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Siesta Beach crowned the No. 1 Beach in America for second time

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SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - For the second time in seven years, Siesta Beach has been awarded the title of No. 1 Beach in America.

The beach, known for its long stretches of soft white sand, previously won the title from Stephen "Dr. Beach" Leatherman in 2011. The distinction drew thousands of additional tourists to Sarasota County.

“It is an honor for Siesta Beach to receive this recognition for a second time,” says Virginia J. Haley, president of Visit Sarasota County, the community’s tourism promotions agency.

“The investments by Sarasota County to improve the amenities offered at the beach have paid off with this No. 1 ranking. Since holding the number one spot in 2011, Sarasota County invested more than $21 million to renovate the amenities offered at the beach. These include additional free parking spaces, a playground, extended picnic areas and more."

Leatherman chooses beaches based on their safety and environmental protection. Extra points are awarded for laws against smoking on the beach.

Last year, Siesta came in second place on the list.