March 12, 2024 | Miles Brucker

The Best Sandbars in the US


A Sandy Piece of Paradise

Sandbars have become the newest obsession among boaters as they provide a unique paradise for both relaxation and social activities.

Some sandbars are hot spots for party-goers, and others are popular among those searching for solitude—and the US has an abundance of both.

women at the beach and sandbar split image

What is a sandbar?

Sandbars are narrow stretches of land, or ridges of sand, that are formed in the water by tides or currents. They’re typically shaped like beachfronts, and sit just above the water.

Man and Woman Walking on the BeachAsad Photo Maldives, Pexels

Why are sandbars popular?

Sandbars are popular because their shallow waters are a warm and usually very clear, making them a safe and enjoyable spot to swim and hang out on a hot day.

Here’s 15 of the best sandbars in the US.

Birds eye view of island during daytime.Asad Photo Maldives, Pexels

Disappearing island

The Disappearing Island sandbar is located between New Smyrna Beach and Ponce Inlet, it connects the north end of Mosquito Lagoon and the Halifax River.

Aerial view low tide at the Haulover sandbar Miami Beach FLFelix Mizioznikov, Shutterstock

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Disappearing Island: Beauty

This stunning piece of paradise only appears at low tide, but offers an impressive view of the ocean, the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, the North Indian River and the Halifax River Junction.

Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse-FloridaBidisha, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Loxahatchee River Sandbar (Jupiter Sandbar)

Jupiter, Florida is a city just north of West Palm Beach and it is known for its laidback atmosphere and serene beaches. This is where you can find the Loxahatchee River Sandbar, filled with dozens of boaters every weekend.

Loxahatchee River SandbarBeth Scupham, Flickr

Loxahatchee River Sandbar: Parties

This sandbar is a hot spot for beach parties and snorkelers. Families are encouraged to enjoy the west side of the sandbar, where the party scene settles down a bit.

Sandbar partyBeth Scupham, Flickr

Loxahatchee River Sandbar: Best Time to Go

The best time to show up is about three hours before low tide and then wait for the water to come out. The sandbar is submerged under one or two feet of water during high tide.

At low tide, the fine-sand sandbar is exposed, standing several feet above the water level.

Bare Feet of People Walking on a BeachEdward Eyer, Pexels

Three-Rooker Bar

Three Rooker Island, (also known as Three Rooker Bar) is an island in Pinellas County, Florida. Three-Rooker Bar is a unique semicircular sandbar that has only emerged within the last decade, and it’s only accessible by boat.

Honeymoon Island State Park - Pinellas CountyChristopher Hollis, Wikimedia Commons

Three-Rooker Bar: Unique

Every year it accumulates more sand, and vegetation has even begun to grow there. The water is unbelievably blue, and the sand is white-as-sugar making it a highly popular spot.

Woman is sitting on white sand.Wendy Hero, Pexels

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Peanut Island

Peanut Island is located in the Intracoastal Waterway in West Palm Beach. This island is not actually a sandbar itself, but throughout the day several sandbars appear and disappear based on the tide.

Photos from a trip to Peanut Island, Florida - 2019Florida Guidebook, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Peanut Island: Fun Fact

Fun fact: Peanut Island is an artificial island created during the Cold War era to serve as former President Kennedy’s bunker. It is only accessible by boat.

This is the entrance to Kennedy's Bunker, located on Peanut Island - 2009Willy Volk, Flickr

Peanut Island: Amenities

On Peanut Island visitors have access to a dock, fishing piers, camping sites, public restrooms, and plenty of walking trails.

Photos from Peanut Island, FloridaFlorida Guidebook, USA, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Stuart Sandbar

The Stuart sandbar is located in Stuart, Florida, on the St. Lucie Inlet on the bayside of Sailfish Point. The closest boat ramp is Sandsprit Park.

Stuart, FL. DowntownJonathanPuello, CC BY-SA 4.0 ,Wikimedia Commons

Stuart Sandbar: A Hidden Gem

Stuart sandbar is considered one of Florida’s hidden gems. The natural St. Lucie Inlet provides protection from the open ocean, making the water here calm, warm and gentle.

St Lucie Inlet aerial viewAerial view of Sailfish Point and the St. Lucie Inlet in Martin County, Florida, USA.

Stuart Sandbar: Wildlife

Visitors can wade out for quite a distance, and have the opportunity to see dolphins and manatees in the open water beside the sandbar.

Dolphins Jumping Out from OceanJonas Von Werne, Pexels

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Fort Pierce Sandbar

Fort Pierce Sandbar is in the Fort Pierce Inlet, on the north side of the channel leading out of the inlet. It is most known for its cool reefs and natural seagrass meadows.

Powder soft sands and warm water - 2010McKay Savage, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Fort Pierce Sandbar: Snorkeling

This magical sandbar is a unique underwater scene and a marine wildlife wonder making it a hot spot for snorkeling.

Girl in snorkeling mask dive underwater with fishes.Denis Moskvinov, Shutterstock

Ski Island

Ski Island is on the river, north of Banana River Bridge, just west of Port Canaveral. It is best known for boating parties. Families enjoy picnics, walking, wading and swimming.

A group of people riding a yacht while having a party.Maksim Goncharenok, Pexels

Ski Island: Ashore

On the sandbar shore, visitors will find an array of rare and interesting shells. The water is warm and the views are spectacular.

Silhouette of Person Standing on Shore during SunsetAlex Nikita, Pexels

Crab Island Sandbar

Crab Island Sandbar is located on the north side of the Destin bridge at the south entrance of Choctawhatchee Bay. It has an interesting history, and a limited life span.

