With miles of white sand and turquoise waters perfect for swimming, body boarding and sailing, Hawaii’s Waimanalo Beach Park topped Dr. Beach’s 25th annual top 10 list of U.S. beaches, released Thursday.
There can be strong currents in the quickly deepening waters, so look for the lifeguard tower to swim in protected areas, Dr. Beach says.
Dr. Beach, also known as coastal expert and Florida International University professor Stephen P. Leatherman, issues his annual list on the basis of 50 criteria, including water and sand quality. He’s recently started including beach safety, environmental management and bonus points for no-smoking policies.
Santa Barbara, California’s, East Beach was ranked 10th on the list before reports of an oil spill near Refugio State Park surfaced Tuesday. Refugio is about 25 miles north of East Beach.
Though Hawaii took two of the top 10 spots, Florida won the competition for most beaches listed with four. California, Massachusetts, North Carolina and South Carolina each had one beach in the top 10.
Why isn’t your favorite beach listed? Past winners are retired and listed at www.DrBeach.org, making way for new winners.
1. Waimanalo Beach Park, Oahu, Hawaii
2. Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park, Bonita Springs, Florida
3. St. George Island State Park, Florida
4. Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii
5. Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks, North Carolina
6. Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne, Florida
7. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
8. Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina
9. Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Naples, Florida
10. East Beach, Santa Barbara, California