For 2023, half of the top 10 beaches in the United States are in Florida and Hawaii.
Dr. Beach, aka coastal scientist Stephen Leatherman, released a list of the best beaches in the U.S. in May.
Florida's St. George Island State Park, which includes a swimming pool, earns the top spot. The Gulf Coast is a barrier island park with nine miles of pristine beaches. St. George has nature trails for biking and hiking, plus birding, fishing, boating and camping, as well as excellent swimming and sunbathing. Stargazing with limited light pollution and anobserving platform for night skies is a perfect spot for stargazing.
The beach has some of the whitest, finest sand in the world, said Dr. leatherman, a professor at Florida International University. The water is clear and clean, far from any sources of pollution on this offshore barrier island. Since 1991, Leatherman has been ranking America's best beaches.
He used 50 criteria to evaluate hundreds of public beaches in the United States. The criteria include beach width, sand softness, water temperature, and color, wildlife and more.
Duke Kahanamoku Beach on Oahu, the famous Waikiki Beach, is on the west end of the famous Waikiki Beach, with fewer visitors than the more crowded stretches. A protected underwater coral reef protects the beach for families with children, making it a particularly stunning location for Diamondhead volcano, which rises in the distance.
Other Hawaii beaches ranked in the top 10 in this year are: Wailea Beach in Maui and Poipu Beach in Kauai.
The Caladesi Island State Park in Dunedin Clearwater, Florida, also topped the list. None of Florida's Atlantic beaches appear in the top 10 of the 2023 top 10; Leatherman, however, pointed out that the Atlantic coastline is being affected by sargassum seaweed this year.
The other five beaches are New York, North Carolina, California, South Carolina and Massachusetts. On the 2023 list, each state has one beach.