May
15
2013
0

10 Best Florida Beaches for 2013

#1. Caladesi Island State Park

Caladesi’s fine, white quartz sand beach owes its creation to a 1921 hurricane, which separated it from nearby Honeymoon Island. Caladesi became a state park in 1968. The waves are generally low on Caladesi, which Dr. Beach said adds to its family-friendly atmosphere. Most beachgoers reach the island by a 15-minute, $9 ferry ride. Visitors — unless they bring their own boat — are limited to four-hour stays at the beach. — Associated Press Caladesi Island near Dunedin was the No. 1 beach in the nation on Stephen ‘Dr. Beach’ Leatherman’s 2008 survey of United States beaches.

 

#2. St. Andrews State Park

St. Andrews State Recreation Area, near Panama City Beach, is one of the coast’s best snorkeling and diving destinations. Well known for its sugar white sands and emerald green waters, this former military reservation has over one-and-a-half miles of beaches on the Gulf of Mexico and Grand Lagoon. Offshore you’ll find hundreds of varieties of shells, sea urchins and starfish. In Tampa Bay, try Egmont Key State Park. Not only does it have a beautiful beach more than a mile long, but you’ll find submerged armament bunkers offshore that have created a refuge for tropical fish. It was the No. 1 beach in the nation on Stephen ‘Dr. Beach’ Leatherman’s 1995 survey of United States beaches.

 

#3. Cape Florida State Park

Located at the south tip of Key Biscayne, provides clear, emerald-colored waters and gentle surf. This fine, white coral sand beach is great for swimming, as waves are knocked down by a large sand shoal offshore. In addition, the Cape Florida Lighthouse allows for a breath-taking view of this beautiful beach. It was the No. 8 beach in the nation on Stephen ‘Dr. Beach’ Leatherman’s 2012 survey of United States beaches.

 

#4 Bahia Honda State Park

Clear turquoise water surrounds Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys, which boasts the Keys’ only natural beach. The park encompasses over 500 acres and an offshore island offers some of the best snorkeling and and beachcombing in Florida. It was the No. 1 beach in the nation on Stephen ‘Dr. Beach’ Leatherman’s 1992 survey of United States beaches.

 

#5 St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

The strip of coast between Tallahassee and Panama City may look like the middle of nowhere on a map. But that remoteness is what has kept the brilliant white beaches and dunes of St. George Island and St. Joseph Peninsula so unspoiled. Both beaches abound with rental cottages. St. George Island and St. Joseph Peninsula, 30 miles west, offer abundant outdoor activities, as does the surrounding Panhandle area. St. Joseph Peninsula State Park offers 20 miles of pristine shoreline, with picnicking, swimming, camping, fishing and hiking allowed. It was the No. 1 beach in the nation on Stephen ‘Dr. Beach’ Leatherman’s 2002 survey of United States beaches.

 

#6 Barefoot Beach Park

Barefoot Beach Preserve Park in Bonita Springs is 342 acres of natural land, one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on Florida’s southwest coast. 8,200 feet of beach and sand dunes support the growth of sea oats, providing nesting sites for sea turtles during the summer months. The park also maintains a tropical coastal hammock of sabal palm, gumbo-limbo and sea grape trees among many others. The site is also home to the protected gopher tortoise. The park includes nature trails, estuary waters for canoe tours and a long stretch of natural beach. — collergov.net It has been named as one of the best beaches in the nation on Stephen ‘Dr. Beach’ Leatherman’s survey of United States beaches.

 

#7. Siesta Beach

Siesta Beach on Siesta Key southwest of Sarasota, Fla., has been recognized for years as one of the best beaches in the country. It has the finest and whitest sand in the world, and I cannot argue with this claim. The powdery sand is nearly pure quartz crystal. The beatiful blue-colored water is clean and clear, making it so inviting to bathers and swimmers. – Dr. Beach It was the No. 1 beach in the nation on Stephen ‘Dr. Beach’ Leatherman’s 2011 survey of United States beaches.

