Beach access is a top priority of many new Florida residents and understandably so.
We at ICI Homes have built new custom Florida homes all over the state for 40 years, so we know about the siren call of sand and saltwater. The ability to spend time at a beach on a regular basis often is a strong draw for prospective customers of all ages.
And why not? Florida’s beautiful natural resources draw vacationers and new residents by the millions. Beaches are wonderful places to enjoy alone, or with friends and family, and there’s no shortage of beach-y options.
Per VisitFlorida, the Sunshine State has 1,197 statute miles of coastline — the most of any state in the contiguous U.S. With the Gulf of Mexico to its west and the Atlantic Ocean to its east, Florida offers 825 miles of beaches. Many of which are only minutes away from an ICI Homes community!
Many of these beaches also are world-renowned thanks to the research of Florida International University professor Dr. Stephen Leatherman. More on that below.
For now, allow us to share why top beaches are a perennial perk of Florida living.
“Dr. Beach” is in the house
Each May, Dr. Leatherman — known popularly as “Dr. Beach” — releases his annual ranking of the top beaches. In 2020, two Florida beaches have claimed the No. 1 and No. 6 spots on his Top Ten Beaches in America List. Grayton Beach State Park in the Panhandle region is the top-rated U.S. beach while Caladesi Island State Park in the Tampa Bay area is No. 6.
A coastal science expert and researcher, Dr. Leatherman uses 50 criteria to select each year’s top-10 rankings. He’s ranked U.S. beaches for more than 30 years and is a proponent of preserving and safely enjoying our beaches.
His most recent top 10 is good news for ICI Homes customers in the Tampa region! We’re among the preferred builders in four popular master-planned communities here — Asturia in Odessa, Persimmon Park in Wesley Chapel, Bexley in Land O’Lakes and FishHawk Ranch in Lithia.
Caladesi Island State Park is located near the Gulf coast town of Dunedin, which makes it day-trip material for ICI Homes customers in all four of these communities.
The deets on Caladesi Island State Park
Part of Caladesi’s charm is the fact it’s untouched and undeveloped. It’s accessible only by ferry, private boat, or a 2.2-mile walk north along the beach from Clearwater Beach. But it’s worth it to reach the park’s uncrowded, gorgeous white sand and blue-green surf.
Away from the beach, a three-mile hiking trail rambles through coastal forest and bird habitats. Camping, boating and fishing are only a sample of the activities you can enjoy on this unspoiled Gulf coast island. See the park’s website for more information.
Ready for your new custom Florida home? Talk to ICI Homes here.