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BeachHunter's Personal Collection of Florida Beaches Books


Hi fellow beach lovers! I'd like to share with you some of my favorite books related to Florida beaches. Most of the books I'm recommending below have long been a cherished part of my library and I refer to them almost daily. I highly recommend any and all of these books.  You will not find any books on this page that I have not PERSONALLY read. You will not be disappointed with ANY book on this page. These books are your ticket to becoming a professional beach bum, like me! Yes, that's me (left) sitting under my umbrella at Fort Desoto Beach in St. Petersburg.



Florida Beaches Book by Park Puterbaugh and Alan BisbortFlorida Beaches, by Parke Puterbaugh and Alan Bisbort is the most complete and comprehensive guide available covering ALL Florida beaches. It covers literally every stretch of coastal sand that even resembles a beach. And the authors do a fine job, in particular, of capturing the essence of the various islands and coastal cities. They do a nice job of covering the beach accesses and they also mention some of the popular and well-known hotels and restaurants near each beach. It's over 700 pages of rather fine print, but this new, updated Moon edition has better maps and also has some small, but valuable black and white photographs, which is a big improvement over the Foghorn Press 1999 edition. I already had the 1999 edition, but looked through the new one in Borders Books and ended up ordering it through Amazon. Great book. Great price.


Florida's Living Beaches by Blair and Dawn Witherington

Florida's Living Beaches, A Guide for the Curious Beachcomber, by Blair and Dawn Witherington is a beautiful, full-color book that will fit easily into a beach bag or backpack. It is an identification guide and reference to just about anything you could imagine finding on a Florida Beach. It has 326 pages with hundreds upon hundreds of color photographs along with descriptions of birds, shells, plants, animals (including sponges, jellyfish, seaweed, beach flowers and plants), shells, sea beans, beach wrack, flotsam and jetsam, and info on beach formation, geography, and geology. If you are a beach bum worthy of the name, you must have this book. If you are a beachcomber you simply CANNOT be happy without this book!



Surfer's Guide to Florida by Amy VansantThe Surfer's Guide to Florida by Amy Vansant. If you want a book about surfing in Florida this is the one you need. It tells you what you need to know about finding the best places to go surfing, and is chock full of surprisingly accurate tips on which spots are best under certain weather, swell, and tide conditions. Plus it throws in some Florida surfing history, some useful info on sharks and other issues, and fills you in on some of the important names in Florida surfing. Some of the parking information is out-of-date, but this is to be expected, since beach parking regulations change almost daily. I know how hard it is to write a book like this, and Amy Vansant totally nailed this. If you surf in Florida, or if you want to, you need this book. Get your copy before it becomes impossible to find.


The Nature of Florida's Beaches by Cathie KatzThe Nature of Florida's Beaches by Cathie Katz. I discovered Cathie Katz's writing back in about 1996 and completely fell in love with this little book. It is a fascinating, thorough, and almost poetic introduction to nature on the beach. It makes you feel like a naturalist without bogging you down in scientific mumbo-jumbo. It is suitable, I would say for anyone 10 years old or older. I'm 47 going on 14, so it's perfect for me;-) All of her books are richly and creatively illustrated with Cathie's excellent pen and ink drawings, focused, in this book, on life on the beach and in the sea wrack (the line of debris at the high tide line). Don't hesitate to add this to your collection, or buy it for your children to help them get more from their beach vacation.


Beach and Coastal Camping in Florida by Johnny MolloyBeach and Coastal Camping in Florida by Johnny Molloy. Nobody goes camping more often than Johnny Molloy. He has put his camping skills to good use by camping at 24 beach campgrounds all around Florida, including the Keys. This guy is the real thing, and so is his writing. If you want to camp on the beach in Florida, this is the only book you need to find the right spot. You'd think that there would be hundreds of parks that provide beach camping but there aren't. But out of these 24 parks where camping is allowed on the beach, there are some really, really fine camping opportunities. I own it. I recommend it. Highly.


Sanibel and Captiva, A Guide to the Islands by Julie and Mike NealSanibel & Captiva, A Guide To The Islands by Julie and Mike Neal is the only guide you need to Sanibel and Captiva Islands. It's a full color guide to everything you need to know about the islands to get the most out of your visit. If you love to dream about islands, this is a great book to have even if you aren't planning a trip to Sanibel in the immediate future. It goes beyond beaches, shelling, wildlife, exploring, fishing, shopping, restaurants, and gives great advice and very helpful suggestions and really gives you a great feel for what island life is like. It has a beautiful full-color identification guide to common shells and birds too. I treasure this book and would never think of going to Sanibel / Captiva without it. I have an autographed copy. My copy was published in 2003. An updated edition is scheduled for release in February 2008. The new one is the edition pictured here.


Frommer's Florida 2008 Travel GuideFrommer's Florida 2008 by Lesley Abravanel. Ok, I've never been a fan of this type of travel guide. But I needed one. So I stood in a bookstore and compared this one with the competition and this little gem won, hands down. It's accurate and presents just the right amount of detail. It's amazing how Lesley can turn so many dry facts into enjoyable and accessible reading. From directions to the beach, to recommendations on the best Everglades airboat tour company, this book will save you a ton of time and help you avoid unnecessary stress. Use it to help you plan your vacations. I use it on all my trips now. It will pay for itself a hundred times over.

If you enjoy this site and find it useful, and decide to purchase a book, please consider purchasing by clicking on one of the Amazon links on this page. If you do, I'll earn a 4 to 6% commission on the sale. It doesn't affect the price you pay, and it won't make me rich, but it will help pay for my gas, park entrance fees, digital video cassettes, site hosting fees, and all the other expenses I incur to keep this site up-to-date and relevant. Thank you for your support!