Dr. Beach Reveals Top 10 US Beaches for 2019

Where to Find the Best Views in These 25 Capital Cities
In this May 15, 2019, photo, people stand near the ocean at Kailua Beach Park in Kailua, Hawaii. In Kailua, the sand is soft and white, the water is clear and calm, and the view is exactly what you might expect from a beach in the Hawaiian Islands. Those are among the reasons the beach has been selected as the best stretch of sand on an annual list of top U.S. beaches. Stephen Leatherman, a coastal scientist and professor at Florida International University, has been drafting the list under the alias "Dr. Beach" since 1991. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
Slide 1 of 11: Coastal expert Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, better known as "Dr. Beach," has revealed his top 10 list of the best beaches in the U.S. for 2019 just in time for summer. The Florida International University professor has been at it since 1991, evaluating the nation's beaches on as many as fifty criteria, including water and sand quality in addition to other important factors like safety and management. Here are the best seashores to check out this year.
Slide 2 of 11: Located less than an hour from Charleston, Kiawah's Beachwalker Park offers visitors the only public beach access on the island. Beachgoers here will enjoy river and ocean views as well as a number of amenities, including a picnic area with grills, boardwalk, restrooms, snack bar and umbrella and chair rentals. Plus, the park is dog-friendly.
Slide 3 of 11: This 1.5-mile sandy stretch in San Diego has been crowned the top beach in America by Dr. Beach in the past so it's certainly no surprise it's back in the top 10 in 2019. Boasting lifeguards, restrooms and even beach accessible wheelchairs for disabled visitors, it's got everything to ensure you and your family have the perfect beach day.
Slide 4 of 11: The Hawaiian Islands dominate this year's list with three entries in the top 10, including Hapuna Beach State Park on the Big Island. This expansive white-sand beach on the Kohala Coast features plentiful parking for visitors in addition to food vendors, bathrooms and showers. Its calm conditions are ideal for swimming, bodyboarding and even snorkeling.
Slide 5 of 11: A pristine slice of paradise on Florida's Gulf Coast not far from Clearwater and Dunedin, Caladesi Island State Park is only accessible by boat but ferry service makes it possible for just about anyone to get here. Its secluded vibe is unmatched in the Sunshine State so take your time on a scenic nature walk or a relaxing kayak excursion.
Slide 6 of 11: Cape Cod's Coast Guard Beach is a popular spot for swimming, bodyboarding, sunbathing and so much more during the summer months. "The picturesque old Coast Guard station still sits atop the glacial bluffs, allowing for a spectacular view down upon the Nauset Spit barrier system and bay," Dr. Beach told CBS Boston. "During the summer, beach-goers take quick, refreshing dips in the ocean as water temperatures only reach 60-70 degrees."
Slide 7 of 11: Named after the renowned Hawaiian surfer, Oahu's Duke Kahanamoku Beach is the widest stretch of Waikiki Beach. It was named the second-best beach in America by Dr. Beach as recently as 2012.
Slide 8 of 11: Long Island's Coopers Beach is located just two hours outside of New York City in The Hamptons. Summertime visitors to this spot will find plenty of gorgeous white sand in addition to stellar views of historic mansions.
Slide 9 of 11: Grayton Beach State Park is located on the Florida Panhandle along the Emerald Coast. The 2,000-acre park is the perfect place to explore pristine beaches and participate in an array of outdoor activities, from hiking and biking to fishing and birding.
Slide 10 of 11: Visitors to North Carolina's Outer Banks this summer will have even more incentive to experience Ocracoke as Dr. Beach has named it the second-best beach in America for 2019. The nearby Ocracoke Lighthouse dating back to 1823 is another top attraction for visitors to this coastal village.
Slide 11 of 11: This year's winner is Hawaii's Kailua Beach, an inviting and serene white-sand beach with calm waves that make it ideal for activities like swimming and kayaking. "I love Waikiki Beach. No question about that—a world-famous beach—but Kailua is a lot smaller and quieter," Leatherman told the AP. "It’s so much more peaceful. You don’t have big high-rises and all that. Kailua is on the other side of the mountains. It’s like a different world."

