USA Today Names Clearwater Beach Best in Florida

Clearwater Beats Florida Faves in Media Giant's Online Poll

Friday, January 25, 2013

St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (January 25, 2013) - USA Today, the most widely read newspaper in America, today named Clearwater Beach the "Best Beach Town in Florida."

The distinction caps an online poll that Gannett's flagship daily, which has a readership of more than 3-million, launched in January to determine Florida's best beach.

Of the more than 30,000 votes cast, Clearwater Beach received more than 25 percent, making it "the clear winner," according to the USA Today announcement.

Clearwater Beach beat out nine other popular Florida beach destinations, including Siesta Key, Sanibel Island and Miami's South Beach.

The online poll, which allowed voters to either tweet or cast their vote on USAToday.com, resonated with Clearwater Beach fans, who propelled their favorite into first place while setting new records on VSPC's social media outreaches in the process. More than 140,000 viewed the poll announcement on VSPC's Facebook page, generating some 8,000 likes and 1,600 shares, making it the single-most viewed post ever.

"We are grateful to have such dedicated fans of the area, who not only voted, but shared it with others around the world," said David Downing, VSPC Deputy Director.

The 10 Florida destinations competing were chosen by "Dr. Beach"---Florida International University professor and coastal expert Stephen P. Leatherman, who named both Fort De Soto and Caladesi Island #1 on his Best Beaches list in years past. 

Clearwater Beach will be featured in USA Today on February 16, giving the award-winning beach even greater national exposure. This accolade continues the trend for America's Best Beaches, including St. Pete Beach being named Trip Advisor's #1 Beach in America just last year.

VSPC is the destination marketing organization for Pinellas County, Florida.

For more information: www.VisitStPeteClearwater.com

Contact: Deputy Director, David Downing: David@VisitSPC.com

Phone: 727-464-7200