PAT SYLVESTER - Cape Coral FL Real Estate, Fort Myers Beach FL Real Estate, Bonita Springs FL

If you live in Florida or are considering moving here, chances are it's the warm temperatures, the appealing lifestyle, and the hundreds of miles of sandy beaches that draw you to the Sunshine State.

For people who love a brisk walk or a leisurely stroll along the water's edge, there's really no other place that compares to Florida!

Residents enjoy a major advantage over first-time visitors because they know "the lay of the land." After you've lived in Florida for a few months -- maybe longer -- you discover where the best beaches are and what times of day conditions are the most favorable.

For example, some beachcombers prefer strolling on the beach early in the morning because the sand is freshly groomed, the rising sun makes the surface of the water sparkle, and there's just a smattering of other people enjoying the same sights and sounds. Certain times of the day are also better for collecting shells, which, for many people, is one of the focal points of their beach experience. By the way, if you happen to be an avid seashell collector, Sanibel Island on Florida's Gulf coast is one of the best places to search for shells of every description.

Other Florida beaches the Travel Channel recommends include Fort Zachary Taylor State Park in Key West, Clearwater Beach near Tampa, Palm Beach, Siesta Key, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park in Naples, various beaches along 12th Avenue South in Naples, Miami's South Beach, Delray Beach, and Atlantic Beach near Jacksonville. Several other well-known and popular Florida beaches include Cocoa Beach, Panama City Beach, Playalinda Beach, Daytona Beach, Henderson Beach State Park, Caladesi Island State Park, Fort De Soto Park, Gulf Islands National Seashore, and Lovers Key State Park in Fort Meyers Beach.

Destin, a city in northwest Florida, has several appealing beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. The city of Sarasota, also on the Gulf, is another spot that offers access to beaches and other attractions. It's described online as "the gateway to miles of beaches with fine sand and shallow waters, such as Lido Beach and Siesta Key Beach."

One of the great things about living in Florida is its diversity. Whether you're looking to live in a wealthy, upscale community or a more casual, small-town environment, there's a strong chance you'll find a great home in a nice setting -- one you can be comfortable in for years to come.

By enlisting the help of an experienced real estate agent, you'll be able to zero in on the ideal beachside community for your tastes and budget. If easy access to a beach is near the top of your priority list, make sure to emphasize that in conversations with your agent. You'll be pleased to discover that there are a lot of very desirable properties either right on the beach or just a short walk from the ocean's edge.