Though it’s easy to reach, Barefoot Beach makes you feel miles away from highways and highrises. It’s one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on Florida’s southwest coast.
Stephen Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach, has named it to his top 10 list in past years, but, fortunately, it remains unspoiled.
When he named it #6 in 2013, he describes it this way: “The surf is gentle with waves generally being measured in inches, and the water is very shallow, making this a great beach for bathing and swimming for families. The sand is fine and contains many small shells.”
Like at many of the Gulf’s spectacular beaches, you may find sand-dollars, shells or spot a bottle-nosed dolphin in the water in the distance. Gopher tortoises and their burrows are plentiful along the nature trail that runs between the sand dunes and the hammock and it’s a good place to see crawl marks left by nesting Atlantic loggerhead sea turtles in the summer.
Kayaking is popular on the inland side of Barefoot Beach, with its tidal creeks and mangrove swamps. Canoes can be rented at the Barefoot Beach concession. A one-mile nature trail weaves through the tropical hammock to Wiggins Pass.
The real attraction, though, is a perfect, unspoiled natural beach lined with a lush profusion of vegetation.