Last year's No. 1 spot in the U.S. still ranked second by TripAdvisor.
National champions no more.
Siesta Beach, which rose to the top of Dr. Beach’s Top 10 Beaches in 2017 – to the excitement (and dismay) of some in Sarasota County last year – failed to make the list in 2018.
In fact, the only two Florida beaches on the list were Caladesi Island, which is near Dunedin, at number 7 and Grayton Beach State Park, in the panhandle, at number 3.
Dr. Beach, aka Stephen Leatherman, a coastal science professor at Miami’s Florida International University, has been ranking beaches since 1991. He says he uses 50 criteria to rank beaches.
Siesta Beach first topped the list in 2011 and came in second in 2016. 2017’s top spot was helped by a 2016 beach improvement project that cost $21.5 million, tourism officials said.
Residents, however, grumbled last year at the Dr. Beach ranking, saying too much attention was contributing to traffic, noise and crowds.
Trip Advisor ranked Siesta Beach No. 2 in the country earlier this year behind Clearwater Beach, based on user reviews.