Local beach No. 2 on 'Dr. Beach' best-beach list
Siesta Key’s beaches have reached the No. 2 spot on the best beaches in the world rankings.
But sadly, for some, Anna Maria Island is nowhere on the list.
Coastal expert Dr. Stephen Leatherman aka “Dr. Beach,” announced his annual Top 10 Beaches just before Memorial Day. Sarasota’s Siesta Beach came in at the No. 2 spot and Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne was ranked No. 8.
Siesta Beach continues to make its way up Dr. Beach’s list after being ranked No. 3 in 2008 and No. 10 in 2007. Cape Florida State Park is up one spot from No. 9 in 2008.
“Known for its 99 percent pure quartz sand and easy-going atmosphere, Siesta Beach provides beachgoers with a variety of activities and amenities,” according to VisitFlorida, the state’s official spinner of good news.
The group adds that Siesta has “tennis and volleyball courts, shaded playground and picnic area and convenient concession stands. Gentle waves and shallow water near the shoreline, along with year-round lifeguard protection, make Siesta Beach a perfect family beach destination.”
Leatherman, director of Florida International University’s laboratory for coastal research, has made a Memorial Day weekend tradition of unveiling his list of America’s finest strands of sand and surf since 1991.
His list for 2009 is: Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii: Siesta Beach, Sarasota; Coopers Beach, Southampton, N.Y.; Coronado Beach, San Diego, Calif.; Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii; Main Beach, East Hampton, N.Y.; Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks of North Carolina; Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne; Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Mass.; and Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, S.C.
Leatherman has some 50 criteria he uses to pick the best of the best in beaches.
“Dr. Beach” seems to like Southwest Florida’s beaches. He’s picked the shore of Fort DeSoto and Honeymoon Island, both to our north in Pinellas County, as best beaches in previous years.