Exploring Rocky Beaches In Florida
Florida is known for its spectacular beaches. Locals and tourists flock to the coast every day to soak up the sun and surf. That is no secret. But did you know that there are rocky beaches in Florida?
We spent years exploring all over the state and never knew a rocky coast in Florida existed.
Not only do Florida rocky beaches exist, but they are also some of the most secluded beaches in Florida!
These Florida beaches with rocks are incredible hidden gems just waiting to be explored.
I don’t know about you, but my favorite beach is always any beach that isn’t crowded.
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How We Stumbled Upon Florida’s Rocky Coast
We have seen some amazing rugged coastlines during our RV travels.
From the coast of Maine to Oregon, we love exploring rock formations on the beach. But Florida?
If you would have told me a few years ago that Florida had a rocky coastline, I wouldn’t have believed it.
Or I would have envisioned that the rocks would have been tiny and not actual rock formations to explore.
On one of our RV trips, we spent some time state park camping near Jupiter and were instantly blown away to discover beaches with rocks in Florida.
I am not talking about small rocks, either. We found actual rock cliffs in Florida!
Sometimes the best gift of travel is discovering things that you never even planned to visit.
This is one reason why we always talk to locals and read reviews.
The reviews of the state park RV campground where we were staying mentioned Florida rocky beaches, and we knew we had to go check it out.
I don’t know that I would have ever stumbled upon these rocky beaches near me without finding this review.
Once we visited the first rocky beach, we were on a mission to visit as many other beaches with rocks in Florida as possible.
Now we are excited to share them with you!
What Type Of Rocks Formed The Rocky Beaches In Florida?
One look at these dark-colored pitted rock formations along the Florida shore, and most people would instantly think that these were volcanic rock formations.
They have almost a pumice stone look to the rocks. Even the dark sand on the Florida rocky coast looks like it came from a volcanic source.
We were shocked to find that these unique natural sculptures forming Florida cliffs on the beach are actually made of Anastasia limestone, also called coquina.
Coquina Florida beach rocks are sedimentary rocks made of sand, coral, fossils, and shells. These materials build up and harden over time.
The best part of exploring a rocky beach in Florida is all of the fossils found within the rocks.
There are tons of shells and sea creatures fossilized within the Florida coquina rocky beach cliffs.
Searching for beach rock fossils is like a fun nature scavenger hunt, and our family just loved this!
The waves over time have also carved many amazing sea caves and formations in the rocks.
Some of the rocks that form the Florida rocky beaches are smooth with cutouts that resemble moon rocks. Other rocks look sharp, pitted, and volcanic.
Is The Coquina Forming The Florida Rocky Coastline Rare?
Coquina is rare to see exposed on the beach. It is actually plentiful underground and underwater in Florida.
These Florida beaches with rocks are special because there are large portions of the exposed coquina rock available for you to explore.
Visiting these unique beaches at low tide allows you to view the most rocks and access the sea caves.
Where Are The Rocky Beaches In Florida?
To find a rocky beach in Florida, you will need to explore some of the beautiful east coast Florida beaches.
A few north Florida beaches have a rocky coast, but the rocky beaches in Florida with the largest formations are found in southeast Florida.
Southeast Florida is also where the coral reef begins. The rock formations and coral reefs make this part of Florida’s shoreline very popular with divers and snorkelers.
Some areas of Florida have small rocky areas, but this article will focus on the largest beach rock formations.
Best Beaches In Southeast Florida With A Rocky Coast
1) Ocean Reef Park: Riviera Beach, FL
This southernmost Florida beach with rocks is where the sizable rock formations start to begin along the reef.
Once you reach the beach, walk north to view the coquina Florida rock formations.
The Ocean Reef Beach has a large free parking area, a picnic area, a bathroom, a shaded pavilion, a playground, and barbeque grills.
Ocean Reef Park snorkeling is popular, and if you are lucky, you may even find sea glass or shark teeth here.
Note that dogs are allowed at the park, but there are no pets allowed on the beach.
