Caladesi Island State Park
Lay of the Land: One of the few pristine barrier islands along Florida's Gulf Coast, this consistently top-ranked beach is accessible only by boat. While on the ferry from Honeymoon Island you can spot dolphins and osprey while learning about the history of the area. The island features abundant wildlife, a ranger station, boat docks, beach and kayak rentals, mangrove kayak trails and even a concession stand offering beer and wine. Little Known Facts: Caladesi was once part of one large island called Hog Island after the hogs that a pioneer family raised there. A book about the key, "Yesteryear, I lived in Paradise," by Myrtle Scharrer Betz, daughter of the first homesteader, is available on Amazon.com. Why You Should Go: Caladesi Island was named America's #1 Beach in 2008, #2 Beach in 2006 and 2007 and #9 in 2016 by Dr. Beach. Do you need any other reason?