Those who live and vacation in Sarasota, Fla., have long recognized Siesta Beach as a natural treasure. Today, the rest of the world was let in on the secret when Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, aka "Dr. Beach," named Siesta Beach "America's Best Beach" as part of his annual list of America's top 10 beaches.
Siesta Beach, located on Siesta Key, an eight-mile-long, crescent-shaped barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, is known for its powdery white sand, which is comprised of 99 percent pure quartz and stays relatively cool, no matter how high the temperature rises. Siesta Beach also attracts visitors and locals with its clear blue water; a laid-back ambiance; a wide array of bars, restaurants and shops; and accommodations ranging from casual to luxurious.
Dr. Leatherman, Director of Florida International University's Laboratory for Coastal Research, has selected the Top 10 Beaches annually since 1991. Fifty criteria are used to evaluate beaches, including water and sand quality as well as safety and environmental management. According to his website, "His annual list of America's Top 10 Beaches is to the travel and tourism industry what the Oscar is to the movie industry."
Congratulations again to Siesta Beach!