Riviera Beach Tours
Looking to get out on the water during your visit to the Riviera Beach, Florida area? Check out this West Palm Beach Sunset Cruise that also goes by Peanut Island Park.
Hotels And Rentals Near Riviera Beach
Looking for a place to stay to explore Ocean Reef Park? Consider staying on the beach at Oceanfront Palm Beach Resort & Spa.
Rather have a larger rental with more room to stretch out? Check out this 2-bedroom private home with a lanai that is just steps from the beach.
RV Camping Near Ocean Reef Park
A great place to RV camp to explore the rocky beaches in south Florida is the John Prince Park Campground.
This Palm Beach county park in Lake Worth, Florida, is in a great location to explore the area.
Many of the RV campsites are on the lake and have power and water hookups. The park also has some nice walking trails to enjoy.
2) Coral Cove Park: Tequesta, FL – Rock Beach Florida
Coral Cove Beach, north of Jupiter, is one of our favorite Florida rocky beaches.
Once you walk out onto the beach, head south, and you will see the rock formations.
If you visit at low tide, there are some neat rock ledges and sea caves that you can explore. Just be cautious, as the tide can come up quickly.
Coral Cove Park snorkeling is popular on calm days. This is a beautiful beach to look for shells and just relax.
Walk north if you are just looking for a sandy beach with fewer rocks.
This park has plenty of free parking, bathrooms, and a playground. Street parking is also available.
There are no pets allowed on Coral Cove Beach Florida.
Across the street is access to a shallow river. The sandy bank is great for swimming or putting in a kayak or paddleboard.
Tours Near Tequesta, FL
One of the best activities to enjoy near Coral Cove park is to paddle board the beautiful crystal clear waters of the Intercoastal Waterway.
Check out the Paddle Boarding Eco Adventure Tour!
Hotels And Rentals Near Coral Cove Park
Looking for a nice place to stay near Coral Cove Park? Why not stay right on the beach at Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa?
Rather have a private rental home for your trip? Check out this 4-bedroom Jupiter Home With Private Pool & Putting Green.
RV Camping Near Coral Cove Park
Check out the Florida state park camping at Jonathan Dickinson State Park, just a few miles away from the beautiful Florida beach rocks at Coral Cove.
We love RVing at this state park because of its incredible location and everything to do in the park.
There is a lookout tower, hiking trails, a park boat ride, horseback rides, a dirtbike course, an education center, and boat rentals.
The Pine Grove Campground is best for larger RVs, while the River Campground is better for tent camping and smaller RV campers.
It can be very difficult to get a reservation at Jonathan Dickinson or any other state park.
Check out our FREE GUIDE where I share all of our tips and tricks to scoring tough to book state park camping reservations!
Another hack we use to get really difficult to book state park camping reservations is Arvie.
Arvie is a service that finds campground cancellations in both state park and national park campgrounds and books them for you.
You can use Arvie to help get a camping reservation at Jonathan Dickinson State Park, even if every campsite is sold-out!
3) The Nature Conservancy Blowing Rocks Preserve: Hobe Sound, FL
Visiting the Blowing Rock Preserve is one of the must-see east coast Florida beaches.
This beautiful stretch of dark sand and rock formations looks completely volcanic.
The Blowing Rock Preserve Florida actually protects the largest shoreline area of Anastasia Limestone in Florida.
The formations are not volcanic as they appear.
The Blowing Rocks in Jupiter get their name because, during storms or high tide, the force of the waves against the rocks often shoots streams of water high into the air.
This force of nature creates quite the show! The sound is also amazing and relaxing.
The Blowing Rocks Jupiter FL has limited hours. Check the preserve website to verify before your visit.
When writing this article, the Blowing Rocks Beach is open 9-4:30, except for holidays. Currently, preserve admission is free.
Parking is free but extremely limited in this area.
It is possible to park about 1 mile south at Coral Cove Beach and walk north along the beach to Blowing Rocks Beach.
Note that no pets or picnics are allowed on the beach at the Blowing Rocks Jupiter.
Blowing Rocks Florida is also close to Jonathan Dickinson State Park campground if you are staying in your RV.
