Best Florida Beaches
Taking a Beach Vacation this
Why Not Visit America's Top Beaches?
"Dr. Beach" Prescribes R & R at Three
Three Florida destinations received top-10 rankings
in Dr. Stephen Leatherman's 2003 survey of the best beaches in America.
Fort De Soto Park at Tierra Verde and Caledesi Island State Park
at Dunedin, both near St. Petersburg made the Top 10 list, as did
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park near Miami.
Best Beach in Florida #2
Fort De Soto Beach, a historic fort built during
the Spanish-American War is located on Mullet Key, the largest of
the five islands which make up this unique area. The park consists
of 900 unspoiled acres, seven miles of beaches, two fishing piers,
picnic and camping areas, a small history museum and a 2,000-foot
barrier-free nature trail for guests with disabilities. Toll on
bridges to the park is 85 cents. Fort De Soto Park also has a 4.2-mile
recreation trail, a 2.25-mile recreational canoe trail and a 1-mile
nature trail. The 12-foot-wide asphalt recreation trail connects
the campground with the North and East Beach Swim Centers and the
historic fort. Canoe, kayak and bicycle rentals are available at
the canoe trailhead. The nature trail in the Arrowhead Picnic area
provides a glimpse of some of the native fauna and flora.
Best Florida Beach #5
One of the few remaining large undeveloped barrier islands on
Florida's Gulf Coast, Caladesi is only accessible by boat.
It is an ideal habitat for swimming, shelling, fishing, picnics,
skin and scuba diving and nature study. The park also has a 3-mile
nature trail winding through the island's interior. The park is
open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset. A ferry departs hourly from nearby
Honeymoon Island. Docks are available on the island for private
boats. A snack bar and shelters are also available.
Florida Best Beach #9
Visitors to Key Biscayne's beaches in Bill Baggs Cape Florida
State Park a can lie back in a hammock and listen to the rustle
of palm fronds in the ocean breeze, stroll along the sandy shore
of the Atlantic, charter a deep-sea fishing boat, ride a jet ski,
or simply relax with a good book on the white sand beaches under
the shade of a chickee hut. Technically one of the first islands
in the Florida Keys archipelago, Key Biscayne is a secluded paradise
and natural refuge that sits just a few miles east of downtown Miami.
A peaceful getaway for both tourists and locals, it is one of the
best places to go in Greater Miami for tennis, golf, sunbathing,
swimming, boating, bicycling, fishing and windsurfing.
Known as "Dr. Beach," Leatherman
is a professor at Florida International University and the director
of the school's Laboratory for Coastal Research. In order to promote
healthy beaches, he has ranked the top ten American beaches since
Florida's St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
at Cape San Blas was named Best Beach in America by "Dr.
Beach" in 2002. The beach was recognized for its clear
waters, stunning sand dunes and secluded location in Northwest Florida.
Other Florida beaches have been awarded the Top Beach
in America ranking three times in the past. Bahia Honda
State Park, Grayton Beach State Park and St. Andrews State Park
received top honors in 1992, 1994 and 1995, respectively.
Visit www.floridastateparks.org for more information
about the winning parks, as well as other Florida parks and beaches.
For more information on the St. Joseph Peninsula
area, visit www.visitgulf.com
For more information on Caladesi and Ft. Desoto,
For more information on Cape Florida, visit www.tropicoolmiami.com
For more information about "Dr. Beach",