Crab Island Sandbar in Destin, Florida - 2019The Florida Guidebook, Flickr

Crab Island Sandbar: History

Crab Island Sandbar was created back in the 60’s when the Destin Pass was dredged and the sand was used to make a “spoil island.”

Destin, Florida, USA - 2016Domenico Convertini, Flickr

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Crab Island Sandbar: Life Span

It’s been slowly eroding away since it was created and is only a matter of time until it no longer appears.

About 2-4 feet of water covers the island at high tide. It can only be seen at low tide, and even then, the water still slightly covers the sand.

Man sitting on sea rock.Luis Zheji, Pexels

Whale Harbor Sandbar

This sandbar is east of Islamorada in the Florida Keys. It’s a popular spot for epic boat parties and even includes a waterfront bar with specialty drinks and tasty appetizers like Gator Bites.

A Party Boat In Frankfurt Am MainCaptain Franky, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Whale Harbor Sandbar: Not For Kids

It is highly recommended that you find a sitter for the kids when you plan a trip to Whale harbor Sandbar as it is more of a party spot than anything else.

Group of friends having fun and dancing on the beach.oneinchpunch, Shutterstock

Woman Key Wildlife Management Area

Unlike the last sandbar, this one is not for party-goers. The Woman Key Wildlife Management Area is located just inside one area of the Key West National Wildlife Refuge, in the Florida Keys.

Woman KeyDavid Bethune, CC-BY-SA-3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Woman Key Wildlife Management Area: Quiet Beauty

This sandbar is where you’d go for a serene atmosphere. The waters here are crystal-clear, and the bottom is sandy. Best of all—there is no cell service here, so you can truly relax in solitude.

Woman seated by the ShoreStudio 31, Pexels

Woman Key Wildlife Management Area: Wildlife Protection

As the name suggests, this sandbar is most known for its wildlife. In fact, a great portion of the beach is closed off to protect the wildlife.

Beach closed sign.Peter Burka, Flickr

Woman Key Wildlife Management Area: Wildlife Experience

Loggerhead turtles nest on the beach and dunes. Several species of wading birds also nest in the area and a large number of shorebirds use the sand spits.

A juvenile loggerhead sea turtle.FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, Flickr

Boca Grande Sandbar

A few miles south of Woman’s Key is Boca Grande Key, where the sandbars are absolutely fabulous. With pristine white sand, turquoise blue water, this beautiful sandbar is known for its peaceful privacy.

Boca Grande key - Florida keysM.-J. Taylor, Flickr

Boca Grande Sandbar: Popularity

Boca Grande Sandbar is one of the nicest sandbars in Florida. The local area is known for its historic downtown, and the stunning blue water is known for its world-class fishing.

It’s also been known to frequent many celebrities.

Couple Walking on Seashore during SunsetAsad Photo Maldives, Pexels

Jewfish Basin Sandbar

Jewfish Basin is less than ten miles of Key West. There are multiple sandbars here that fan out from the seafloor, surfacing at low tide.

Aerial View of a Boat near the BeachDominik Ruhl, Pexels

Jewfish Basic Sandbar

As with other Florida sandbars, the Jewfish sandbar boasts stunning white sand and the perfect shade of turquoise water.

It is also a very popular spot for fishing and boating. Watch for sharks!

Aerial View of a Tropical IslandDominik Ruhl, Pexels

Torch Lake Sandbar: The Lake

Torch Lake Sandbar is located in Torch Lake in Michigan. The lake itself is best-known for the sandbar, and it was once named one of the most beautiful lakes in the world by National Geographic, due to its clear, clean water.

Kayaking the sunset Torch Lake MIBeccasDigital, Shutterstock

Torch Lake Sandbar

The sandbar is located a few hundred meters from shore, making it only accessible by water. It’s a naturally forming sandbar due to the buildup of sand from the inflowing river.

White Speedboat on water.Lukas, Pexels

Torch Lake Sandbar: Parties

Epic sandbar parties here have become a very popular thing in recent years, especially on holidays like the fourth of July.

After a huge, unlawful party during the 2020 lockdown, authorities now frequent the area.

Torch Lake Sandbar PartyAnotherViewDroneService, Shutterstock

Great White Heron Park

Great White Heron Wildlife Refuge is in Florida, east toward the mainland, and directly north of Sugarloaf key. It sits on 6,200 acres of land and almost 124,000 acres of water.

The sands are constantly shifting, creating several sandbars.

Bird walking in the water.Alexandre Laprise, Shutterstock

Great White Heron Park: Solitude

Given that this park is waterborne, it is a place of absolute solitude. It is known to be very quiet, with mostly locals frequenting the area.

Silhouette of Walking Person on SeashoreTim Mossholder, Pexels

Diamond Lake Sandbar

Diamond Lake is located in Cassopolis, Michigan. The sandbar is situated in the middle of the lake, surrounded by sparkling water.

Lake Michigan Sunrise - 2013Elvis Kennedy, Flickr

Diamond Lake Sandbar: Parties

Diamond Lake sandbar is a hot spot for party-goers. There are many scheduled party events that happen throughout the summer, including, poker runs, volleyball tournaments, and Hawaiian luau and pirate themed parties.

Don’t miss the fourth of July party—which also stirred up some trouble during the 2020 lockdown.

Several People At A PartyWendy Wei ,Pexels

Diamond Lake Sandbar: Surroundings

The stunning surroundings of the Diamond Lake sandbar include beautiful homes that look like what you’d find in magazines, an array of unique wildlife, and clear views for miles.


House Near Lakeeberhard grossgasteiger, Pexels

Sources: 1, 2


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