Here Are the Best Beaches in the US

From Hawaii to Cape Cod, America's choice shorelines await you
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2021 7:30 AM CDT
'Dr. Beach' Offers His Top 10 US Picks
Where will you get your sun, sand, and surf this summer?   (Getty Images/Jaimie Tuchman)

It's the time of year when "Dr. Beach"—aka geoscientist and coastal ecologist Stephen P. Leatherman—makes his picks for America's best beaches, and 2021's list marks an important milestone: It's the ranking's 30th anniversary, per Forbes. Leatherman notes that, due to the pandemic, he wasn't able to visit as many of the nation's shorelines as usual, but he recruited a team of "beach managers" to help him make his picks. "They keep me informed and are experts themselves," he says. The good doctor made this year's selections using dozens of criteria, including everything from the local weather and beach conditions (e.g., sand softness, water temperature, algae levels) to wildlife, noise, and amenities. Celebrate the unofficial kickoff of summer this weekend with a look at the beaches that made Leatherman's top 10:

  1. Hapuna Beach State Park (Big Island, Hawaii)
  2. Coopers Beach (Southampton, NY)
  3. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach (Outer Banks, NC)
  4. St. George Island State Park (St. George Island, Fla.)
  5. Old Lighthouse Beach (Buxton/Outer Banks, NC)
  6. Duke Kahanamoku Beach (Oahu, Hawaii)
  7. Caladesi Island State Park (Caladesi Island, Fla.)
  8. Coronado Beach (San Diego)
  9. Beachwalker Park (Kiawah Island, SC)
  10. Coast Guard Beach (Cape Cod, Mass.)

Read more about Dr. Beach's 30 years in the biz here. (This year's list didn't differ much from last year's.)

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