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The Beach at Caladesi Island

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[Times photo 1996]
The beauty and isolation of Caladesi Island are renowned throughout the world.

By TERRY TOMALIN, Times Outdoors Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 5, 2000


Sit on this beach, look out to sea and it is easy to pretend you are alone on an island in the middle of the South Pacific. The isolation and lack of crowds are what help Caladesi Island make the top 10 beach list year after year.

Pinellas County has three beaches -- Fort De Soto, Caladesi Island and Clearwater Beach -- ranked in the world's top 20 by Florida International University coastal geologist Stephen Leatherman, known by the alias "Dr. Beach."

Leatherman uses 50 criteria to make his picks, including current, sand quality and water clarity. Caladesi scores high in all regards, but its lack of crowds makes it especially appealing.

For years, the island was accessible only by boat. Since Hurricane Elena filled Dunedin Pass with sand in 1985, hardy souls now can make the long walk from Clearwater Beach if so inclined. The easiest access still is by water. Private boats can use the 99-slip marina or anchor offshore. Landlubbers can take the ferry from nearby Honeymoon Island State Recreation Area. Call (727) 469-5918.

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Outdoors

  • Freediving off Bayport
  • Little Manatee River
  • Egmont Shipping Channel
  • Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve
  • The Tampa Bay Open Water Challenge
  • Snook
  • The Gunsmoke
  • Hiking in Withlacoochee State Forest
  • The Plunger
  • Shell Key
  • Running along the beach at Treasure Island
  • The Redington Long Pier
  • The St. Petersburg Yacht Club
  • The St. Petersburg Sailing Center
  • Mastry's Bait & Tackle
  • T.A. Mahoney's Marine Supply
  • Egmont Key
  • Blading at Fort DeSoto
  • Hillsborough River State Park
  • Sunshine Skyway fishing piers
  • The Great Scallop Search
  • Open-water swimming at Clearwater Beach
  • Rodbenders
  • Windsurfing at the Dunedin Causeway
  • St. Anthony's Triathlon
  • Trail riding at Wilderness Park
  • MacRae's Bait Shop
  • St. Pete Mad Dogs
  • O'Neill's Marina
  • Suncoast Surf Shop
  • The spring kingfish run
  • Florida Birding Festival
  • Sunset at Frenchy's Rockaway Grill
  • Red drum
  • 'The Kingfish King,'' Gene Turner
  • Bill Jackson Shop for Adventure
  • Tampa Bay Estuary Program
  • Building a sand castle
  • Saltwater Fly Fisherman
  • Eckerd College's Search and Recovery Team
  • Steve Yerrid's Kids Fishing Derby
  • The Weedon Island Canoe Trail
  • The Florida Marine Research Institute
  • Picnic Island Park
  • U.S. Coast Guard Air Station in Clearwater
  • Merry Pier
  • Bass fishing on Lake Tarpon
  • Boyd Hill Nature Park
  • Horseback riding in Withlacoochee State Forest
  • Swim with the manatees in Crystal River
  • Brooker Creek Preserve
  • Spotted sea trout
  • Clearwater Sailing Center
  • The Madeira Beach Artificial Reef
  • The Osprey Trail
  • Osprey
  • Tampa BayWatch
  • Hurricane Pass Anglers Club
  • Campground at Fort De Soto Park
  • The Beach at Caladesi Island
  • Anclote Key
  • The Pinellas Trail
  • Old Salt Fishing Club
  • Treasure Island Charities
  • The Bird Islands
  • Outrigger Outreach
  • Tarpon
  • The wreck of the Sheridan
  • The Pinellas Marine Institute
  • Wakeboarding on Lake Tarpon
  • The Swamp Ape
  • Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish
  • Biking and blading along Bayshore Boulevard
  • Stone crabbing beneath the Sunshine Skyway Bridge
  • White pelicans at McKay Bay
  • Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission's Urban Pond Program
  • Surfing at Upham Beach
  • Spanish mackerel fishing off the Fort DeSoto Twin Piers
  • Wyoming Antelope Club
  • The Center for Marine Conservation Beach Cleanup
  • Sand Key Park
  • The fall kingfish run
  • Tampa Electric's Manatee Viewing Center at Apollo Beach
  • Sheepshead fishing off The Pier
  • Fly fishing off Homosassa
  • Davis Island Yacht Club Thursday Night Series
  • Trolling for grouper
  • The Suncoast Sierra Club
  • American Power Boat Association World Championships in St. Petersburg
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Blue Crabs
  • Riding a beach cruiser
  • The Coquina Key Skate Park
  • Sea kayaking around Honeymoon Island
  • Safe Boating Classes
  • The Strange Man Biathlon
  • Shelling
  • Walking along the beach
  • The Florida Aquarium

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