May 27, 2014

Dr. Beach chooses Buxton Beach
as No. 8 on Top 10 list


Dr. Beach’s list of the Top 10 U.S. beaches was released last week just before the Memorial Day weekend and Buxton Beach in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore is again on the list.

This year the Cape Hatteras National Seashore beach ranks No. 6 on the list – up two from last year’s No. 8 spot and up four from No. 10 in 2012.

The lifeguarded beach in Buxton has been on the Top 10 list for seven consecutive years.  Its highest rankings have been No. 4 in 2010 and No. 5 in 2011. It was also No. 8 in 2008 and No. 7 in 2009.

Coastal expert Dr. Stephen Leatherman, director of the Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research, has chosen America’s Top 10 beaches since 1991.  His rankings are based on 50 criteria, including water and sand quality, as well as facilities and environmental management. More than 650 beaches in the country are included in his judging.
Another of his criteria is that the beaches are lifeguarded, and that almost didn’t happen in the seashore this year.

Last fall, the National Park Service that because of budget cuts, it would eliminate its lifeguard program. 

After a public outcry, park officials relented and offered to hire a lifeguard service to provide five days of coverage at Buxton Beach and beaches on Bodie and Ocracoke islands.  If local groups or governments wished, they were invited to kick in the funds for seven-day coverage.

Hyde County and the Dare County Tourist Board contributed about $10,000 for the extra two days at the three beaches.

This is what Dr. Beach said last year about Buxton Beach:

“Bulging far offshore of the mainland coast as a barrier island, Cape Hatteras was the first National Seashore. Providing some of the best board surfing along the East Coast, as well as the most famous lighthouse in the United States, Cape Hatteras attracts beachgoers to its historic fishing villages. Nature lovers adore the excellent beachcombing and superb fishing.”

The top beach this year was Hawaii’s Duke Hahanamoku Beach in Waikiki, Oahu.

The top beaches are retired from the list.  Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach was the top beach in 2007.

To view a short video by the Outer Banks Visitors Center about seashore beaches, go to

For more information, go to

Here is the list of Dr. Beach’s Top 10 for 2014. 

Dr. Beach’s Top 10 U.S. beaches

1. Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
2. Barefoot Beach Bonita Springs, Florida
3. St. George Island State Park Florida panhandle  
4. Waimanalo Bay Beach Park Oahu, Hawaii
5. Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii
6. Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks of North Carolina
7. Cape Florida State Park Key Biscayne, Florida
8. Coast Guard Beach Cape Cod, Massachusetts
9. Beachwalker Park Kiawah Island, South Carolina  
10. Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Naples, Florida


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