Tours Near Hobe Sound, Florida
One of the highlights of this area of Florida is the wild and scenic Loxahatchee River. A great way to experience it is by kayaking. Check out this kayak tour.
4) Bathtub Reef Beach: Stuart, FL – Rocky Beach Florida
This rare one-of-a-kind beach in Florida has a unique reef formation that forms a shelf in the water.
This rock shelf is actually made by Sabellariid Sea Worms.
The worms of Stuart Florida Bathtub Beach create small tube tunnels from hardened sand that build up over time.
The formations are both rare and fragile. It’s one of the must-see Stuart FL beaches.
The shelf forms a shallow pool in the calmer spring and summer months, referred to as the bathtub.
This shallow beach is popular for snorkeling and swimming.
This Hutchinson Island beach is handicap accessible and has a bathroom. Parking is free but limited. It helps to arrive early.
If you would like to view rock formations on the beach, consider walking north on the beach to reach Chastain Beach.
Check out the beaches in Stuart FL via a live Bathtub Beach Camera.
5) Chastain Beach: Stuart, FL – Beach With Rocks In Florida
Just north of Bathtub Reef Beach lies the private Chastain Beach. This is one of the best secluded beaches in Stuart Florida.
Chastain Beach is along the southern tip of Hutchinson Island and is popular with local surfers. Pets are welcome here.
Parking is free but extremely limited. One option is to park at Bathtub Beach Stuart Florida, and walk north to Chastain Beach.
Tours Near Stuart, Florida
Want to get out on the water and enjoy the Stuart scenery? Check out the 90-Minute St. Lucie River Cruise.
Hotels Near Hutchinson Island/Stuart, Florida
Hutchinson Island is a gorgeous place to explore and stay. Why not stay right on the beach at Marriot Hutchinson Island Beach Resort?
For a more reasonable but still highly rated option, consider Comfort Suites Stuart-Hutchinson Island.
RV Camping Near Hutchinson Island Rocky Beaches In Florida
A great place to RV camp on Hutchinson Island is Nettles Island.
This little island jets out from Hutchinson Island and is a unique community of RVs and tiny homes.
The campground sits on the river and is within walking distance across the street from the beach. There is also a campground pool on the ocean.
6) Ross Witham Beach: Stuart, FL – Our Favorite Rocky Beach In Florida
Ross Witham Beach, also known as the House Of Refuge Beach, is the best beach with rocks in Florida. It’s just gorgeous.
The rock formations here are huge, and there are plenty of them to explore.
This Florida rocky coastline has an impressive rock shelf with interesting ledges and sea caves.
This Florida rocky coast is the site of the House of Refuge Museum. It is also part of an underwater preserve.
There used to be ten life-saving stations in Florida to rescue stranded sailors on this remote rocky coast called Gilbert’s Bar.
The House Of Refuge Florida is the only remaining life-saving station.
Off the coast of this beach, divers can explore the George Valentine Shipwreck.
Check out the live House Of Refuge beach cam.
Parking here is extremely limited, and there are no public bathrooms or facilities. The closest bathroom is a few miles south at Chastain Beach.
Don’t miss seeing the sunset across the street on the riverside. There is a long fishing dock that makes an incredible backdrop for sunset!
7) Clifton S. Perry Beach and 8) Fletcher Beach: Stuart, FL – Rocky Beaches In Florida
Just a little north of Ross Witham Beach lies Clifton S. Perry Beach on the river side of the road and Fletcher Beach on the ocean side of the street.
Both of these beaches are great options for additional parking since parking is so limited in the area. Parking is free and compact sand.
Clifton S. Perry Beach lies on the Indian River Lagoon and is a great place to put in a kayak or to fish.
Fletcher Beach is private and quiet. You can walk south from here to reach the incredible rock formations down by the House Of Refuge Beach.
Neither of these beaches has bathrooms. The closest bathrooms are found farther south at Hutchinson Island beaches: Chastain Beach and Bathtub Reef Beach.
9) Santa Lucea Beach: Stuart, FL – Rock Beach Florida
Santa Lucea Beach is the best option for parking among the Hutchinson Island Beaches of Clifton S. Perry, Fletcher, and Ross Witham Beaches.
