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Siesta Key named top beach in country by TripAdvisor; 3 of top 4 in Tampa Bay

For the third year in a row, a Florida beach has beaten out the shores of California and Hawaii as the best in the country, according to the 2017 TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards.

And on the Sunshine State's west coast, no less.

Siesta Beach in Sarasota County snagged the No. 1 spot this year, ahead of St. Pete Beach at No. 3 and last year's winner, Clearwater Beach, at No. 4.

Each year TripAdvisor ranks the best beaches in the U.S. based on how often and how high travelers rate the sandy shores over a 12-month period.

The state fared well overall, as seven of the top 10 beaches are in Florida.

Siesta Beach also was named the third-best beach in the world, the only U.S. beach on the list.

So why are our beaches so great?

One vacationer, who traveled from Utah this month, rated St. Pete Beach the full five stars and called it a "sunset paradise."

"St. Pete Beach is beautiful. The most gorgeous sunset I've ever seen. The white sand beach was awesome and clean. Various people flock here from families with children to couples young and old."

Doesn't sound too shabby.

A traveler from Canada wrote similar praises of Clearwater Beach.

"What a gorgeous beach. Sand is so soft, lots of activities, but not overcrowded."

A visitor from Singapore says Siesta Beach is "rustic and simply beautiful with its white sand and colorful accommodations."

In all, 11 Florida beaches made the list — four more than Hawaii.

Contact Samantha Putterman at sputterman@tampabay.com. Follow @samputterman.

The best beaches

1. Siesta Beach, Siesta Key

2. Ka'anapali Beach, Lahaina, Hawaii

3. St. Pete Beach

4. Clearwater Beach

5. Panama City Beach

6. Hollywood Beach

7. Pensacola Beach

8. St. Augustine Beach

9. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Honolulu, Hawaii

10. Ocean City Beach, Ocean City, Maryland

Siesta Key named top beach in country by TripAdvisor; 3 of top 4 in Tampa Bay 02/24/17 [Last modified: Friday, February 24, 2017 9:26am]
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