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(2013 - Fall/Winter Issue)


Chances are everyone you know enjoys relaxing by the shore and dreams of the beach-bum life, crowding out thoughts of the office and kids’ after-school schedules.

The slice of Florida’s Gulf of Mexico coast defined by St. Petersburg and Clearwater claims more than 56 kilometres of sand to dig your toes into. However that may not be enough coastline to hold all the awards the area beaches have collected.

Award-winning Gems

Notable beyond the number of tributes are their sources: USA Today, TripAdvisor website, Parents magazine and noted travel guru Peter Greenberg.

 TripAdvisor created a list of the “Top 25 Beaches in the U.S. for 2013.” Four of the nation’s top 18 are in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area.

This list’s highest-rated beach area is also the most eclectic. The sprawling 460-hectare Fort De Soto Park boasts a variety of tree-shaded beaches with a shallow decline into the warm Gulf waters, fishing piers, campgrounds, kayak and bike rentals, nature trails, even a pre-1900 cannon and fortifications. That variety makes it an ideal stop for families with youngsters. TripAdvisor additionally named Fort De Soto the fourth best beach in the world.

Also on the TripAdvisor list:

No. 12, Caladesi Island State Park

Near the town of Dunedin, spring training home of the Toronto Blue Jays and the original home of the PGA, undeveloped Caladesi is reachable only by a small ferryboat.

No. 15, Pass-a-Grille

This laid-back, laissez-faire community embraces remnants of “Old Florida.”

No. 18, Clearwater Beach

This white-sand favourite has been included on many award lists. Pier 60 is the centre of activity and a favourite among buskers, anglers and sunset-watchers.

Clearwater Beach earned two other honours in 2013. It was named “Florida’s Best Beach Town” by USA Today, gaining a phenomenal 25 per cent of all votes cast for Florida’s hundreds of beaches. And TV travel commentator Peter Greenberg placed it on his “Best Beaches in the U.S.” list.

A few miles to the south, St. Pete Beach was recognized by Parents magazine as one of the “10 Best Beach Towns for Families.” Situated close to the world-class Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg and to Fort De Soto, this barrier island offers accommodation ranging from the boom-time Loews Don CeSar Hotel to the TradeWinds Island Grand Resort, with its floating slides and trampolines in the Gulf.

Travel Planner

For more information on the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area, log onto visitstpeteclearwater.com.

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