shelters, and large groups can rent the roomy, arched pavilion that overlooks the inlet. There’s a playground and swings for kids, fishermen can cast lines from a jetty and snorkelers can check out the 17,000 tons of limestone boulders in 12 feet of water.

Nearby points of interest: Look south. See that pier down there? That’s the Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier, and if you’re up to a 2½-mile, round-trip walk, you can grab lunch at Burger Craze and dessert at 4D Gelateria there.

South Inlet Park: 1100 S. Ocean Blvd., Boca Raton; 561-629-8775


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