Best Beaches for 2015
Two of the Top 10 Beaches in America, as rated by Dr. Beach for 2015, are located here in Naples and nearby Bonita Springs. Two other beaches within Florida also made it onto this list. If you need help planning the perfect beach vacation, these spots are worth considering. Stephen Leathermen, aka Dr. Beach, has rounded up his favorite U.S. beaches for 2015 —with some tried and true sandy locales and a few soon-to-be favorite family finds. Leatherman, professor and director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University, is considered a world authority on coastal storm impacts, beach erosion and has been ranking the nation's beaches since 1991.
The doctor uses 50 criteria to select his spots, including water quality, safety, available activities and environmental factors. Many of 2014’s top picks made the new list but we were excited to see a great California beach crack the roundup. A whopping four out of ten beaches are in Florida, so if you’re looking for a sure-bet, head to the sunny keys.
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Naples, Florida - this 166-acre beach park is characterized by sea oats on the sand dunes, backed by cabbage palms and woodlands that provide shaded picnic areas. The beach is composed of fine white sand and millions of seashells. An observation tower within the park allows visitors a good view of this natural enclave within an urbanized area. There are bathrooms, changing stalls, and outside rinse showers. Head to the beach early in the morning or late afternoon in order to avoid the crowds and traffic backups during the prime vacation season.
Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park, Bonita Springs, Florida – this beach in Southwest Florida is 8,200 foot long and located in a 342 acre park. The surf is gentle with waves generally being measured in inches, and the water is very shallow, making this a great beach for bathing and swimming for families. The sand is fine and contains many small shells.