We were staying with some friends in Florida, on the Gulf side just south of St. Petersburg. My husband was itching to camp on the beach. I guess he did it as a kid and really liked it.
I said what the heck and went along with it. Florida's beaches are lovely and they're incredibly calm on the Gulf Side too. We found a beach that allowed camping - a lot of them don't or they have designated areas for it - and staked our tent. First thing is you really gotta dig deep with those stakes so the tent holds.
We made a bonfire when the sun went down (this is another good thing to check on before you pick a beach - many of them don't allow campfires or bonfires, but this is the best part).
Make that almost the best part. The best part was sleeping. The cool Gulf air was refreshing in the humid night and we didn't need sleeping pads or air mattresses! The sand was so soft.