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"St. Pete Beach Wins #1 U.S. Beach Destination"

St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (March 7, 2012) - This morning TripAdvisor®, the world's leading authority on travel planning information, named St. Pete Beach the #1 beach destination in the United States and the #5 beach destination in the world. Based on the reviews of millions of travelers, the Travelers' Choice® Award is the highest honor any beach destination can receive from the TripAdvisor community. 

"Once again, the St. Pete/Clearwater area receives top honors from the most important critics in hospitality - our visitors," said DT Minich, Executive Director of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater. "We are committed to providing our visitors with the best possible vacation experience and are proud that they consider our beaches among the best in the world." 

St. Pete Beach is one of a string of spectacular white sand beaches that make up the 35 miles of St. Pete/Clearwater coastline along theGulf of Mexico.

Today's TripAdvisor announcement adds to a series of accolades the area has received in recent years.   Fort De Soto Park, on the southern end of the St. Pete/Clearwater peninsula, received TripAdvisor recognition in 2009 and 2010, and in 2011 it was namedAmerica'sBestFamilyBeachby Parents magazine.  Dr. Stephen Leatherman, aka, Dr. Beach namedFortDe Sototop beach in 2005, andCaladesiIslandthe nation's best in 2008.  

With an average of 361 days of sunshine each year, the St. Pete/Clearwater area is America's top beach destination on the Gulf of Mexico, hosting more than 5 million overnight visitors every year!

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