Dr. Beach names Florida's Siesta Beach best beach in US


"The sand (at Siesta Beach) is outstanding", said Stephen Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach, a professor at Miami's Florida International University who's made a career ranking and studying beaches around the United States.

The sand on Siesta Beach on Florida's Gulf Coast - fine as powdered sugar, a pure, sparkling white and soft as a kitten's fur comprised of 99 percent pure crushed quartz - beat out Kapalua Bay Beach on Maui as the best beach in America.

On his website, he called the shoreline "a ideal beach for swimming and snorkeling in the clear, azure waters that are protected by two headlands formed long ago by lava flows into the sea".

Leatherman, a coastal geologist, uses 50 categories to develop a ranking of the top beaches in the nation.

"It is an honor for Siesta Beach to receive this recognition for a second time", says Virginia J. Haley, president of Visit Sarasota County, the community's tourism promotions agency. "These include additional free parking spaces, a playground, extended picnic areas and more". "The beach is hundreds of yards wide in the shape of a crescent due to anchoring of onshore rocks to the south".

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Beaches are chosen for their beach safety, environmental protection and extra points are awarded for laws against smoking on the beach.

Siesta Key is getting national attention from another direction, even as Dr. Beach releases his list: MTV and its vast audience. Kapalua Bay Beach is a prime location for snorkeling.

Camera crews are filming a new reality TV show about wealthy local college students home for the summer.

This May 18, 2017 photo shows Siesta Beach on Siesta Key in Sarasota, Fla.

A couple enjoy the beach.