By Maria Mora
Every year, Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, better known as Dr. Beach, chooses the country’s top 10 beaches. Year after year, Florida beaches make the list. Here are three winning beaches worth checking out on your next Florida vacation:
Saint Joseph Peninsula State Park, Florida Panhandle
For a rustic, authentic Florida beach vacation, head to a state park. Consistently named one of the top beaches in the United States, Saint Joseph Peninsula State Park offers camping, fishing, bicycling and hiking. Because it’s a state park, you won’t find any hotels right on the beach. Try staying a short drive away at WindMark Beach Morning Glory in Port St. Joe. While you’re in the panhandle, order some fresh Apalachicola oysters.
Siesta Key, Sarasota
Looking to add a little luxury to your Florida vacation? Siesta Key is home to upscale shopping and fine dining in addition to the soft powder white beaches. Stay for a few days and visit the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. You won’t want to miss the fabulous Cà d’Zan Mansion on the water. For a laid back, homey Florida beach vacation, stay at the Island House Beach Resort on Siesta Key.
Key Biscayne, Miami-Dade
Just outside of the vibrant, bustling Miami area, Key Biscayne offers a quaint escape. With only a handful of large hotels and condominiums, the key is primarily composed of stunning natural Florida land and beaches. Book your Florida vacation at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, then rent bikes to explore the island. If you’re feeling adventurous, try Gran Inka, an upscale Peruvian restaurant favored by locals.
Maria Mora is a memoir blogger and wannabe photographer. She travels extensively throughout Florida and the Caribbean with her two young sons.