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Florida Beaches Offer One of America’s Best Road Trips

Florida Beaches Offer One of America’s Best Road Trips. Destination Tampa Bay got a special mention in the May 2021 issue of Reader’s Digest in its cover article on “The Best Road Trips in America.” The magazine selected give areas across the country to highlight places for people to travel this summer. A tour along the Florida Gulf Coast is highlighted in its No. 2 selection entitled “Ultimate Florida Beach.”

Florida Beaches Offer One of America’s Best Road Trips

The article states that last year TripAdvisor named the beach at Siesta Kay, just south of Sarasota, as the best beach in Florida, but it points out that some of the best places to see along the Florida Coast are located right here in the greater Tampa Bay area, starting on Route 19 out of Tampa. It points out that a 170-mile drive will take you “through slice after slice of sand Gulf paradise” as you travel along Florida’s Gulf coast.

Caladesi Island State Park offers one of the best beaches in Destination Tampa Bay and the Gulf Coast of Florida

Reader’s Digest’s road trip starts from Tarpon Springs, “the sponge capital of the world” as well as the best place to enjoy authentic Greek food and, we might point out, its own beautiful beach in Howard Par. Next stop enjoys the Scottish atmosphere of Dunedin, a “fishing village” with its own beautiful beaches. The beach on Caladesi Island (LEFT) has been selected as America’s Best Beach by “Dr. Beach,” Stephen Leatherman, PhD, director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University because of its unspoiled natural beauty.

White Ibis from Florida's Fort Desota beach

The magazine failed to mention Clearwater Beach, just a little farther south, always listed among the country’s top beaches, or the” City of Beaches” in St. Petersburg, with a plethora of wonderful beaches including St. Pete Beach, another of the nation’s best. A stop-off in Fort De Soto Park is suggested, where you can see beautiful sunsets as well as have an up close and personal visit with pelicans, herons, egrets, sea turtles and Florida’s fascinating dolphins. (image left taken in Fort Desoto Park featured as a cover for Destination Tampa Bay magazine.)

Captiva Islands is a great beach in Florida for a road trip

A little farther south down I-75, you can travel over the Sanibel Causeway to Sanibel and Captiva Islands, “two Old Florida retreats with no buildings taller than a palm tree.” Reader’s Digest” points out that these two barrier islands have been called the “seashell capital of the world” because of their unique location perpendicular to the Florida mainland. Not far from Sarasota, these beautiful locations mark the end of the Florida road trip the magazine suggests; however, the beautiful beaches continue along the Gulf Coast.

Florida Beaches Offer One of America’s Best Road Trips

Whether you are a resident or a tourist looking for a great place to visit, Destination Tampa Bay has so much to offer, all within a relatively short distance. Drive from home on your “staycation” or rent a car for your Road Trip. You’ll be able to enjoy one of the nation’s best locations this summer. (Right Don Cesar Pink Palace located in Destination Tampa Bay at the award winning St. Pete Beach offering some of the best beach views.)

Content gathered from Reader’s Digest magazine. Written by Jackie McCallum. Photos are from paid stock sources for editorial use only unless otherwise noted. You may be interested in this story about trips across America here. You may even want to read about this day trip to Punta Gorda here.