When you reach the beautiful beach, walk south, and you will reach the incredible Florida rocky coastline at the House Of Refuge.
The packed sand parking is free, and there is a shower available. There is no bathroom available. Head south to Chastain Beach for the nearest beach bathroom.
North Florida Beaches With Rocks
The largest Florida cliffs and beach rock formations are found on east coast Florida beaches in the southern portion of the state.
However, there are also some smaller beach rock formations along the northeast coast of Florida.
Read on to find the best rocky beaches in Florida to explore in the northern portion of the state.
10) Washington Oaks Gardens State Park: Palm Coast, FL
About 200 miles north of the previous beach on our list, you will find the rocks Washington Oaks State Park.
This state park has beautiful gardens to explore on one side of the street and a rocky beach to enjoy on the other.
This park is definitely a unique Florida gem!
Once you reach the Washington Oaks State Park Beach, walk north, and you will find the rocky outcropping of Anastasia limestone.
This rocky beach in Florida has lower formations but still makes a dramatic impact when the waves hit. It is also full of unique fossils.
The packed sand parking area at Washington Oaks beach has a $5 honor box for the state park fee.
Or you can pay at the main area of the state park and then display your receipt at the beach parking.
No pets are allowed, and the only beach bathroom is a porta-potty. Bathrooms are located in the main state park area across the street.
Tours Near St. Augustine, Florida
Washington Oaks is just south of St. Augustine, Florida, where there are loads of fun things to see and do.
Check out the beautiful scenery by water on a Sunset Cruise Of St. Augustine. Or for a little more adventure, consider the Dophin, Manatee, and Sea Turtle Paddling Adventure.
Hotels And Rentals Near St. Augustine, Florida
Looking for a place to stay in the heart of the downtown shops and historic area of St. Augustine? Check out the historic charm of the Renaissance St. Augustine Historic Downtown Hotel.
For a more reasonable hotel within walking distance of the beach, consider staying at the Holiday Inn Express St. Augustine.
RV Camping Near The Florida Rocky Beaches Of Washington Oaks State Park
Washington Oaks Garden State Park is located a little south of St. Augustine, FL. A great place to RV camp in St. Augustine is Anastasia State Park.
Anastasia State Park has 139 campsites within walking distance of the beach. The park has lots of shells and trails.
It’s also great for paddling in the protected tidal marsh area.
11) Black Rock Beach: Jacksonville, FL – Rocky Beaches In Florida
This northernmost rocky beach in Florida may be the most unique beach on our list.
Black Rock Beach, also known as Boneyard Beach, is part of Big Talbot Island State Park.
The rock formations at this beach are not Anastasia limestone or coquina. These rocks are rare soil formations called spodosol.
This Florida rocky beach has suffered from erosion, causing some of the hardwood trees to fall and die.
These eerie tree skeletons cover Black Rock Beach Florida, and make this a neat place to explore.
The dead trees help to prevent future erosion and are not to be disturbed.
The rock formations here form tide pools to explore at low tide. When you enter the beach area, walk northwest to reach the rocks and dead trees.
The parking is very limited, and there is a half-mile walk to reach the beach. More parking is available in the N. Bluffs parking area, about 1 mile away.
Tours Near Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach, Florida
One of the most fun things to do in the area of Black Rock Beach is to get out on the water on an Amelia Island Guided Kayak Tour.
Hotels Near Amelia Island, Florida
During your trip to Black Rock Beach, why not stay right on the ocean at the Omni Amelia Island Resort?
Looking for a more reasonable option that is within walking distance of the beach? Consider SpringHill Suites By Marriott Amelia Island.
RV Camping Near Black Rock Beach
If you are looking for a place to RV camp near this Florida rocky beach area in Jacksonville, check out Huguenot Memorial Park Campground.
This campground is a Jacksonville city park with campsites on the inlet. This waterfront and beach campground is remote, with great views.
There are no dogs allowed on the beach, and there is some noise from planes and helicopters coming from the military base across the water.
