With just a week left until Memorial Day weekend arrives, a lot of people are making plans to head to the beach. While just about any beach is better than no beach at all, some are definitely better than others. A new report from Dr. Beach reveals his top picks for the best beaches in the country.
Stephen Leatherman, a.k.a. Dr. Beach, is a professor in the Department of Earth & Environment at Florida International University and this is the 33rd year he’s rated the best of America’s 650 public beaches.
- He ranks them based on 50 criteria, with a focus on safety and cleanliness, including whether lifeguards are present, level of development, and crowding.
- Dr. Beach gives bonus points for beaches that ban smoking so there aren’t butts littering the shore.
- Topping his list this year is the state park on St. George Island in the Florida panhandle.
- The park covers about 2-thousand acres on the island and the other part of the island has a small village, restaurants, rental homes and motels, but not much else. And Leatherman likes it that way.
- Without all the development in the state park, the beach’s natural beauty takes the spotlight and he especially likes the “unparalleled view of the night sky for stargazers.”
Dr. Beach's Top 10 U.S. Beaches for 2023
- St. George Island State Park, Florida Panhandle
- Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
- Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York
- Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida
- Lighthouse Beach, Buxton, Outer Banks of North Carolina
- Coronado Beach, San Diego
- Wailea Beach, Maui, Hawaii
- Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina
- Poipu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
- Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts