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Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park has superb white sand, clear water and is ranked #8 in the US. The infrastructure is still being rebuilt after a 2022 hurricane, but that didn’t stop it from earning high rankings from Dr. Beach.

Read More about Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Naples: Destroyed by Ian, now ranked in top 10 US beaches

Honeymoon Island has a big, natural beach where you can get away from people, but also offers a cafe, bikes and kayaks to rent and a playground. Recently, the beautiful sandspit beach that extends miles north split in two! Erosion has connected the Gulf to the Intracoastal, and it’s still shifting. Don’t worry: There are still miles of beach to walk.

Read More about Honeymoon Island: Its spectacular natural beach has split in two

Siesta Key is famous for its top-ranked beaches, but this kayak trail is another reason to visit. It takes you through a bird-filled preserve to a beach accessible only by boat. The origin of this beach involves the fascinating tale of Midnight Pass, which some locals want to restore.

Read More about Siesta Key kayaking trail: Paddle to Hidden Beach on pretty Sarasota waterway

Visiting here, I found myself amazed that places like Anna Maria Island survive — a low-rise beach town with quaint cottages and a spectacular beach. Daytrippers will be happy to learn they can skip the weekend traffic and parking hassles with an affordable new ferry service from Bradenton.

Read More about Anna Maria Island: A charming Old Florida beach town; now you can skip the traffic

This beach occupies one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on Florida’s southwest coast, and its a place for finding shells, sand dollars, gopher tortoises and, best of all, unadorned natural beauty. It reopened 14 months after severe damage from Hurricane Ian in 2022. Presently, it operates with limited facilities including portable restrooms.

Read More about Barefoot Beach, one of best beaches in America, is wild and wonderful

In Dunedin, we love bicycling the Pinellas Trail, but this charming Tampa Bay area town has more to offer, with eight breweries plus great restaurants and coffee shops in its walkable historic downtown. Twenty minutes away are two excellent state parks with award-winning beaches.

Read More about Dunedin: Delightful biking, breweries, beaches and historic downtown