Surf's Up! Top 10 Beaches in the U.S.A.
Where is paradise on Earth? It's in the sunshine, sand and surf at Siesta Beach in Siesta Key, Florida.
That's the word from Dr. Beach, a.k.a. Florida International University professor Stephen P. Leatherman, who has arguably the most enviable job on Earth: coming up with an annual top 10 list of the country's best beaches.
See the sizzling, barely-there bikini fashions for summer 2017--many of which have barely-there tops and bottoms!
Siesta Beach boasts fine, white sand and clear, clean waters with a gently-sloping beach-face that is ideal for swimming. This year-round beach is hundreds of yards wide, attracting fitness fans and volleyball players.
Leatherman uses 50 criteria to evaluate swimming beaches in the United States, including quality tests on water, sand and amenities. Starting in 2016, he awarded extra credit to beaches that prohibit smoking.
Previously, once a beach hit the No. 1 spot, it was retired for consideration on future lists; however, because the criteria have changed with the addition of "no-smoking," Leatherman is starting anew so all beaches have an opportunity to make the list. Siesta Beach was No. 1 in 2011.
The top 10 best beaches in the U.S.A. for 2017:
1. Siesta Beach, Siesta Key, Florida
2. Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii
3. Ocracoke Beach, Outer Banks, North Carolina
4. Grayton Beach State Park, Florida Panhandle
5. Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York
6. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
7. Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida
8. Hapuna Beach State Park, Big Island, Hawaii
9. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
10. Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Previous years' winners:
2016: Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Oahu, Hawaii
2015: Waimanalo Beach Park, Oahu, Hawaii
2014: Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
2013: Main Beach, East Hampton, New York
2012: Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
2011: Siesta Beach, Sarasota, Florida
2010: Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York
2009: Hanalei Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
2008: Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida
2007: Ocracoke Lifeguard Beach, North Carolina
2006: Fleming Beach Park, Hawaii
2005: Fort DeSoto Park-North Beach, Florida
2004: Hanauma Bay, Hawaii
2003: Kaanapali, Hawaii
2002: St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, Florida
2001: Poipu Beach Park, Hawaii
2000: Mauna Kea Beach, Hawaii
1999: Wailea Beach, Hawaii
1998: Kailua Beach Park, Hawaii
1997: Hulopoe, Hawaii
1996: Lanikai Beach, Hawaii
1995: St. Andrews SRA, Florida
1994: Grayton Beach SRA, Florida
1993: Hapuna, Hawaii
1992: Bahia Honda SRA, Florida
1991: Kapalua Bay Beach, Hawaii
Click to see mind-boggling photos of sand sculptures, including amazing creations from Australia that are a tribute to "The Wizard of Oz" and "Humpty Dumpty."