Dr. Beach’s 25th annual list of the Top 10 U.S. beaches was released yesterday, just before the Memorial Day weekend, and Cape Hatteras Beach in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore is again on the list.
This year the seashore beach ranks No. 5 on the list – up one from last year’s No. 6 spot and up three from No. 8 in 2012.
The lifeguarded beach in Buxton has been on the Top 10 list for eight consecutive years. In the first couple years, Dr. Beach specifically named the Buxton Beach, but in recent years, the listing has been the “Cape Hatteras Beach.”
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.
The top beach this year is Waimanalo Bay Beach Park in Oahu, Hawaii.
The top beaches are retired from the list. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach was the top beach in 2007.
Florida has the most beaches on this years list at four. Hawaii has two, and one beach each in North Carolina, South Carolina, Massachusetts, and California made the Top 10.
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.
More emphasis is being placed on environmental management and beach safety. Bonus points are awarded for prohibition of smoking on beaches. Oahu is leading the way as smoking at all beaches on this Hawaiian island is now banned.
This is what Dr. Beach’s website says 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.”
For more information, go to www.drbeach.org./