Delnor-Wiggins and Barefoot Named Top Beaches for 2014
Popular destinations Barefoot Beach and Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park are two of the area’s most popular beaches in Collier County, Florida. They are hailed on an annual list of “Top 10 Best Beaches in America for 2014” by coastal expert Dr. Beach (also known as Stephen Leatherman). The beaches rank #2 and #10, respectively. Dr. Beach evaluated 50 criteria, including water and sand quality, cleanliness, safety, environmental management and amenities.
For the third time since 2006, Barefoot Beach has been recognized for its pristine stretch of beach and sand dunes covering 8,200 feet, and is one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on Florida’s Southwest coast. Dr. Beach praises its shallow water and gentle surf. Barefoot Beach’s 342 acres of natural land provides nesting sites for sea turtles and tortoises. Barefoot Beach is 12 miles north of downtown Naples and accessible through Bonita Springs. It is known for its fishermen, tidal creeks, mangrove swamps, numerous educational programs by Park Rangers, guided walks through the preserves and 1-mile nature trails.
This is Delnor-Wiggins’ first time cracking the Top 10, although the unspoiled beach makes a regular showing on Dr. Beach’s list of America’s Top 20 Best Beaches. Delnor-Wiggins is a 160+ acre state park celebrated for its sea oats, sand dunes, fine white sand dusted with seashells and beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Beach gives kudos to the park’s observation tower, and conveniences like outside showers, clean bathrooms and changing stalls. Visitors here snorkel in the reef, swim, sunbathe, hike, bird-watch, fish, picnic and gather seashells. It’s a popular place for boaters, fishermen, kayakers, and scuba divers.