Siesta Beach Florida named best beach in the U.S. for 2015 : TripAdvisor

Siesta Beach Florida named best beach in the U.S. for 2015 : TripAdvisor

Siesta Key snagged the No. 1 spot on Trip Advisor’s best beach rankings in the United States and the 14th spot for world beaches Wednesday, and several other Florida beaches made the top 25 nationally.

County commissioners, administration and staff joined the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce and Visit Sarasota County at the Siesta Key Pavilion this morning to learn the news. Melissa Surane, TripAdvisor’s Florida representative, presented the award to County Administrator Top Harmer. He was joined by Commissioner Alan Maio and and Carolyn Brown, Director of Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources, to receive it.

Brian Wigelsworth, founder of the Siesta Key Crystal Classic Master Sand Sculpting Competition, designed a sandy version of TripAdvisor’s award. He started Tuesday afternoon at 1 p.m. and worked on the sculpture until 8 p.m. He wanted to make a big sculpture out on the beach, but Tuesday night’s rain prevented a large-scale sculpture.
“It’s because of the visitors and their experience when they came here,” Harmer said in reference to how Siesta won.

Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota County, echoed Harmer’s statement, saying that this was an award that Siesta won on its own, without being nominated or promoted.

“It’s a great tribute to the businesses on the Key and county staff… our beach ambassadors are a big thing,” she said. “It’s wonderful.”
Haley thinks the beach ambassadors, who man a kiosk at the pavilion to help direct people and inform them about the beach, played a big part on visitors’ positive experiences.

Alana Tomasso, chairwoman of the board of directors for the Chamber, said everyone on Siesta Key knows how special it is, but that the honor in the award rested in the visitors’ reviews.

“It’s visitors going home and talking to people about their experience on our island,” Tomasso said.