Acclaimed coastal researcher Dr. Beach has released his highly anticipated annual compilation of America's top beaches, just in time for Memorial Day.
This year, a beach on the Florida Panhandle claims the crown. Stephen Leatherman of Florida International University, better known as Dr. Beach, has been curating this well-regarded list for over three decades. His rankings are built on 50 criteria that covers everything from the quality of sand and wave activity to crowds and wildlife. Here's Dr. Beache's top 10 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
St. George Island State Park is no stranger to best beach lists but what makes it this year's frontrunner? According to Dr. Beach, the park boasts extensive stretches of pristine and undisturbed beaches, dubbing it an "idyllic space," and its complete absence of cigarette butts during his evaluation earned the park extra points. He said, "I think people are starting to realize that our beaches are among our most valuable leisure spots."