Every year, Dr. Stephen Leatherman, an author, professor, and director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University — a.k.a. Dr. Beach — offers his top 10 list of beaches in the nation. Using 50 evaluation factors, ranging from beach shape to bathing area bottom conditions, he usually includes a couple of Florida beaches in the top 10. Occasionally, like in 2020 and 2017, Florida even beats out Hawaii for the top spot. This year, two Florida spots, Caladesi Island State Park in Dunedin/Clearwater (#8) and St. George Island State Park in the Florida Panhandle (#4) made the list. Inspired by these popular spots, we offer not only Florida’s best beaches but Florida’s best beach hotels, which range from historic and luxury resorts to sprawling accommodations favored by families. Most have world-class restaurants, pools, and activities, and all take advantage of their best amenity: the beach.
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