Comprehensive analyses of governance processes and stakeholder perceptions of beach management in Florida and many other coastal areas are lacking. Based on exploratory interviews and literature reviews, a survey instrument was administered that quantitatively queried seven primary stakeholder groups on fundamental issues regarding the management of Florida's beaches. Stakeholders expressed complex opinions including a mixture of both satisfaction and dissatisfaction with management of beaches in the state. There was a lack of consensus on multiple issues with considerable concern about several management issues including reactive, not proactive approaches, incomplete stakeholder representation and limited control of coastal construction. There were also concerns about the long term emphasis on engineering (seawalls, groins and breakwaters) relative to other management options (land use policies). Both political processes and availability of finances were often cited as primary reasons for Florida beach management challenges (39% and 44% of stakeholders respectively). The data also suggested polarization regarding the long term priorities of beach management in several questions including beach nourishment projects and planning for Sea Level Rise (SLR). Primary elements influencing satisfaction/dissatisfaction were the management of natural resources, politics, institutional coordination, public hearing effectiveness and control of coastal construction. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.