Lonely Planet Writer

Siesta Key beach in Florida is Dr Beach's best beach in the US

It’s a thing of beauty, so locals won’t be surprised that Siesta Key beach in Florida has come first in the 27th annual Top 10 Beach List produced by coastal expert Dr Beach. Dr Beach, aka Dr Stephen P. Leatherman, professor at Florida International University, has selected his list of the best beaches in the US every year since 1991.

Siesta Key, Florida, came first in Dr Beach's top 10 best beaches in America. Image: Dr Beach
Siesta Key, Florida, came first in Dr Beach’s top 10 best beaches in America. Image: Dr Beach

He uses 50 criteria to evaluate the beaches, which include water and sand quality as well as safety and management. More emphasis is being placed on environmental management and beach safety, and bonus points are awarded for prohibition of smoking on beaches.

Siesta Key, Florida, came first in Dr Beach's top 10 best beaches in America. Image: Dr Beach
Siesta Key, Florida, came first in Dr Beach’s top 10 best beaches in America. Image: Dr Beach

The crescent-shaped Siesta Key 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, and there are lifeguards all along it.

Caldesi Island came 7th in Dr Beach's top 10 best beaches in America. Image: Dr Beach
Caldesi Island came seventh in Dr Beach’s top 10 best beaches in America. Image: Dr Beach

Siesta is a year-round beach that is very popular with snowbirds during the winter months. Recent upgrades include expanded parking and a free trolley to transport beach-goers. Dr Leatherman is an internationally known coastal scientist who has published 20 books and hundreds of scientific articles and reports about storm impacts, coastal erosion and ways to improve beach health and safety.

Dr Beach’s Top Ten Best Beaches

1. Siesta Beach, Sarasota, Florida
2. Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii
3. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, North Carolina
4. Grayton Beach State Park, Florida
5. Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York
6. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
7. Caladesi Island State Park, Florida
8. Hapuna Beach State Park, Big Island, Hawaii
9. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
10. Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina

See the Dr Beach website for further information.