If you are a lover of the beach, chances are you’ve had friendly arguments with your fellow beach bums about what beach is the best. Some prefer a beach with rolling waves that are perfect for surfing. Others like calm, warm water so they can spend the day floating under a hot sun. Still others gravitate toward beaches with palms, ideal for shaded relaxation.
But whether you’re a California dreamer, a Fiji enthusiast, a Hawaii fan, or a Florida fanatic, there’s one thing that everyone can agree on. And that’s which beach has the highest quality sand.
Care to take any guesses?
That’s right – the Emerald Coast in Northwest Florida takes the first-place medal when it comes to the beach sand quality. Stretching across five Florida counties on the Gulf of Mexico, the Emerald Coast boasts sparkly, silky soft sand as far as the eye can see. Locals of the coast and visitors are lucky to enjoy the highest sand quality in the world.
If you don’t believe it, just ask Stephen Leatherman. Affectionately dubbed “Dr. Beach,” Leatherman is a beach connoisseur. He produces an annual list of the top ten beaches in the world using a unique set of 50 criteria that ranges from sand softness to water color to views and vistas.
Grayton Beach, a cozy town on the Gulf, has particularly captured the attention of Dr. Beach. Since 2016, Grayton Beach has been named one of the top ten beaches on Dr. Beach’s best beach list. In 2020, Grayton Beach climbed to the top spot the list, claiming the crown for best beach in the world!
Of Grayton Beach, Leatherman said, “It’s some of the finest sand in the world. The first time I saw it, I felt like I had to put on sunglasses, it was so bright. Some people thought it was snow… The sand is the highest quality in the world. It’s pure quartz crystal.”
Leatherman’s mention of quartz crystal is the key to the beauty of the sand quality of Grayton Beach and the Emerald Coast.
One of Ocean Reef’s previous article explains why the Emerald Coast sand is so white and soft, noting that the sand is “actually made up of tiny bits of quartz crystals that have been washed off of the Appalachian Mountains over the years.” These quartz crystals are carried by river from the Appalachians to the Gulf Coast. The process continues to this day, preventing the sand from washing away for good.
This symbiotic relationship between mountain and beach is unique to this area, resulting in the most stunning landscape!
The love for this stretch of coast doesn’t just extend to Dr. Beach, Gulf Coast locals, and the Ocean Reef staff. Many vacationers come back year after year to take advantage of the smooth sand, warm waves, and endless views. And if you haven’t yet visited, it is about time you did!
Once you step foot onto the expanse of crystalline quartz, you will see why it has made its claim to fame as the highest quality sand in the world. Sparkling like diamonds, the sand is clean and pristine. As your toes sink into the silky softness, it as if the sand itself is welcoming you to paradise. With each step, the snow-white grains squeak beneath your feet, sharing its story of tranquility and relaxation. After a day at the beach, your feet will look and feel as though they have been dusted in sugar. We don’t recommend licking your feet, though!
This picture-perfect sand is also part of the reason the Emerald Coast waves dazzle like gemstones. The article What Makes Destin’s Water Green explains the relationship between the two. The article states that “the dazzling green water color is partly due to the reflective quality of the powdery white sand beaches that grace this part of the world.” Mix the reflective sand with purely clear waters, and you get a recipe for picturesque blue-green waters!
So, there you have it. The seemingly insignificant grains of sand are actually a huge part of what makes the Emerald Coast a beautiful paradise.
Not only is the sandy landscape stunning in the most spectacular ways, it also provides the perfect playground for both kids and adults. Build crystal sandcastles with jewel-like turrets and towers and moats. Go for a run on the soft sand, which provides relief on your joints and an extra workout for your calves. Play beach volleyball or toss a frisbee with family and friends. Layout a colorful towel, relax, and read a book, all the while feeling as if you are floating in the clouds. Really, the possibility for fun on this high-quality sand is endless!
Have you experienced this oasis for yourself? If not, start planning your next vacation! And if you have, it is obviously time to come back again. Ocean Reef Resorts offers a variety of comfortable beachfront vacation rentals to help make your stay exciting and memorable. Find the vacation home, beach cottage, or condo that suits your needs and book ASAP!