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11 Best and Nearest Beaches to Steinhatchee, FL

In Steinhatchee, untouched beaches come alive with native wildlife, whispering tales of off-the-beaten-path adventures. Check out the options!
Looking out at deadman bay from Keaton Beach Florida USA

Forget the polished glamour of Miami’s South Beach or the upscale resorts dotting the Florida coastline. 

Steinhatchee doesn’t serve that brand of paradise. 

Instead, this quaint town introduces visitors to a purer side of the Sunshine State. 

Just beyond its borders, untouched beaches come alive with native wildlife, whispering tales of off-the-beaten-path adventures. 

Dive into this list of the best beaches near Steinhatchee, where the raw Floridian experience awaits!

1. Hagens Cove Park

a rocky beach in Florida on a clear day
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Steinhatchee: 15 miles
  • Activities: kayaking, paddleboarding, picnic, bird-watching, scalloping, hiking
  • Facilities: picnic tables, parking, public grills, boat ramp

Nestled in the pristine Big Bend region of Florida, Hagens Cove Park is the nearest place to Steinhatchee to get your toes wet.

While its shoreline may not be the ideal spot for typical beach swimming, it is an excellent venue for kayaking and paddleboarding.

The park boasts a plethora of amenities including shaded picnic tables, grills, and an observation tower that offers breathtaking views of the bay.

Wildlife enthusiasts can indulge in bird-watching, with countless species gracing the park.

For those seeking a more hands-on aquatic experience, the shallow waters make it a hotspot for scalloping.

A small boat ramp caters to airboats and smaller vessels. Whether you’re a family, a couple, or a group, Hagens Cove promises an authentic Florida wilderness experience.

2. Keaton Beach

Hodges Park and Keaton Beach near Perry Florida
Source: wikimedia/CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Distance from Steinhatchee: 20 miles
  • Activities: swimming, fishing, picnics, sunbathing, kayaking
  • Facilities: playground, restrooms, parking, shower

A short drive away and with excellent amenities, Keaton Beach is probably the best option for beachgoers in Steinhatchee.

Perfect for family outings, its peaceful atmosphere is enhanced by the welcoming locals and scenic vistas.

While compact, the beach offers a slew of activities and amenities: shallow waters suitable for youngsters, a well-equipped playground, and picnic pavilions.

The clean shoreline invites visitors to stroll and spot myriad sea creatures in the crystalline waves.

Additional features like a broad dock by the jetty, restrooms, and an outdoor shower elevate the experience.

With a convenient store and gas station close by, Keaton Beach ensures you’re never too far from essentials.

Offering an unadulterated Florida Gulf of Mexico experience, this spot remains untouched by commercialization, making it the area’s best-kept secret.

3. Shired Island Trail Beach

Shired Island Trail Beach on Florida's Gulf Coast
Source: flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Distance from Steinhatchee: 37 miles
  • Activities: hiking, fishing, swimming, beachcombing, kayaking
  • Facilities: grilling area, restrooms, campground

Located between Horseshoe Beach and Suwannee lies Shired Island Trail Beach – not your typical Florida haunt, but an explorer’s paradise.

This tranquil gulf island, with its white sands peppered with fascinating driftwood, beckons beachcombers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Popular activities include sifting through the driftwood, casting a line for fishing, or taking a leisurely stroll with your dog.

But the allure doesn’t stop at the beach.

A slightly adventurous hike reveals marshlands, semi-flooded trails, and a plethora of crabs darting around.

And for those seeking comfort, a nearby campground offers ample amenities.

From a scenic pier with docking facilities, swimming spots, and a grilling area, to restrooms and RV hookups, Shired Island boasts a unique blend of natural wonder and conveniences.

Don’t miss this offbeat Florida experience.

4. Cedar Key Beach

Cedar Key City Beach Florida
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Steinhatchee: 69 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, picnics, beachcombing
  • Amenities: restrooms, showers, rentals, picnic spots, cafes, playground

Nestled in the city park, Cedar Key Beach is the town’s only main beach with a designated swimming area. 

A long stretch of sandy serenity, this beach is thoughtfully sectioned off by buoys to ensure a safe swimming area, making it ideal for a refreshing dip or a gentle swim. 

