Siesta Beach in Sarasota was named America's second best beach, with Caladesi Island State Park, near Clearwater, coming in at nine. And, Grayton Beach State Park in Santa Rosa Beach coming in at six.
The Florida International University professor's prestigious annual top ten beach list uses 50 criteria
, including best sand and water quality, environmental management and amenities.
Leaterman says Siesta Key Beach
has "some of the finest, whitest sand in the world attracting sand collectors from all over. Siesta Beach has clear, warm waters ideal for swimming. The beach is hundreds of yards wide in the shape of a crescent, due to the anchoring of onshore ricks to the south. This beach is great for volleyball and other types of recreational fitness."
Dr. Beach's complete top 10 list for 2016:
1. Hanuama Bay Nature Preserve on Oahu, Hawaii
2. Siesta Beach on Siesta Key near Sarasota, Florida
3. Kapalua Bay Beach on Maui, Hawaii
4. Ocracoke on North Carolina's Outer Banks, North Carolina
5. Coast Guard Beach on Cape Cod, Massachusetts
6. Grayton Beach State Park in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida Panhandle
7. Coronado Beach in San Diego, California
8. Coopers Beach in Southampton, New York
9. Caladesi Island State Park near Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida
10. Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
Three Florida beaches made the "2016 Top 10 Beaches" list by coastal science professor Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach.