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Peer over the Water at the Best Piers in Florida
There’s nothing more iconic than standing at the tip of a pier and gazing out over the Florida waters to see the sun rise or set in the Sunshine State. Enjoy the scenic views while baiting and catching diverse species from some of the best piers in Florida.
Peering out onto the Tampa Bay, the Skyway Fishing Pier is one of the most productive man-made fishing spots in the state. Expect to catch everything from grouper to tarpon, and anything else swimming in the Gulf of Mexico.
One of northwest Florida’s premier fishing spots, Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier gets non-stop action all year long. Famous for its big fish, expect to catch Cobia, King, Spanish Mackerel, Pompano, Flounder, and Tarpon. There’s even a bait and tackle shop, restaurant, and gift shop for last-minute items.
Soak in the views from Naples Pier and drop a line into the Gulf of Mexico for a variety of species including Spanish mackerel, trout, tarpon, and redfish. The pier is open 24/7, and the sunsets are among the best in Florida.
Down south, make your way to Anglins Fishing Pier in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. Also known as Commercial Pier to local surfers, catch everything in the Atlantic Ocean from King mackerel, tarpon, sailfish, and mahi-mahi.
Cocoa Beach Pier
Home to the NKF Surf Festival, Cocoa Beach Pier was constructed in 1962 as Cape Canaveral Pier. Located in Cocoa Beach on the eastern Florida coast, the 800-foot fishing pier is a landmark of the Space Coast.
Also known as an entertainment district, CBP also features five restaurants, four bars, live music events, and several beach festivals like the Ron Jon Easter Surfing Festival, Beach Fest, and more for Cocoa visitors.
Ben T. Davis Beach
Found along the Courtney Campbell Causeway, Ben T. Davis Beach in Tampa provides visitors with yields sterling views of the Old Tampa Bay. The park, found just west of North Rocky Point Drive, features picnic areas, concessions, grills, and shelters if you're trying to escape the sun's rays for a bit.
It's hard to visit Tampa or the Tampa area and not check out a beach. With it's close location, easy access, and plenty of fun under the sun, the Ben T. Davis Beach should be your first choice.
If you're hoping to take a dip, rest assured there are lifeguards on duty from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier
Opened in 2004, the Jacksonville Beach pier stretches .25-mile out into the Atlantic Ocean. Sturdy and wide, the pier is handicapped-accessible and very popular for fishing on the northeast coast.
The pier is open for walking ($1/person) or fishing ($4/person) from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Grayton Beach State Park
Consistently rated one of the most beautiful beaches in the U.S., Grayton Beach State Park is can be found between Panama City and Destin. Visitors of Grayton beach will find access to both fresh water and salt water for fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and more.
Moreover, over four miles of nature trails for hikers and bicyclists cut through forests featuring pine flatwoods, scrub oaks, and magnolias, as well as access to Western Lake and the beach.
Don't miss the surrounding Grayton Beach State Recreation for further outdoor fun in the Panhandle.
Henderson Beach State Park
Located just east of Destin, Henderson Beach State Park offers over one mile of natural shoreline and white sugar sand beaches. Natural features of the park include sand pines, scrub oaks, and dune rosemary. Also features are boardwalks, pavilions, a playground, and a nature trail that offers a glimpse of the coastal dune ecosystem and wildlife. The Park is ADA and pet-friendly.
As you plan out your travel agenda for a trip through the Panhandle of Florida, be sure to include a stay in Fort Walton Beach. The charming and coastal city is the ideal base camp for a day-trip to the Henderson Beach State Park.
St. George Island State Park
Once voted a top U.S. beach by Forbes, St. George Island State Park features plenty of outdoor recreation along St. George Sound on the Florida Panhandle. Accessible via Highway 300 off U.S. 98 near Apalachicola, the park is ideal for swimming, canoeing, kayaking, boating, and picnicking.
Hikers are encouraged to embark on the East Slough Overlook trail – a 2.5-mile trail finishing at Gap Point. Those with boat in tow will surely want to take advantage of the park's two boat ramps, making access to Apalchicola Bay a breeze.
St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
Named one of the top-rated beaches in the Florida Panhandle and the United States, St. Joseph Peninsula State Park offers snorkeling, swimming, fishing, and some of the highest sand dunes in the nation.
During scallop season, the park is very popular with visitors looking to enjoy fresh-caught bay scallops near Apalachicola.
The adjacent St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve Center includes a nice observation tower for great views along the shoreline.
The Preserve protects an intact natural coastal landscape with one of the highest concentrations of rare plants in the Southeast and it contains 20 known archaeological and historical sites, dating from prehistoric times to the 20th century.
Navarre Beach Fishing Pier
The longest pier on the Gulf of Mexico, the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier stretches way out into the water and for $1 admission, visitors can walk around and spot fish in the water, which can range from redfish to stingrays to dolphins. Enjoy a trek through Navarre and the Panhandle region of Florida by casting out and landing your trophy winner.
For an additional fee, you can fish – or just witness the large catches of the people fishing around you. A café and bar at the foot of the pier offers views, relaxation, and sustenance.
Venice Fishing Pier
Built to withstand a Category 4 hurricane, the 720-foot Venice Fishing Pier allows visitors to experience the stunning Florida's Gulf Coast on the island of Venice. Venice Pier activities include volleyball, picnicking, fishing, and dining at the beachfront Sharky's on the Pier restaurant.
Open throughout the year, the Venice Fishing Pier allows guests to fish for pilchards, threadfin herring, sardines, and even sharks with no admission fee or fishing license required. Visitors may pick up supplies at the onsite Papa's Bait Shop.
Stretching out onto the Gulf of Mexico, the historic Naples Pier is a centerpiece attraction for all Naples visitors. The pier is popular with beachgoers, sightseers, and fishermen. Catch a beautiful sunset at the edge of the pier or take a long walk on the Naples Beach.
Feel free to fish without any restrictions, as the pier has no requirements for a fishing license. For other guests, a walk on the pier brings you a little closer to the ocean and its wildlife.
See dolphins jump in and out of the water, watch pelicans dive for fish, and catch a glimpse of the elusive manatee.