2 Florida beaches shine in 'Dr. Beach's' top 10 best beaches list of 2024

A prominent figure in coastal science has announced his 2024 list of the best beaches in the United States, which includes two located in Florida. 

Dr. Stephen Leatherman, also known as "Dr. Beach" has reviewed and rated beaches and coastal areas across America for the past 30 years.

Leatherman, who is currently a professor and director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University, says he chooses his rankings based on his 50 criteria, which analyzes 650 public beaches along the US coast based on certain factors including sand softness, water temperature, size of breaking waves, rip currents, access and views and vistas.

The two Florida beaches on the annual list are Caladesi Island State Park in Dunedin-Clearwater and Delinor-Wiggins Pass State Park in Naples. 

Dr. Beach described Caladesi Island State Park as a secluded white sandy beach with clear waters accessed by a pedestrian ferry boat, private boats or a long walk north from Clearwater Beach. He said his favorite is the kayak and canoe trails through the mangroves where you can see birds in their natural habitat. 

Delinor-Wiggins Pass State Park is known for crystal-clear Gulf waters, and views of wildlife. Dr. Beach said visitors often swim, snorkel, paddleboard, or fish on this barrier island.

See Dr. Beach's full list below:

Top 10 Best Beaches in the US in 2024, per Dr. Beach

  1. Duke Kahanamoku Beach (Oahu, Hawaii)
  2. Coopers Beach (Southhampton, New York)
  3. Wailea Beach (Maui, Hawaii)
  4. Caladesi Island State Park (Dunedin-Clearwater, Florida)
  5. Beachwalker Park (Kiawah Island, South Carolina)
  6. Main Beach (East Hampton, New York)
  7. Poipu Beach (Kauai, Hawaii)
  8. Delinor-Wiggins Pass State Park (Naples, Florida)
  9. Coast Guard Beach (Cape Cod, Massachusetts)
  10. Coronado Beach (San Diego, California)