NewsPinellas County


Caladesi Island State Park makes Dr. Beach's top 10 list

Florida State Parks - Caladesi Island State Park.jpg
Posted at 6:01 AM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 08:56:35-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — The doctor has spoken and released his top 10 beach list for 2022.

Florida International University Professor Dr. Stephen Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach, has been doing these rankings for more than three decades.

He chooses which beaches make his list by evaluating 50 different categories, which include sand softness, water temperature, red tide, amenities and noise.

For 2022, Dr. Beach ranked Ocracoke Lifeguard Beach, near the Outer Banks of North Carolina, as the best beach in America.

For a second year, only two Florida beaches made Dr. Beach's list, which included Tampa Bay's Caladesi Island State Park.

Dr. Beach's description of Caladesi Island State Park said, "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 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."

Here's Dr. Beach's Top 10 beach list for 2022:

1. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks of North Carolina

2. Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida

3. Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York

4. St. George Island State Park, Florida Panhandle

5. Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

6. Lighthouse Beach, Buxton, Outer Banks of North Carolina

7. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California

8. Wailea Beach, Maui, Hawaii

9. Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina

10. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

"In addition to his annual ranking of America's Best Beaches, he works tirelessly to increase awareness about the dangers of rip currents and to promote no smoking at beaches," his website states.