May 25, 2018

Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands Once Again
Make Dr. Beach’s Top 10 List for 2018

Hatteras and Ocracoke islands once again earned spots on the annual Dr. Beach 10 Best Beaches in the USA list, with the Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach ranked the #2 best beach in the country, and the Lighthouse Beach in Buxton ranked as the #6 best beach.

Released just before Memorial Day, the list is the brainchild of coastal expert Dr. Stephen Leatherman, director of the Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research, who 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, and both Hatteras and Ocracoke islands have made regular appearances on the list since it was first formed, with Ocracoke Lighthouse Beach landing the #1 spot in 2007.

“Ocracoke, once the home of Blackbeard the pirate, is still a special place—it is my favorite getaway beach,” stated Dr. Leatherman in a detailed overview of the list. “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.”

“Lighthouse Beach boasts of the best surfing on the U.S. East Coast because of the large shoals offshore that focus wave energy on this beach where the Cape Hatteras Light once stood,” he stated in regards to the Lighthouse Beach. “The beach is also good for swimming because lifeguards are on duty, albeit families with small children might prefer [a beach with] more gentle surf… This coast is very dynamic and oftentimes there is a long spit just south of Lighthouse beach which is above water during low tide. I can remember walking out hundreds of feet on this narrow, low string of sand with the waves approaching from both directions, making me feel a bit like Moses in Biblical times. This area is also famous for surf fishing, especially during the fall season.”

The complete list of 2018 winners are listed below:

Best US beaches for 2018

1. Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii
2. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks, North Carolina
3. Grayton Beach State Park, Florida Panhandle
4. Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York
5. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
6. Lighthouse Beach, Buxton, Outer Banks, North Carolina
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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