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Detroit Free Press

Ranked No. 1 nationally in 2008, Florida's Caladesi Beach's beginning to draw raves and tourists

Ranked No. 1 nationally in 2008, Florida's Caladesi Beach's beginning to draw raves and tourists

Caladesi beach is a secret getaway in Florida, an undiscovered gem.

That's what I wanted to tell you, but honestly, I can't.

Why? The secret's out. Way out.

Since Caladesi Island State Park beach near Tampa/St. Petersburg was named the best beach in the United States several months ago, the hordes have descended.

"The first month, oh, man, it was insane," says park ranger Carl Calhoun, who hasn't seen anything like it in 25 years of working on the island. "It used to be slightly remote. Then, bam! People everywhere. Our phone was ringing off the hook. It started to look like Ft. Lauderdale Beach."

The hoopla started last May when the...

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