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Sun, sea


Beach lovers are spoiled for choice in Florida, a holiday paradise blessed with sun- kissed sands and crystal- clear waters


Every year the state’s beautiful beaches feature in America’s Top 10 chosen by environmental professor Stephen Leatherman, nicknamed Dr. Beach. And no wonder they win accolades. The 825 miles (1,327km) of beaches are a magnet for swimmers, divers and snorkellers and offer an array of activities including watersports, boat trips and fi shing.


And they are teeming with wildlife too — from snowbirds through to turtles.


Barefoot Beach in Bonita


Springs on the southwest coast fl ew the fl ag for Florida in Dr. Beach’s 2014 list, coming in at No. 2. Look for dolphins off the 1.5 miles (2.5 km) of sands and dunes and watch your step – they are home to the gopher turtle. Lots of shells, too.


The nine miles (14km) of broad beach on St. George Island State Park, between Apalachicola Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, comes No. 3 on the latest list.


Calm surf makes it perfect for swimming, canoeing and boating and anglers can fi sh for whiting, sea trout, fl ounder and other fi sh. Further down the west coast, the lovely beaches of Delnor- Wiggins Pass State Park in Naples, with its sand bar, and


Cape Florida State Park Key Biscayne on the Atlantic coast are also included in Dr. Beach’s Top 10.


Florida’s natural beaches rival any in the world and are a playground for families and couples alike. Siesta Beach in Sarasota is one of the safest for children as the waves are tiny and the fi ne white sands of nearly pure quartz crystal


slope gently into the warm blue Gulf waters. It’s


Nowhere matches Florida for the perfect family holiday combining theme parks and sparkling beaches, here at Panama City Beach (above) and Miami Beach (facing page)


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PANAMA CITY BEACH


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