Dr. Beach’s top 10 beaches 2015- 

Barefoot  Beach Preserve County Park, Bonita Springs, Fla.




1. Waimanalo Bay Beach Park, Oahu, Hawaii


2. Barefoot Beach, Bonita Springs, Florida


3. St. George Island State Park, Florida panhandle


4. Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii


5. Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks of North Carolina


6. Cape Florida State Park Key Biscayne, Florida


7. Coast Guard Beach Cape Cod, Massachusetts


8. Beachwalker Park Kiawah Island, South Carolina


9. Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Naples, Florida


10. East Beach, Santa Barbara, California

About 45 minutes south of Fort Myers on Florida’s southwest coast is Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park in Bonita Springs. It’s 8,200 feet long, located in a 342-acre park and you’ll definitely want to wiggle your bare toes in the fine, white sand while you search for small shells. The surf here is gentle, the water is shallow and the waves are generally measured in inches. It’s a great sunbathing and swimming beach for families. Sea oats sprouting in the sand dunes provide nesting sites for sea turtles in summer.

Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, otherwise known as Dr. Beach, is a coastal scientist and professor at Florida International University who evaluates 650 public beaches along the U.S. coasts and creates a Top 10 list every year. His report is based on 50 criteria that include sand softness, rip currents, pollution, lifeguards and safety record. Topping the 23rd annual list is an underdog that bounced back from a deadly storm.

Text by Robin Dalmas | Photo editing by Mike Hipple

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