Caladesi State Park in Dunedin ranks No. 9 on the Top 10 List of U.S. beaches released May 26 by Dr. Stephen Leatherman.
Leatherman, a professor at Florida International University, better known as Dr. Beach, has been making his top 10 list for 26 years. He uses a long list of 50 criteria to pick the top 10, including water, sand quality, safety, management, presence of lifeguards, noise, amenities and others.
New this year is a bonus for beaches that prohibit smoking. More emphasis is being placed on environmental management and beach safety. According to a press release, the list of best beaches is “beginning anew, so all beaches have a chance of making the list.”
Under the comments for Caladesi Island, Dr. Beach writes, “Caladesi is reached by pedestrian ferry boat, private boats or a long walk north from Clearwater Beach – the inlet is closed so Caladesi is no longer a true island, but still a great getaway.
“The white beach composed of crystalline quartz sand which is soft and cushy at the water’s edge, inviting one to take a dip in the sparkling clear waters. There are boardwalk trails, but my favorite is the kayak and canoe trails through the mangroves to see the large blue herons and other birds that frequent this wonderful natural area.”
This isn’t the first year Caladesi Island has made Dr. Beach’s list. He named it No. 1 in the U.S. in 2008. In 2007 and 2006, Dr. Beach ranked it as No. 2. In 2004, Caladesi Island ranked as No. 4, and Fort DeSoto Park’s north beach took the No. 1 spot.
For more information, visit Clearwater Area Beaches.
Two other Florida beaches made this year’s list: Siesta Beach in Sarasota and Grayton Beach State Park located between Panama City Beach and Destin.
Top 10 Beaches 2016
1. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Oahu, Hawaii
2. Siesta Beach Sarasota, Florida
3. Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii
4. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks of North Carolina
5. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
6. Grayton Beach State Park Florida Panhandle
7. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
8. Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York
9. Caladesi Island State Park Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida
10. Beachwalker Park Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Dr. Leatherman is an internationally known coastal scientist who has published 20 books and hundreds of scientific articles and reports about storm impacts, coastal erosion and ways to improve beach health and safety.
TBN Weekly May 26, 2016