The long beachfront also offers plenty of space for sunbathing or simply basking in the coastal ambiance.

Embracing the spirit of adventure, kayak and paddleboard rentals are readily available for those keen to take on the calm waters of Cedar Key. 

For the families, a spacious playground awaits the little ones. 

Nearby, picnic tables equipped with grills invite you to dine al fresco amidst the soothing rhythm of the waves.

The location of Cedar Key Beach is part of its charm. Its proximity to the city’s vibrant life means you’re never too far from the conveniences you might desire. 

Cafes, hotels, and restaurants line the nearby boardwalk, offering an array of dining and relaxation options after a day in the sun.

Although the water here isn’t as inviting as at typical Florida beaches, Cedar Key Beach is by far one of the best in this region.

5. Bird Creek Beach

  • Distance from Steinhatchee: 82 miles
  • Activities: boating, fishing, picnicking, swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, paddleboarding
  • Amenities: fishing pier, picnic tables, parking, kayak launch

Facing the Withlacoochee BayBird Creek Beach stands as Yankeetown’s quaint seaside haven. 

This old-school beach, unfettered by commercial trappings, invites visitors to experience a simplicity reminiscent of yesteryears. 

It’s an idyllic setting, where one is more likely to wield a kayak paddle or fishing rod than a beach volleyball. 

The shoreline, though modest, becomes an adventurer’s playground, ideal for kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing. 

Among its amenities are unpretentious pavilions, offering shades with their stalwart concrete picnic tables, and the ever-practical porta potties ensuring comfort for all beachgoers. 

While not sprawling with luxurious facilities, Bird Creek Beach is rich in tranquility, nature, and opportunities for waterfront escapades. 

In a world that often clamors for more, this beach serves as a refreshing nod to simpler times.

6. Fort Island Beach

Sunset at Fort Island Beach
Source: unsplash
  • Distance from Steinhatchee: 98 miles
  • Activities: boating, fishing, picnicking, swimming
  • Amenities: fishing pier, covered picnic tables, boat ramp, restrooms, bathrooms, boardwalk, pavilion, showers

Fort Island Beach is one of the most interesting places you might want to visit while in Steinhatchee. 

To begin with, this is a public beach with no parking or access fees, and the drive towards this shoreline is a scenic one.

Located on the edges of Crystal River, this is a 1,000-foot man-made beach with calm shallow waters that are pristine for swimming. 

On a good day, you should be able to see manatees and dolphins swirling in the blue waters as well. 

There’s a pier that is ideal not just for fishing but for wildlife watching, too.

Some noteworthy sights around Fort Island Beach include the surrounding lush green vegetation, which is accessible by a boardwalk, and the river estuary teeming with wildlife. 

Food vendors are mostly available during the season.

7. Wakulla Beach

  • Distance from Steinhatchee: 86 miles
  • Activities: fishing, sunbathing, kayaking, hiking
  • Facilities: none

Situated just south of Tallahassee, and 86 miles from Steinhatchee, Wakulla Beach offers visitors a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Ideal for those who cherish nature, it boasts a small but captivating beach stretch, perfect for dog-lovers and little explorers.

While the area is devoid of modern amenities, like public restrooms and changing areas, its raw beauty compensates in abundance.

Fish enthusiasts will be enticed by its bountiful fishing spots, accessible after a mile-long walk westward.

Moreover, the shallow waters make it safe for kids and those seeking a refreshing dip, although a slightly longer walk might be needed to find the ideal swimming spot.

For a seamless experience, knowing the tides beforehand is recommended.

And if you’re lucky, you might even spot dolphins at high tide.

Whether you’re launching a kayak, observing tiny crustaceans, or simply cooling off in the shallows, Wakulla Beach promises a unique coastal experience.

8. Mashes Sands Beach

Mashes Sands Beach in Florida
Source: wikimedia/CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Distance from Steinhatchee: 102 miles
  • Activities: kayaking, swimming, sunbathing, fishing, walking, beachcombing, crabbing
  • Facilities: picnic tables, dog-friendly, restrooms, showers

Located on Florida’s panhandle coast, Mashes Sands Beach remains one of Wakulla County’s best-kept secrets. 

