Beach lovers, rejoice! Florida International University professor Steven Leatherman has finally confirmed the secret that so many of our Sarasota residents have already known: Siesta Beach has been named the #1 Beach in the United States in the annual 2011 “Dr. Beach” survey.
Siesta Beach, which is located on over 40 acres of the Siesta Key barrier island, has been the runner-up in Leatherman’s rankings the past two years and was third in 2008, according to cbsnews.com, which praised Siesta Beach’s “pristine conditions,” complete with “almost pure quartz crystal, brilliant-white sand” and “”warm, emerald waters.” The sand is cooling on your feet even during the hottest of summer heat waves, and has been recognized as being the whitest sand in the world since 1987.
For Sarasota residents, such recognition contributes to an already-spectacular reputation that the Sarasota area has earned. The same reputation has drawn beach-combers and vacation lovers from across the country. Now, more than ever, the beaches of Siesta Key, Longboat Key, and the Sarasota area provide a relaxing getaway for anyone who may be looking for a place to toss some crystal-white sand through their toes, as well as for those who may be looking for a piece of valuable Siesta Key real estate.
If you are planning a relaxing day at Siesta Beach, plan to arrive early! According to their website, most of the 800 parking spaces fill up rather quickly. Walking, bike-riding, skating, or carpooling are great, earth-friendly alternative methods for visiting Siesta Beach—made all the nicer by the gentle ocean breezes. The beach includes amenities such as; picnic tables; a 20-station fitness trail; beach volleyball; restrooms; and tennis courts. It is handicap-accessible, and lifeguards are on duty year-round for the safety of swimmers and sunbathers.