Another option nearby is camping at Hanna Park. Hanna Park Campground is another Jacksonville city park that is close enough to walk to the water.
12) Honorable Mention Beaches With Rocks In Florida – Bahia Honda State Park: Big Pine Key, FL
The beaches of Bahia Honda state park have some neat ground-level rocks on the beach and in the water.
Check out the rock formations on Sandspur Beach and Calusa Beach.
Even though these rocks aren’t huge formations, they are beautiful and worth mentioning on this list.
Calusa Beach in Bahia Honda is our favorite beach in the Florida Keys.
The ground-level rock formations form incredible tide pools at low tide where you can find mini conch shells and the Sooty Seahare which is a large type of sea slug.
This beach is popular for snorkeling, paddling, and fishing.
We have often seen enormous Spotted Eagle Rays in the water, especially near the bridges.
The state park offers a guided snorkel boat trip. Don’t miss seeing the sunset by the Old Bahia Honda Railway Bridge.
RV Camping At Bahia Honda State Park
Bahia Honda has some of the best oceanfront RV campsites in the state of Florida. As a bonus, many of the campsites are also big rig friendly.
The Buttonwood Campground has many sites on the water and is big rig friendly.
The Sandspur Campground works better for RVs under 23 feet and tents due to tight turns.
Bahia Honda State Park Campground is the most sought after place to camp in the state of Florida. It can seem about impossible to get a campsite reservation.
We have stayed at Bahia Honda in a campsite right on the water. Grab our FREE GUIDE where I spill all of our tips and tricks to getting tough reservations like this!
13) Indian Rocks Beach Is Not A Florida Rocky Beach
Many people mistakingly think that Indian Rocks Beach FL is a rocky beach. This beach is on the gulf coast of Florida near Clearwater, FL.
Indian Rock Beach Florida is a beautiful nature preserve, but despite the name, it doesn’t have any rocks to explore. It is worth a visit if you find yourself nearby!
Tips For Visiting Rocky Beaches In Florida
Florida’s rocky coastlines have very sharp and sometimes hidden rocks. It is helpful to wear sturdy shoes when exploring these rocky beaches.
Most of the Florida rocky beaches on our list are remote and have small parking areas.
Since parking is so limited, it helps to arrive early to find a spot.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Florida’s Rocky Coast?
We found that low tide was a great time to explore the coquina rock formations.
This provides enough space to get under the rock ledges and into the sea caves. Low tide is also the best time for tide pooling.
High tide is the time to visit for sea spray and the show of crashing waves.
A stormy day puts on the most dramatic display of crashing surf. Of course, anytime can be a great time to go to the beach.
Frequently Asked Questions – Rocky Beaches In Florida
Are There Any Rocky Beaches In Florida?
There are rocky beaches in Florida along the beautiful east coast of the state. The largest beach rock formations are found near Jupiter, Florida, and Stuart, Florida.
Do Any Beaches In Florida Have Cliffs?
There are beaches in Florida with cliffs. The most impressive beach cliffs are found at the Blowing Rocks Preserve in Stuart, Florida.
Are The Florida Keys Beaches Rocky?
Some of the Florida Keys beaches are rocky. There are ground-level rock formations in the water. We love to explore the tide pools on the beach at Bahia Honda State Park.
Are You Excited To Check Out One Of These Rocky Beaches In Florida?
Are you as shocked as we were to discover that there are so many incredible rocky beaches in Florida? Exploring these beach rock formations is a must-do experience on your next trip to Florida. So what are you waiting for?
Also, check out:
Grab my FREE guide with all of our RV reservation tricks here: How To Score Sold-Out Campsites In State And National Parks
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Enjoy your adventure detour!
Scott and Van of The Adventure Detour are travel writers focusing on RV travel, family outdoor travel, national parks travel, and hiking. They have been full-time RV living and traveling across the US since 2015. In 8 years of full-time RVing, they have visited 38 national parks so far with the ultimate goal to see them all. They work as digital nomads while roadschooling their daughter nicknamed Sissy. On the way to all 50 states, they have visited and hiked through 42 states so far. The travel bucket list is forever growing!