 

#8. St. George Island State Park

St. George is a long, skinny barrier island, drifting between Apalachicola Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, just south of Apalachicola. Skip the developed middle of the island and stick to the northeast end, where St. George Island State Park protects nine miles of broad beach. The dunes are high and sculptural, and the surf is calm enough for swimming. After beachcombing, explore the nature trails through pine forest. St. George is a long, skinny barrier island, drifting between Apalachicola Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, just south of Apalachicola. Skip the developed middle of the island and stick to the northeast end, where St. George Island State Park protects nine miles of broad beach. The dunes are high and sculptural, and the surf is calm enough for swimming. After beachcombing, explore the nature trails through pine forest. It was the No. 4 beach in the nation on Stephen ‘Dr. Beach’ Leatherman’s 2012 survey of United States beaches.

 

#9. Fort De Soto Park

Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County near St. Pete Beach is an 870-acre patch of paradise. It’s a mecca for migratory birds and migrating travelers who love to camp, swim, fish, picnic and otherwise duck civilization. Its wide expanse of beaches is ideal for privacy, and its waters have a blue-green Caribbean color. — Boston Globe It was the No. 1 beach in the nation on Stephen ‘Dr. Beach’ Leatherman’s 2005 survey of United States beaches.

 

#10. Grayton Beach State Park

Grayton Beach State Park, which spans the Gulf of Mexico and most of Western Lake, is where you’ll find Florida as it should be, as it once was. Along this stretch, the sand is as soft, white and fine as you’ll find anywhere. That’s because the sand was once part of the southern Appalachian Mountains. The wide beach pushes into clear turquoise water every bit as beautiful as the Caribbean. Situated in the Panhandle halfway between Destin and Panama City, this idyllic spot is consistently ranked among the nation’s most pristine beaches.

 

Clear turquoise water surrounds <a href="http://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/beach/">Bahia Honda State Park</a> in the Florida Keys, which boasts the Keys' only natural beach. The park encompasses over 500 acres and an offshore island offers some of the best snorkeling and and beachcombing in Florida. It was the No. 1 beach in the nation on Stephen 'Dr. Beach' Leatherman's 1992 survey of United States beaches.

Souce: orlandosentinel.com

 

47 more pictures can be found here.

Source: Stephen 'Dr. Beach' Leatherman, orlandosentinel.com
Written by admin in: Florida Beaches |
Jan
25
2013
0

Thinking Outside the Beach

Planning the perfect day or weekend at the beach may mean planning for more than just your time there. Restaurants, hotels and other attractions that can be found close to your destination may be worth researching, getting a bite to eat or having a comfortable place to rest up when you are not out having fun will ensure you have the best time possible when visiting Florida beaches. The attractions, establishments and other resources you need to ensure you have the best trip possible are not something you will want to forget about when you are making any plans for an upcoming visit to the beach.

Written by admin in: Florida Beaches |
Dec
25
2012
0

Other Things to Do at the Shore

Just sunbathing and taking a dip in the ocean can be very enjoyable and such activities have a lot to offer beach goers, but the fun does not have to stop there. Learning more about the water sports and activities that can be engaged in when you are at the beach could give you the opportunity to have a whole lot more fun than you would have just laying out in the sun. Services and opportunities like a tour, a sailing or boating expedition or anything else that the beach has to offer can give you the chance to have the best time possible, exploring such opportunities in advance may give you the chance to incorporate them into your other plans.

Written by admin in: Florida Beaches |
Nov
25
2012
0

Safety First

Doing all you can to ensure you are not at risk of an accident or other mishap when you are spending time at the beach can really pay off. Basic concerns would be making sure you have access to plenty of water when you are planning on spending time in the sun, as well as sunscreen to protect yourself from overexposure to the Florida sun. Additional supplies that will help ensure everyone involved is able to have the safest time possible would be flotation or safety devices for any poor swimmers that you may have with you and maybe even a first aid kit to ensure that minor accidents or injuries do not have to become a bigger issue than they have to be.

Written by admin in: Florida Beaches |
Oct
25
2012
0

Plan Ahead and Pack Effectively

Getting all the way out to the beach only to find out, too late, that you are missing something crucial for your day in the sun can be very frustrating. Thinking ahead and making sure that nothing gets forgotten when it is time to go will ensure you do not find yourself without the means to fully enjoy yourself once you have reached your destination. Towels, umbrellas and even a cooler filled with snacks and drinks may all be able to improve your trip, so leaving them behind can put you in an awkward position once you get to the beach.

Written by admin in: Florida Beaches |

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