These 3 Florida beaches are among the 10 best in the US

These 3 Florida beaches are among the 10 best in the US

Caladesi Island State Park, in Dunedin, Florida, ranked fourth on this year's list. Image via Shutterstock/Robert Miller Online.

By Crystal Harlan

June 25, 2024

Dr. Beach uses 50 criteria, including sand softness, water temperature, rip currents, algae, noise, and litter.

Three Florida beaches—all on the Gulf Coast—made Dr. Beach’s 2024 Top 10 Beaches ranking.

For over three decades, Stephen Leatherman (“Dr. Beach”), professor and director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University, has evaluated and rated beaches and coastal areas throughout the world. Leatherman uses 50 criteria, including sand softness, water temperature, rip currents, algae, noise, and litter.

This year, the top spot went to Duke Kahanamoku Beach on Oahu, Hawaii, but Florida beaches were among three of the top ten. 

Caladesi Island State Park, in Dunedin, Florida, ranked 4th. 

“The white beach is 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,” Dr. Beach said about Caladesi.

Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, in Naples, came in 8th on the list. Of Delnor-Wiggins, Leatherman said the barrier island beach “boasts of beautiful white sand beaches and crystal-clear Gulf waters. Activities include swimming, snorkeling, paddleboarding, shelling, and fishing. Wildlife in the park includes bald eagles, ospreys, and manatees. Pine trees provide welcome shade.”

However, parts of Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park remain closed as the area recovers from Hurricane Ian in 2022.

Fort De Soto Park, in St. Petersburg, landed in the 10th spot. According to Dr. Beach, the northern beach “is the best swimming beach with its fine, white sand and clean, clear water of the Gulf of Mexico.” The park also includes a historic fort to explore.

Last year, Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park, in the Florida Panhandle, topped the list, and in 2020, Grayton Beach State Park in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida was ranked number 1. 

Here is the full list of Dr. Beach’s Top 10 Best Beaches in the US for 2024:

  1. Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu, Hawaii 
  2. Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York 
  3. Wailea Beach, Maui, Hawaii
  4. Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin, Florida
  5. Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina
  6. Main Beach, East Hampton, New York
  7. Poipu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
  8. Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Naples, Florida
  9. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts 
  10. Fort De Soto Park, St. Petersburg, Florida 

RELATED: These 10 Florida beaches are the most dangerous in the US

 

Author

  • Crystal Harlan

    Crystal is a bilingual editor and writer with over 20 years of experience in digital and print media. She is currently based in Florida, but has lived in small towns in the Midwest, Caracas, New York City, and Madrid, where she earned her MA in Spanish literature.

CATEGORIES: THINGS TO DO
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