Dr. Beach’s Top Coastlines

Coastal expert Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, better known as “Dr. Beach,” has revealed his top 10 list of the best beaches in the U.S. for 2019 just in time for summer. The Florida International University professor has been at it since 1991, evaluating the nation’s beaches on as many as fifty criteria, including water and sand quality in addition to other important factors like safety and management. Here are the best seashores to check out this year.

10. Kiawah Beachwalker Park, South Carolina

Located less than an hour from Charleston, Kiawah’s Beachwalker Park offers visitors the only public beach access on the island. Beachgoers here will enjoy river and ocean views as well as a number of amenities, including a picnic area with grills, boardwalk, restrooms, snack bar and umbrella and chair rentals. Plus, the park is dog-friendly.

9. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California

This 1.5-mile sandy stretch in San Diego has been crowned the top beach in America by Dr. Beach in the past so it’s certainly no surprise it’s back in the top 10 in 2019. Boasting lifeguards, restrooms and even beach accessible wheelchairs for disabled visitors, it’s got everything to ensure you and your family have the perfect beach day.

8. Hapuna Beach State Park, Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands dominate this year’s list with three entries in the top 10, including Hapuna Beach State Park on the Big Island. This expansive white-sand beach on the Kohala Coast features plentiful parking for visitors in addition to food vendors, bathrooms and showers. Its calm conditions are ideal for swimming, bodyboarding and even snorkeling.

7. Caladesi Island State Park, Florida

A pristine slice of paradise on Florida’s Gulf Coast not far from Clearwater and Dunedin, Caladesi Island State Park is only accessible by boat but ferry service makes it possible for just about anyone to get here. Its secluded vibe is unmatched in the Sunshine State so take your time on a scenic nature walk or a relaxing kayak excursion.

6. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Cape Cod’s Coast Guard Beach is a popular spot for swimming, bodyboarding, sunbathing and so much more during the summer months. “The picturesque old Coast Guard station still sits atop the glacial bluffs, allowing for a spectacular view down upon the Nauset Spit barrier system and bay,” Dr. Beach told CBS Boston. “During the summer, beach-goers take quick, refreshing dips in the ocean as water temperatures only reach 60-70 degrees.”

5. Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Hawaii

Named after the renowned Hawaiian surfer, Oahu’s Duke Kahanamoku Beach is the widest stretch of Waikiki Beach. It was named the second-best beach in America by Dr. Beach as recently as 2012.

4. Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York

Long Island’s Coopers Beach is located just two hours outside of New York City in The Hamptons. Summertime visitors to this spot will find plenty of gorgeous white sand in addition to stellar views of historic mansions.

3. Grayton Beach State Park, Florida

Grayton Beach State Park is located on the Florida Panhandle along the Emerald Coast. The 2,000-acre park is the perfect place to explore pristine beaches and participate in an array of outdoor activities, from hiking and biking to fishing and birding.

2. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks, North Carolina

Visitors to North Carolina’s Outer Banks this summer will have even more incentive to experience Ocracoke as Dr. Beach has named it the second-best beach in America for 2019. The nearby Ocracoke Lighthouse dating back to 1823 is another top attraction for visitors to this coastal village.

1. Kailua Beach Park, Hawaii

This year’s winner is Hawaii’s Kailua Beach, an inviting and serene white-sand beach with calm waves that make it ideal for activities like swimming and kayaking. “I love Waikiki Beach. No question about that—a world-famous beach—but Kailua is a lot smaller and quieter,” Leatherman told the AP. “It’s so much more peaceful. You don’t have big high-rises and all that. Kailua is on the other side of the mountains. It’s like a different world.”

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