Whenever we feel gloomy about the state of the world, a trip to the beach is the perfect soul medicine. The salty air, the sound of the waves, building the occasional sandcastle — it doesn't get much more peaceful and therapeutic than that. And if you're hankering for a beach vacation but aren't sure where to go, Dr. Beach has got you covered.
OK, that's not his real name — but Florida International University professor Stephen P. Leatherman is a bonafide expert on the subject. For the past 26 years, he has ranked U.S. coastlines based on 50 criteria, including water temperature, sand quality, and upkeep of the natural environment. The 2017 winner is (*drum roll please*) Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Florida.
Siesta is the only beach to grab the number one spot twice — it previously claimed top honors in 2015. It was up against some stiff competition. After all, it's no secret that the shorelines in Hawaii and California are the stuff of dreams (and picture-perfect Instagram posts, of course).
The fine, white sand at Siesta Beach, in addition to a recent $21 million makeover, made it a natural choice for the coveted honor of "Best Beach."
Of course, nine other beautiful shorelines were recognized by Dr. Beach. Beachwalker Park in South Carolina, Coronado Beach in California, Hapuna Beach State Park in Hawaii, Caladesi Island State Park in Florida, Coast Guard Beach in Massachusetts, Coopers Beach in New York, Grayton Beach State Park in Florida, Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach in North Carolina, and Kapalua Bay Beach, Hawaii rounded out the top ten.