BEST BEACHES: Top Ten U.S. Shores of 2009 in Pictures

BEST BEACHES: Top Ten U.S. Shores of 2009 in Pictures
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2. Siesta Beach, Sarasota, Florida

With some of the finest, whitest sand in the world, Florida's Siesta Beach (above) came in second among this year's top ten beaches in the U.S., a coastal expert announced on May 22, 2009.

The beach's unpolluted sand and recreational opportunities--including unique underwater formations that attract snorkelers and scuba divers--led Stephen Leatherman, or Dr. Beach, to add Siesta to his annual list.

(Learn what not to bring to the beach in the Green Guide.)

Leatherman judges beaches on 50 criteria, rating each variable on a one-to-five scale, with five being the highest. He takes off points for exotic plants, overcrowding, and too much development near the shoreline, among other factors.

— Photograph courtesy David McRee
 
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