Another Top Ten Beach list

I saw that Sharon posted Dr. Beach’s Top Ten Beach list, and just to round out the pickings, I thought I’d post another top ten list (the 100 best everything list). So if you’re not a Dr. Beach follower, maybe you’ll prefer this list:

  1. Panama City Beach, Florida
  2. Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii
  3. Kee Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
  4. Kailua Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
  5. Green Sand Beach, Hawaii
  6. Daytona Beach, Florida
  7. La Jolla Cove, California
  8. Caladesi Island, Florida
  9. Fort De Soto, Florida
  10. Kua Bay, Hawaii

Some thoughts: Dr. Beach’s list has more diversity—he’s got a few New York beaches and one in South Carolina, whereas this list is exclusively Hawaii and Florida with one California beach. Also, the only beach that overlaps on both lists is Caladesi Island, which Dr. Beach ranks as #1 and this list ranks as #8. I think it’s safe to say that Caladesi Island is definitely worth going to!
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Dr. Beach recommends…

I’m SO frustrated! We were just in the Tampa area and were choosing between a few beaches in the area and DIDN’T go to Caladesi Island State Park Beach. And NOW, only now, do I read that Dr. Beach rates Caladesi Island SP as the TOP beach in America!

Caladesi Island is a barrier island north of Clearwater (which is not far from Tampa Bay) with white sands, crystal clear, steel-blue Gulf waters, and forests filled with birds and wildlife.

Stephen P. Leatherman (a.k.a. Dr. Beach) makes a list of the nation’s best beaches every year, and I ALWAYS look at, but for some reason it escaped my mind this year.

The other beaches in the top ten for 2008 are:

So no big deal…just next time I need to check the list before heading out to the beach!

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St. Petersburg and Tampa, Florida – an educational/business/pleasure trip!

Listed on www.parents.com as one of the top six (why won’t they just give us ten??) Florida vacations for families, I was thrilled when Rick said he had to be in St. Petersburg for a week. He’d be busy 5 out of the 7 days, so said I should plan accordingly, keeping in mind that he’s dying to go to the Salvador Dali Museum.

So as we all know by now, I love nothing more than planning a trip (almost more than actually experiencing the trip – is that normal?), so I got out my travel books and browsed the travel websites, and here’s what I came up with, keeping in mind the need to combine fun with education:

We’re going to spend in between time at either St. Pete Beach, Madeira Beach or St. Petersburg Municipal Beach on Treasure Island. Gulf Coast winds make for good kite flying, so I figure this can be turned into a science lesson on wind and tide as well as the science of kite flying (there must be a great unit on this somewhere—anyone know?).

Salvador Dali Museum is a definite, especially since that’ll be a whole family outing. Rick has actually been prepping for the girls for this one, which is nice for me b/c I’m learning a lot about Dali and Surrealism along the way. Also on the museum list is the Florida International Museum which I’m still a bit iffy on. There is a permanent exhibit on JFK and there’ll be an exhibit on Princess Di when we’ll be there, and I’m not so sure I can either get the girls interested or make these topics relevant. Really I want to go because both exhibits are right up MY alley…. so we’ll see.

Something high on my list is Heritage Village in Largo which is off of Tampa Bay (a bit of a drive). It’s a recreated Florida pioneer village. There are historic homes, a one-room schoolhouse, and De Soto National Memorial, a fort dating back to 1898 which protected the bay area during the Spanish-American War.

Definitely not my first choice, but the girls want to go to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay… And it’s only redeeming factor is that there’s an African Safari. Also, apparently there are “educational presentations” so we’ll see what that’s about…