With over 1,000 miles of coast line facing the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Straits, the sate of Florida has some of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world. And the beaches are one of the major drivers of the more than 100 million visitors that come to Florida each and every year.
With a number of great beachside cities & towns that have tons of entertainment and amazing things to do, Florida is a paradise for college spring breakers. Going back a number of decades to the 1960 movie “Where the Boys Are” about four college friends spending spring break in Fort Lauderdale, spring break in Florida has almost become a rite of passage for many college students. If you are over 30 and reading this, it probably was for you as well.
In early to mid-March 2020 the college spring break crowds starting to grow in Florida within a number of beachside towns including Miami Beach, Clearwater Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Panama City Beach, ignoring recommendations by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other government officials regarding the practice of “social distancing” to assist with limiting the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Many of these spring break gatherings made the national news in articles like:
However Florida Governor DeSantis starting putting the breaks on the party by closing all bars and nightclubs in the state for 30 days, closed a number of beaches, and limited gatherings (including beaches that remain open) to CDC guidelines on crowds limits and distancing.
Florida Governor DeSantis
“The message I think for spring breakers is that the party is over in Florida. You’re not going to be able to congregate on any beach in the state. Many of the hot spots that people like to go to, whether it’s Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Clearwater Beach are closed entirely for the time being.”
“We would tell those folks maybe come back next year when things are better, but that is not what we’re looking for.”
In addition to the state restrictions, a number of local cities and counties have taken it upon themselves to close a number of beaches and parks.
Closed Beaches in Florida Include:
- All beaches in Broward County (greater Fort Lauderdale).
- All beaches in Miami-Dade County.
- All beaches in Palm Beach County as well as all boat ramps and marinas closed to recreational boating activities.
- All beaches in Monroe County (the Florida Keys) as well as lodging closed to all leisure visitors.
- All Beaches in Collier County.
- All public beaches in Lee County (Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel, Captiva)
- All beaches in Bay County (Panama City area beaches)
- All beaches in Okaloosa and Walton Counties (Fort Walton and Destin Beaches)
- All beaches in Pinellas County (Clearwater, St. Pete Beach)
- All public beaches in Hillsborough County (greater Tampa)
- All beaches in Duval County (Jacksonville Beaches)
- All beaches in Flagler County
- All beaches in Nassau County (Fernandina Beach)
As of March 24, 2020, Brevard County (Cocoa Beach) and Volusia County (Daytona Beach) has not closed beaches. Both areas as requiring beachgoers to abide by CDC guidelines.
Endless Summer Florida will continue to update this list as more information becomes available but it is anticipated that the beaches in the entire state will close as some point in the near future if the trend in new coronavirus cases continues at its current rate.