Dr. Stephen Leatherman is savvy about sand, a wizard about water, and the ultimate insider about the seaside. When it comes to beaches, he's a legend.
And he has spoken.
For the last 23 years, Dr. Leatherman – aka “Dr. Beach” – has picked the 10 beaches he deems to be the best in the country, based on 50 criteria that range from the clarity of water, to its temperature, to the texture of the sand. This year three of those esteemed beaches are in the Sunshine State.
Without further ado, his 2013 picks are:
- St. George Island State Park in Northwest Florida, an utterly tranquil escape. Dr. Beach cited its powdery, super white, squeaky clean sands.
- Cape Florida State Park near Miami. The good Doctor noted its clear, emerald-colored waters, gentle surf, and breath-taking views from the Cape Florida Lighthouse.
- Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs, close to Fort Myers Beach in southwest Florida. This laid-back getaway splashed onto the prestigious list for the first time at number six, in part because of its gentle surf and very shallow waters.
But these three beaches are just the tip of the sandbar. Dr. Beach named the following Florida beaches the best in America over the years. Mind you, these are not Florida beaches that have made the list, but the ones that have topped the list in years past.
- Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys
- Caladesi Island State Park in Pinellas County, St. Pete/Clearwater
- Fort De Soto Park, North Beach, in Pinellas County, near St. Pete
- Grayton Beach State Park, in Walton County
- Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota
- St. Andrew's State Recreation Area in Panama City Beach
- St. Joseph Peninsula State Park in Gulf County, near Port St. Joe
Now that’s a to-do list that a beach bunny can embrace!
Check out all of Dr. Beach’s picks for 2013 here.