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Water-Related News

Siesta Beach tops Dr. Beach's rankings of best locations in America

Three beaches in Florida made it on a highly coveted list of the top 10 in America this year, ranked by Dr. Stephen Leatherman, a.k.a. "Dr. Beach."

Siesta Beach in Sarasota took the No. 1 spot while Caladesi Island State Park in Pinellas County landed at No. 7. Grayton Beach State Park in the Panhandle came in at No 4.

Siesta Beach, won the top spot for the second time for its "finest, whitest sand in the world," and its "clear, clean waters along this gently-sloping beach-face" which make it ideal for swimming, according to a press release.

As "Dr. Beach," Leatherman has selected the top 10 beaches every year since 1991. Leatherman, a geoscientist and coastal ecologist at Florida International University, evaluates each beach on more than 50 criteria, including water, sand quality, safety and management. Leatherman's list is internationally known and among the most prestigious awards a beach destination can win, tourism officials say.

Once a beach or destination is ranked No. 1 on Dr. Beach's top lists, it couldn't win it again until Leatherman changed the rules last year. Fort De Soto was No. 1 in 2005. Caladesi Island State Park was named the No. 1 in 2008.