By C. Ron Allen
Delray Beach already has bragging rights as “Most Fun Small Town in the United States” and “Playful City USA.”
But this lively beach town, which twice was named All-America City has a chance for more kudos: the title of Florida’s best beach town.
As thousands of snowbirds headed south to the Sunshine State for a dose of winter warmth , USA Today staff travel writer Laura Bly asked “Dr. Beach” – aka Florida International University professor and coastal expert Stephen P. Leatherman – for 10 Florida destinations that combine sand, surf and a welcoming sense of community. He routinely rates and ranks the state’s top beaches.
Delray Beach claimed a spot among his choices.
“A “surprising find” in South Florida, with a “walkable downtown,” locally owned shops and a lively bar scene,” he said.
That, naturally, led to a question — Which one is the best? — and the newspaper fashioned a survey asking readers to chime in online or via Twitter on their favorite among the “10 best Florida beach towns.”
Bly will visit the winning destination and write a travel story about it.
The other beaches include Cocoa Beach, Key West and Siesta Key. The beaches were listed alphabetically, leaving Delray Beach the third spot in the poll.
Delray Beach faces some formidable competition in the survey. The other beach towns, in alphabetical order, are: Clearwater Beach; Cocoa Beach; Key West; New Smyrna Beach; Pensacola; Sanibel Island, Seaside, Siesta Key: and South Beach (Miami).