Siesta Beach


Siesta Beach: with a name like that, it’s easy to imagine a sandy paradise. Fortunately, Siesta Beach is as fantastic as its name implies. In fact, it was ranked #2 on Dr. Beach’s Top 10 Beaches in 2016.

Every year, Dr. Beach, otherwise known as Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, ranks the top beaches in the U.S. using 50 different criteria. These criteria include things such as sand softness, water temperature, rip currents, pests, views and vistas, and more.

This year, Siesta Beach, located on Siesta Key, Florida, was ranked #2 out of 10 of the best beaches in America. What’s more impressive is that it’s not even Siesta Beach’s first time on the list; it was ranked #1 in 2011!

Read on to learn more about Siesta Beach, and reasons why it is ranked as one of the top beaches in the U.S.

Perfect Sand

Siesta Beach is renowned for having some of the finest, whitest sand in the world. As such, it not only attracts a large number of visitors, it also draws people from near and far.

The sand on Siesta Beach is unique in that, unlike most other beaches whose sand is made of pulverized coral, its sand is 99% quartz, making it incredibly reflective and cool underfoot, even on the hottest days.

Siesta Beach’s sand was deemed “the whitest and finest sand in the world” by The Great International Beach Challenge in 1987, “The Best Sand Beach in America” by the Travel Channel in 2004, and “The Best Beach in America” by Dr. Beach himself in 2011.

Clear, Beautiful Water

The blue-green water of Siesta Beach is clean, clear, and warm until about November, giving swimmers the chance to enjoy it through the fall. The waves are rather small too, and usually measured in inches rather than feet. This, along with the fact that the beach gently slopes into the water, makes Siesta a great beach for kids.


Siesta Beach offers beachgoers everything they need to enjoy this sandy paradise for an hour, or the whole day. There are clean bathrooms, showers, picnic tables, snack bars, trees offering shade, and plentiful parking.

Premier Location

Siesta Beach is located on Siesta Key, an eight-mile barrier island on Florida’s Gulf Coast, about an hour south of Tampa. The key also has two other beaches, Crescent Beach and Turtle Beach, both of which are gorgeous. So, visitors to the key have the option of choosing one beach for a day trip, or staying on the key for several days and hitting multiple beaches.

Who is Dr. Beach?

Now that you know a bit about Siesta Beach, let’s turn our attention to the man behind the list.

Dr. Beach, or Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, has been reviewing, evaluating, and rating beaches and coastal areas around the world for over 25 years. He is a professor and Director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University. Dr. Leatherman received his Ph.D. in Environmental (Coastal) Sciences from the University of Virginia, and he has written 16 books and over 200 journal articles.

When Dr. Beach releases his list of Top 10 Beaches every year, beachgoers pay attention.

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