Playalinda isn't the most well-known beach in Florida.

But it finished near the top of a just-concluded USA Today online survey that asked readers to pick the best beach in Florida. Playalinda, near Titusville, ranked fourth among 20 beaches in the survey — and first among Atlantic Coast beaches.

In a separate USA Today online survey, Cocoa Beach ranked third among 20 choices for the best spring break beach destination, in competition that included beaches in the United States, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico and Puerto Rico. It also was first among the six Florida entries, the others being Daytona Beach, Naples, Palm Beach, Panama City Beach and South Beach/Miami.

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"I think it's great news," said Eric Garvey, executive director of the Space Coast Office of Tourism. "It's reflective of the attractive destinations we have."

The online voting, over four weeks, was part of an ongoing USA Today "10 Best" series of reader polls.


Contact Berman at 321-242-3649 and Follow him on Twitter @ByDaveBerman and on Facebook at /dave.berman.54

Top five lists

Best spring break beach destination

1. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

2. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

3. Cocoa Beach

4. Atlantic Beach, North Carolina

5. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Best Florida beach

1. Gulf Islands National Seashore, Pensacola

2. Clearwater Beach, Clearwater

3. Siesta Beach, Siesta Key

4. Playalinda, Titusville

5. Pass-a-Grille Beach, St. Petersburg

Source: USA Today 10 Best Readers' Choice Travel Awards

The pitch

Here is how Cocoa Beach and Playalinda Beach were described in the USA Today online competition:

Cocoa Beach: Located on Florida's Space Coast, Cocoa Beach offers a spring break scene for any type of traveler. College revelers blow off midsemester steam along the beach (alcohol is allowed, glass is not) near the pier and Coconuts, while families can set up their beach towels along quieter stretches of sand slightly farther afield. Outdoor adventures, including wind and water sports, abound, so there's always something to do.

Playalinda: The most easily accessible beach along the Space Coast's undeveloped Canaveral National Seashore, it nonetheless requires a drive through the wildlife refuge and gorgeous sand dunes that buffer the NASA space complex to the south, which you can see in the distance. A number of parking lots accommodate sun buffs, surfers and nature lovers. Bathrooms are the only facilities.

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