Hatteras and Ocracoke islands once again earned top 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 #5 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.
The complete list of 2020 winners is below.
Dr. Beach Top 10 list for 2020
- Grayton Beach State Park, Florida Panhandle
- Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks of North Carolina
- Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York
- Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
- Lighthouse Beach, Buxton, Outer Banks of North Carolina
- Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida
- Hapuna Beach State Park, Big Island, Hawaii
- Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
- Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
- Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina