Two Florida State Parks Recognized on Dr. Beach's 2024 Top 10 List

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Two Florida State Parks Recognized on
Dr. Beach's 2024 Top 10 List

~ Caladesi Island State Park, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park make coveted
annual list of the country's top beaches

Caladesi Island State Park earned a top spot on Dr. Beach's Top 10 Beach List.

Caladesi Island State Park earned a top spot on Dr. Beach's Top 10 Beach List.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is proud to announce that two Florida State Parks are listed among the best beaches in the nation on Dr. Beach's Top 10 Beach List for 2024. Caladesi Island State Park is ranked No. 4 and Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park is ranked No. 8. These parks provide white sand beaches, opportunities to spot local wildlife and state-of-the-art amenities for visitors and families to enjoy.

“Caladesi Island and Delnor-Wiggins Pass state parks offer a look at some of the finest natural resources in the world,” said Florida State Parks Director Chuck Hatcher. “We take great pride in our efforts to preserve and protect these gorgeous beaches for everyone to enjoy.”

Caladesi Island State Park, an offshore island near Dunedin, is a beautiful, natural spot along Florida’s Gulf Coast. The park, which is accessible only by ferry or private boat, offers visitors a variety of options for activities. Swimmers, sunbathers and beachcombers can enjoy the softness of white crystalline quartz sand, while a bayside mangrove forest provides a shaded paddling opportunity. The Scharrer Homestead – the park’s main historical attraction – is located in the interior of the island among live oaks. The park also boasts a 3-mile nature trail, surf-fishing and boating.

Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park in Naples is home to numerous shorebirds and wildlife. Visitors enjoy many activities such as snorkeling the reef, hiking, birdwatching, fishing, picnicking and paddling. Kayaking or paddleboarding the Wiggins Pass into the Gulf of Mexico is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon at sea. From exploring mangrove swamps to sunbathing on the beach, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park has much to offer.

The list is produced by coastal expert Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, a professor at Florida International University, who is known as Dr. Beach. Every year since 1991, Dr. Beach has released a list of the nation’s top 10 beaches using 50 criteria he created, including water color, water clarity, sand softness and park safety.

Florida state park beaches have consistently scored high in Dr. Beach’s surveys, with six parks previously ranked as No.1:

  • Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park, St. George Island, 2023
  • Grayton Beach State Park, Santa Rosa Beach, 2020
  • Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin, 2008
  • T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, Port St. Joe, 2002
  • St. Andrews State Park, Panama City, 1995
  • Bahia Honda State Park, Florida Keys, 1992

Wherever you go in our great state, Florida’s 175 award-winning state parks showcase immense recreational and educational opportunities.

To plan a visit to a Florida State Park, make a camping reservation or to find out about events, festivals and park activities, visit