SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Siesta Beach is once again the best beach in the United States.
“Dr. Beach” ranked Siesta Beach as number one for 2017 in his 27th annual Top 10 Beach List. Two other Florida beaches made this year’s list, Grayton Beach State Park in the Florida panhandle was #4 and Caladesi Island State Park in Pinellas County ranked #7.
Siesta Beach first took the #1 spot on Dr. Beach’s annual beaches’ list back in 2011. Siesta Beach is located on Siesta Key in Sarasota County.
“Dr. Beach” is coastal expert Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, who is a professor at Florida International University. Here’s what he has to say about Siesta Beach winning the top slot:
“Siesta Beach boasts that it has the finest, whitest sand in the world, which attracts sand collectors and beach lovers from all over. The clear, clean waters along this gently-sloping beach face make for ideal swimming.
The beach is hundreds of yards wide, attracting fitness fans and volleyball players. Siesta is a year-round beach that is very popular with snowbirds during the winter months. There are lifeguards along this crescent-shaped beach along with full amenities. Recent upgrades include expanded parking, while maintaining the beautiful natural environment, and a free trolley to transport beachgoers.”
Fifty criteria are used to evaluate beaches, which include water and sand quality as well as safety and management.
1. Siesta Beach Sarasota, Florida
2. Kapalua Bay Beach Maui, Hawaii
3. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks of North Carolina
4. Grayton Beach State Park Florida panhandle
5. Coopers Beach Southampton, New York
6. Coast Guard Beach Cape Cod, Massachusetts
7. Caladesi Island State Park Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida
8. Hapuna Beach State Park Big Island, Hawaii
9. Coronado Beach San Diego, California
10. Beachwalker Park Kiawah Island, South Carolina