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

Tourists take in the sunset off Clearwater Beach. The beach was one of seven Florida beaches that ranked in the top 10 of TripAdvisor's best beaches in the country. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]
Tourists take in the sunset off Clearwater Beach. The beach was one of seven Florida beaches that ranked in the top 10 of TripAdvisor's best beaches in the country. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]
Published Feb. 24, 2017

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.

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