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Two Florida State Parks Listed on Dr. Beach's 2017 Top 10 Beaches

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – This year, two Florida State Parks are listed among the best in the nation on Dr. Beach’s Top 10 Beach List for 2017: Grayton Beach State Park is ranked at #4 and Caladesi Island State Park is ranked at #7. Both parks offer white sand beaches, beautiful scenery and amenities for visitors to enjoy.

"Florida State Park beaches are consistently ranked among the best in the country," said Gary Clark, DEP deputy secretary for land and recreation. "I encourage all Florida residents and visitors to head to a Florida State Park beach this Memorial Day Weekend."

Grayton Beach State Park in Santa Rosa Beach provides an idyllic setting for swimming, sunbathing, boating and more. The park holds golden sunrises and silver moonlit evenings making it the perfect spot for exploring nature’s inherent beauty. Visitors have the option to paddleboard, canoe and kayak on Western Lake or hike more than four miles on a nature trail through a coastal forest. Grayton Beach offers multiple options for those looking to explore or relax, all surrounded by gorgeous scenery.

Caladesi Island State Park, an offshore island near Clearwater, is one of the few completely natural islands along Florida’s Gulf Coast. The beach is home to gorgeous white sands and offers visitors the options of swimming, sunbathing and beachcombing. Fishing enthusiasts can enjoy boating and surf-fishing, while hikers and birders can spot wildlife on a 3-mile nature trail or while kayaking.

The list is produced by coastal expert Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, also known as “Dr. Beach,” a professor at Florida International University. Every year, since 1991, Dr. Beach has released the top 10 beaches using 50 criteria he created to rate the nation’s best beaches. Criteria to determine the ranking of the nation’s top beaches include beach material, water temperature, sand softness, smell and safety.