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May 26, 2009

Top 10 U.S. Beaches: Dr. Beach's 2009 Picks

POT OF GOLD: Hanalei Bay on Kauai, Hawaii (Thinkstock/Getty)

Florida International University's Dr. Stephen Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach, has released his 2009 list of top beaches (note that past winners are ineligible for inclusion). Here are his top ten beaches:

1. Hanalei Bay (Kauai, Hawaii)
2. Siesta Beach (Sarasota, Florida)
3. Coopers Beach (Southampton, New York)
4. Coronado Beach (San Diego, California)
5. Hamoa Beach (Maui, Hawaii)
6. Main Beach (East Hampton, New York)
7. Cape Hatteras (Outer Banks, North Carolina)
8. Cape Florida State Park (Key Biscayne, Florida)
9. Coast Guard Beach (Cape Cod, Massachusetts)
10. Beachwalker Park (Kiawah Island, South Carolina)

Tell us about your favorites in the comments section. My fave U.S. beach is probably the pristine stretch of sand at the bottom of the road in Carmel (amazing sunsets); outside the U.S.—and this one's way off the beaten track—it's Mogushi Beach in southwestern Japan. (For more of staffers' far-flung beach favorites, check out our interactive Google Map here.)

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Related Topics: Beach Vacation · California Travel · Florida Vacation · Hawaii Vacation · Top 10 Lists


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Good blog! I actually love how it is easy on my eyes and the facts are well written. There are so many promising destinations and so many offered activities in Florida. The beach for example is one way to spend a wonderful Florida adventure. Great post.

Lovely blog. In the world of beaches, being picked for Dr. Leatherman's America's Best Beaches List is like getting an Oscar, with a flurry of publicity. Check Dr. Beach's interesting web site for the many criteria by which he diagnoses a shore.

Famous for its spectacular beauty, Hanalei Bay is a long half-moon of sandy beach carved into the base of a sheer cliff on one side and narrowing into a rocky point on the other. The beach is a great spot for walking or throwing a Frisbee around. At the westernmost curve of the bay, you'll find a calm shoreline where the water is relatively quiet even when most of the north shore is too rough for safe swimming.

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