Barefoot Beach-General

Two Collier County beaches have been recognized as being among the best in the U.S..

Barefoot Beach ranked second and Delnor Wiggins Pass State Park Beach 10th in the annual list of the country’s best beaches released by Dr. Beach, aka Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, the Director of Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research. The 2014 list marks the 24th consecutive year that Leatherman has ranked U.S. beaches.

The overall winner in this year is Kahanamoku Beach Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii, which placed No. 2 in 2013.  Barefoot Beach, which begins at the Collier-Lee County line and adjoins Bonita Beach, jumped from number 6 last year to second on this year’s survey.

In comments on Barefoot Beach, Leatherman said “The surf is gentle with waves generally being measured in inches, and the water is very shallow, making this a great beach for bathing and swimming for families,” and he added,  “The sand is fine and contains many small shells.”

Leatherman uses 50 criteria to evaluate the beaches including water and sand quality, but also safety and environmental management.

Here is the complete 2014 list:

1. Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii

2. Barefoot Beach Bonita Springs, Florida

3. St. George Island State Park Florida panhandle

4. Waimanalo Bay Beach Park Oahu, Hawaii

5. Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii

6. Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks of North Carolina

7. Cape Florida State Park Key Biscayne, Florida

8. Coast Guard Beach Cape Cod, Massachusetts

9. Beachwalker Park Kiawah Island, South Carolina

10. Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Naples, Florida