One of the best places for holidays and general unwinding. Here a the top US beaches as of today.
1 – Siesta Beach, Sarasota, Florida
Dr. Beach says that this year’s No. 1, on Florida’s Gulf Coast, boasts “some of the finest, whitest sand in the world” and “clear, warm waters ideal for swimming,” while also being “great for volleyball and other types of recreational fitness.” He also cites recent upgrades including expanded parking and a free trolley, which improve access while maintaining the natural environment.
2 – Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii
Leatherman calls this crescent-shaped, fine white coral sand location a “perfect beach for swimming and snorkeling in the clear, azure waters.” Snorkelers can find brightly colored tropical fish in coral reefs off the deeper waters.
3 – Okracoke Lifeguarded Beach, North Carolina
Arr, mateys! Dr. Beach says that the pirate Blackbeard once lived on Okracoke Island, off the coast of North Carolina. Although Leatherman calls it “my favorite getaway beach” with “some of the wildest beaches in the country,” he says it may not be for everyone including luxury travelers (it’s about swimming and beachcombing) and families with children (due to big waves).
4 – Grayton Beach State Park, Florida
Up in the Florida Panhandle, Grayton is known for white sand, emerald waters and sand dunes. While there are accommodations in nearby towns, camping is also popular in this state park with both tidal lakes and freshwater ponds.
5 – Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York
Dr. Beach calls the Hamptons, near the eastern end of Long Island, America’s first “Gold Coast,” as evidenced by the mansions surrounding this beach of grainy, white quartz sand and dunes covered with beach grass.
6 – Coast Guard Beach, Eastham, Massachusetts
On the eastern shore of Cape Cod, Coast Guard Beach is a perennial on Dr. Beach’s list, named for the old U.S. Coast Guard station on the bluffs, created by glaciers. Waters are chilly (up to only about 70 degrees Fahrenheit), so Leatherman advises swimmers to keep it to quick dips.
7 – Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida
Leatherman calls the sand here “soft and cushy…inviting one to take a dip in the sparkling clear waters.” Although Caladesi can be reached by ferry, kayak and canoe trails, it’s technically no longer an island. Either way, Dr. Beach calls it “still a great getaway.” He likes kayaking or canoeing through mangroves to get a close up view of bird life including blue herons.
8 – Hapuna Beach, Big Island, Hawaii
A newcomer to the list this year, Hapuna has clear waters for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving in summer, although in winter you’ll want to watch for powerful rip currents. “Fortunately,” Dr. Beach says, “there are well-trained lifeguards at this state park.”
9 – Coronado State Beach, Coronado, California
The west coast’s only beach on the list, Coronado, off the coast of San Diego, was No. 1 on Dr. Beach’s list five years ago and is back. He calls it “the toast of Southern California” and “a veritable oasis by the sea” and cites its “subtropical vegetation, unique Mediterranean climate, and fine sparkling sand,” and “warm and mild surf.” Another attraction: the elegant landmark Hotel del Coronado, which has attracted glitterati since 1888.
10 – Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina
A perennial on Dr. Beach’s list, this beach is south of Charleston and offers opportunities to canoe, paddle, kayak, cycle and bird watch and enjoy low country cooking at nearby restaurants. Also perennial is concern over pending development projects nearby.