Florida’s Siesta beach has been named as the best beach in the United States by Stephen Leatherman, a professor at Florida International University in Miami. Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach, has been rating beaches in the U.S. on the basis of various merits since 1991. He has now made a career for himself by studying and ranking beaches in and around the United States.

Siesta is the best beach: here’s why

Florida’s Siesta grabbed the numero uno position thanks to its finely-powdered sparkling white sand, which besides being soft also contained 99 percent pure crushed quartz.

However, this was not the only reason why the beach was given the title.

Siesta is located on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico. If one takes the southwest path from downtown Sarasota he or she will reach the beautiful beach. The waves are not violent and are serene on most days. Leatherman says that the water is so gentle and shallow and is perfectly safe for swimming with no sudden drop-offs. One can even measure the waves in the placid waters “in inches.”

Additionally, the beach also offers loads of parking space along with a trolley service that takes the visitors to and from the island’s downtown area. The beach is also has plenty of lifeguards in case a swimmer goes down. Apart from these, it also features natural sand suns, which are a rare sight on any Floridian beach.

The finely-textured sand excellently serves the purpose of building sand castles.

Leatherman says that while ranking beaches, the first thing he looks for is “a balance between nature and developed environment.” Leatherman who hails from Miami, a place with as many beaches as Florida, says that the beaches in his home state are too crowded with visitors all the time.

The Siesta, on the other hand, is about 200 feet to 300 feet wide in some places, giving the visitors ample space to lie down and stretch. Thus, even on a packed day, it does not feel too crowded.

Which are the other good spots?

Kapalua Bay beach in Maui, Hawaii, ranked second and Ocracoke Lifeguarded beach on the Outer Banks of North Carolina bagged the third position in the competition.

Apart from these two, Grayton Beach State Park situated on the Florida Panhandle, Coopers in Southampton, New York, and Coast Guard beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, came fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively. The Kapalua Bay beach in Hawaii, that came second is smaller in size compared to the Siesta Beach. The beach is crescent in shape and is covered by palm trees. The Kapalua beach has serene waters perfect for safe swimming and corals just a short distance from the beach.