Dr. Beach is actually a Florida International University professor named Stephen Leatherman who has been compiling his lists, based on 50 criteria since 1991. The lists are released every Memorial day to kick off the summer and let you know where you should plan on visiting. Once a beach is named number one it is retired and cannot win again. Here’s to hoping one of these awesome beaches is nearby and if not, now you know where to go.
10) Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Also known as a haven for the golf crowd, now there is another reason to visit Kiawah Island.
9) Caladesi Island State Park Dunedin / Clearwater, Florida
Caladesi was ranked number one in 2008 but continues to make the list. Nearby Clearwater has been known to live up to its name for years with crystal clear water and a fine sugary beach. This area is packed with fine beaches to visit.
8) Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York
Though the Northern, East-coast beaches aren’t known for their year-round enjoyment, the summers around here are spectacular.
7) Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
With the climate in Southern California, this beach is a year-round attraction.
6) Grayton Beach State Park, Florida Panhandle
The panhandle beaches have long been known for their fine white, sugary sand; definitely some of the best in the world.
5) Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Here is another northern Beach that rocks in the summer but is a little less crowded in the wintertime.
4) Ocracoke Lifeguard Beach, Outer Banks, North Carolina
This beach is just north of Ocracoke Village on Ocracoke Island, 26 miles off the Carolina Coast. It was named as the number 1 beach by Dr. Beach in 2007.
3) Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii
Kapalua Bay is a beautiful, sheltered, white sand beach located on the north side of Maui. The beach itself is protected by two reefs that extend out forming a c-shaped cove that is as ideal for snorkeling as sunbathing.
2) Siesta Beach, Sarasota Florida
A number one winner in 2011, this beach can’t be named number one again according to Dr. Beach’s criteria so number two will do.
1) Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Oahu, Hawaii
Hawaii seems to rank up there every year and for good reason. Hanauma Bay is a marine life conservation area that requires all first time visitors to watch an informational video about preservation and conservation as well as the safety rules for the bay. It is illegal to walk on the coral reefs, as it should be everywhere. It is also against the law to mistreat any marine life in the bay; as it should be everywhere.