Florida Friday Vol. 3, Issue 18 | February 22nd, 2019

Sunsets in the Sunshine State

With 8,500 miles of coastline and glorious clear skies, there are so many romantic ways to enjoy Florida's beautiful sunsets. It's been tough to choose, but here are 10 of the best.

New Smyrna Beach
Take to the water and board a New Smyrna Beach Sunset Tour with Turtle Mound River Tours. Take advantage of the happy hour drinks while you spot manatees and dolphins as the boat cruises the lagoon. Head to JB's Fish Camp on the south end of New Smyrna Beach, between Mosquito Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean, for indoor and outdoor seating, amazing seafood and a full bar. From here, you can also rent kayaks and paddleboards.

The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel
Wine and dine your loved one at Old Captiva House, an old-school fine dining restaurant at Captiva Island's legendary Tween Waters Resort & Spa. Afterwards, take a short stroll through the palm trees to Captiva Beach where you can find a secluded spot to watch the sunset on the pristine shores of the Gulf of Mexico, listening to the sound of the waves lapping the shore and perhaps a school of dolphins playing in the distance.

Visit Sarasota County
With the sand between your toes, look out across the white sandy beach and to the sunset beyond at The Beach House. Indulge in succulent seafood and sip cocktails on the deck at this perfect Anna Maria Island getaway. The sunsets here are so spectacular that diners have been known to clap once the sun finally dips below the horizon.

Daytona Beach
It's worth going a little off the beaten path to the aptly-named Sunglow Pier, further south in Daytona Beach Shores. The pier, which has weathered its share of storms since 1960, can be reached by walking through Crabby Joe's, a popular spot with locals due to its laid back, casual vibe. As the sign says: 'No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem.'

Visit Panama City Beach
Book a private gondola for two on the Panama City Beach SkyWheel, an observation wheel more than 200 feet high in Pier Park. The Ferris wheel-style attraction gives riders 360-degree panoramic views of the beach so it's the perfect place to experience Florida's beautiful sunsets.

Florida's Historic Coast
Enjoy breathtaking sunset views while sipping champagne and nibbling on hors d'oeuvres at the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum. Each month, the Lighthouse invites visitors to watch the sun dip behind the skyline of the city's historic district then cross to the opposite side of the light tower to see the full moon ascend from the Atlantic Ocean. Tickets are $30 per person and should be purchased in advance.

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater
Enjoy nightly entertainment from street performers, dancers, artisans and crafters on Clearwater Beach's Pier 60. The special Sunsets at Pier 60 festivals are timed to incorporate the stunning sunsets and takes place 364 days a year (weather permitting). On Fridays and Saturdays there is also a free movie screening under the stars.

The Florida Keys & Key West
Join a sunset tradition that dates back to the 1960s in Key West's famous Mallory Square. Beginning two hours before sundown, the daily Sunset Celebration sees locals and visitors gather to enjoy performances by magicians, musicians, jugglers, clowns, psychics, and artists and watch the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico horizon.

Greater Fort Lauderdale
Take a special evening water taxi tour and explore the winding waterways of Fort Lauderdale, America's answer to Venice, under the warm glow of dusk. On a Moonlight Madness tour, you can enjoy a leisurely cruise, hopping off and on again at any time, passing mega yachts and mansions on Millionaire's Row. Tickets can be purchased on board.

Paradise Coast
With more than 30 miles of beaches and numerous nightly cruises, Florida's Paradise Coast is a popular place to enjoy the sunset. In Naples, you can combine the sunset with a spot of people-watching at its iconic Naples Beach Pier. While at the JW Marriott Marco Island, the nightly sunset celebrations come with fire dancers.

Getting around the Sunshine State is easy when hiring a car from Hertz. Join the free Hertz Gold Plus Rewards programme to beat the queue, and simply pick up your car from any of the 300+ locations across the State, taking advantage of daily rates from £25 per day on Florida bookings. Need some inspiration for a road trip? See the Full On Florida route on Hertz Road Trip Planner which includes 14 iconic and off-the-beaten track stops in the Sunshine State, with downloadable maps and insider guides.

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