May 25, 2017

Ocracoke Lands a #3 Spot on the 2017 “Best Beaches” List


After being retired for a few years following a Number #1 designation as the Best Beach in America in 2007, Ocracoke Island has once again risen to the top of the famed Dr. Beach list in 2017, earning a #3 spot.

The list has become a nationally recognized guideline of the best beaches in the country, and is compiled every year by Florida International University professor Stephen Leatherman, who is also more commonly known as “Dr. Beach.”

After earning the Number #1 spot, the winning beach destinations are “retired” for a while, but can resurface on the list a few years later, as is the case with Ocracoke Island.

In the list for 2017, Dr. Beach praises Ocracoke Island as one of his personal favorite destinations in the country.

“Ocracoke, once the home of Blackbeard the pirate, is still a special place—it is my favorite getaway beach,” he reports on his website, “Here you will find some of the wildest beaches in the country.  Big surf dominates in late summer, so families with children may want to come earlier in the year.” 

“Don’t expect to play golf or stay at the Ritz; the main pursuits are swimming and beachcombing,” he adds.

The complete Top Ten list for 2017 is detailed below, and folks can read the write-ups for all the top spots at

It should also be noted that while the Hatteras Island didn’t crack the Top 10 for 2017, it’s nevertheless been a regular on Dr. Beach’s annual list for decades.

1.    Siesta Beach, Sarasota, Florida
2.    Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii
3.    Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks of 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

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