This pristine beach, nestled amidst saltwater marshes, offers an untouched oasis for nature lovers and beach enthusiasts alike. 

Visitors can relish activities like beachcombing in the shallow waters, spotting wildlife from stately wading birds to playful sandpipers, and kayaking in the serene backdrop where the Ochlockonee River kisses Ochlockonee Bay. 

Beyond its natural allure, the park boasts facilities like restrooms, a fishing pier, and a boat ramp. 

While parking may be limited, those fortunate enough to find a spot are treated to breathtaking sunsets and tranquil gulf breezes. 

Whether it’s for a day of sunbathing, picnicking, or nature photography, Mashes Sands Beach promises an authentic, undisturbed coastal experience.

9. Shell Point Beach

Cluster of sea shells at the beach
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Steinhatchee: 92 miles
  • Activities: sunbathing, swimming, kayaking, fishing, sailing, windsurfing
  • Facilities: pavilion, picnic tables, volleyball net, restroom, grilling area

Tucked within a charming coastal neighborhood, Shell Point Beach is a treasure trove for nature lovers and families alike.

With its expansive shoreline generously adorned with shells, footwear is essential for those strolling the sands.

The beach ensures visitors have ample conveniences, including a playground to keep little ones entertained, restrooms, outdoor showers for a quick sand rinse, and a spacious pavilion available for rent.

For water enthusiasts, the public boat launch is exemplary, accompanied by ample parking.

The beach even caters to kayakers and sailcraft enthusiasts with dedicated access points.

Notably, the exceptionally shallow waters, stretching 40 miles out and seldom rising above 12 feet, promise warm, wave-less swims, making it ideal for families.

To top it all, the breathtaking sunsets and abundant marine life, including stingrays and occasional sharks, ensure an unforgettable experience.

Whether you’re angling, tanning, or simply reveling in nature’s beauty, Shell Point Beach delivers.

10. Bald Point State Park

The beach and shoreline at Bald Point State Park in Florida
Source: flickr/CC BY 2.0
  • Distance from Steinhatchee: 103 miles
  • Activities: kayaking, swimming, fishing, walking, hiking, sunbathing
  • Facilities: picnic table, dog-friendly, restroom

Bald Point State Park, with its myriad of landscapes, provides an unmatched seaside retreat.

Visitors are treated to the contrasts of untouched sandy beaches, dense forests, and expansive marshlands, all best admired from a designated observation platform.

As the tide retreats, it unveils inviting sandbars, ready for exploration.

Bird enthusiasts will relish in the variety of shorebirds, so bringing binoculars is a wise choice, alongside sun protection and insect repellent.

For the adventurous, the park boasts pristine fishing spots, and kayakers are catered to with a specially-designed launch area.

The well-kept picnic zones ensure a comfortable rest spot, complemented by the friendly presence of the park ranger.

Yet, amidst its natural allure, visitors are reminded to pack essentials, as commercial amenities are a rarity here.

Whether collecting cherished shells or basking in its tranquility, Bald Point offers memories to cherish.

11. Fanning Springs

a swim with Manatees at Fanning Springs state park
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Steinhatchee: 32 miles
  • Activities: kayaking, swimming, sunbathing, fishing, hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving, camping
  • Facilities: picnic tables, restrooms, campgrounds, cabins, trails, boat launch

Fanning Springs State Park, nestled on the banks of the Suwannee River, offers a refreshing alternative to the typical Florida beach day. 

Producing 65 million gallons of water daily, this crystalline spring maintains a consistent 72-degree temperature, ideal for swimmers, snorkelers, and open-water scuba divers alike. 

But it’s not just about diving in; beneath the surface, a rich underwater world awaits, teeming with creatures from musk turtles to manatees during cooler days. 

Although it may not boast the traditional sandy shores, its amenities are plentiful: picnicking beneath age-old oaks, rustic cabins for overnight trips, and a boardwalk that transports visitors to old Florida. 

A short drive from Steinhatchee, Fanning Springs is a remarkable alternative for relaxation and aquatic adventures in the heart of the Sunshine State.

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