Siesta Beach (again) named top beach in U.S., could draw more visitors to region

Siesta Beach (again) named top beach in U.S., could draw more visitors to region

Thursday, May 25, 2017

World-renowned Siesta Beach has been named the No. 1 Beach in America — for the second time — by coastal science expert Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, aka "Dr. Beach."

According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Siesta's previous number-one ranking, in 2011, "likely drew thousands of tourists to the region who otherwise might not have visited Sarasota County and the broader region." 

For 27 years, Leatherman has selected the Top 10 Beaches in America, using 50 criteria to evaluate beaches, from water and sand quality to safety and management. He is a professor and the director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University.

Reacting to the May 25 release of the 2017 list, Visit Sarasota County President Virginia Haley told the Herald-Tribune, "The investments by Sarasota County to improve amenities offered at the beach have paid off with this No. 1 ranking." Haley noted that since Siesta last earned the top spot, the county has pumped more than $21 million into renovation of the beach's amenities. 

Last year, Siesta Beach was ranked second in the country by Dr. Beach.

To learn more about environmental data and trends in Sarasota County and its surrounding counties, visit the Environment section of Gulf Coast Community Indicators.