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Dr. Beach's top 10 beaches of 2017

The sand on Siesta Beach on Florida's Gulf Coast is as fine as powdered sugar, a pure, sparkling white and soft as a kitten's fur — all because it's comprised of 99 percent pure crushed quartz.

For that reason, and many others, it was selected this year as the best beach in America by a professor who's made a career ranking and studying beaches around the United States. "The sand is outstanding," said Stephen Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach, a professor at Miami's Florida International University. "Every time I go there, I've got to take a bag home with me. It's almost sacrilegious to walk on it with shoes on."

Here he ranks the best beaches of 2017 based on factors that include cleanliness, safety and amenities.

10. Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island, S.C.

Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island, S.C., ranked 10th
Photo Credit: Kiawah Island Golf Resort via AP

Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island, S.C., ranked 10th on the 2017 list of top 10 beaches.

9. Coronado Beach in San Diego, Calif.

Coronado Beach in San Diego, Calif., ranked ninth
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi, File

Coronado Beach in San Diego, Calif., ranked ninth on the 2017 list of top 10 beaches.

8. Hapuna Beach State Park, Big Island, Hawaii

Hapuna Beach State Park, Big Island, Hawaii, ranked
Photo Credit: Kirk Lee Aeder/www.kirkaederphoto.com via AP

Hapuna Beach State Park, Big Island, Hawaii, ranked eighth on the 2017 list of top 10 beaches.

7. Caladesi Island State Park in Dunedin/Clearwater

Caladesi Island State Park in Dunedin/Clearwater, ranked seventh
Photo Credit: St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area CVB via AP

Caladesi Island State Park in Dunedin/Clearwater, ranked seventh on the 2017 list of top 10 beaches.

6. Coast Guard Beach on Cape Cod in Mass.

Coast Guard Beach on Cape Cod in Mass.,
Photo Credit: Margo Tabb/Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce via AP

Coast Guard Beach on Cape Cod in Mass., ranked sixth on the 2017 list of top 10 beaches.

5. Coopers Beach in Southampton, N.Y.

Coopers Beach in Southampton, N.Y., ranked fifth on
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Coopers Beach in Southampton, N.Y., ranked fifth on the 2017 list of top 10 beaches.

4. Grayton Beach State Park on the Florida Panhandle

Grayton Beach State Park on the Florida Panhandle,
Photo Credit: David Bailey Photography/Visit South Walton via AP

Grayton Beach State Park on the Florida Panhandle, ranked fourth on the 2017 list of top 10 beaches.

3. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach on the Outer Banks of N.C.

Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach on the Outer Banks of
Photo Credit: Bill Russ/NC Department of Commerce via AP

Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach on the Outer Banks of N.C., ranks third on the 2017 list of top 10 beaches.

2. Kapalua Bay Beach in Maui, Hawaii

Kapalua Bay Beach in Maui, Hawaii, ranks second
Photo Credit: Tor Johnson/Hawaii Tourism Authority via AP

Kapalua Bay Beach in Maui, Hawaii, ranks second on the 2017 list of top 10 beaches.

1. Siesta Key in Sarasota, Fla. Siesta Beach

Siesta Key in Sarasota, Fla. Siesta Beach, ranks
Photo Credit: AP/Chris O'Meara

Siesta Key in Sarasota, Fla. Siesta Beach, ranks first on the 2017 list of top 10 beaches

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