Dr. Beach Top 10: Southampton Number One

Beach season has officially begun now that Dr. Beach has issued his annual Top 10 list. What's the best beach in America?

It's Coopers Beach in New York's tony Hamptons, says Dr. Beach (coastal expert Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, Director of Florida International University's Laboratory for Coastal Research).

This is the 20th year the beach expert has released his top 10 list. It's the first time a New York beach has made it to No. 1.

"New York has world-class beaches, but I don't think a lot of people in the United States know about them," he told the Associated Press.

Coopers Beach is located on the south shore of Long Island, in the village of Southampton. Dr. Beach says it is only 500-feet-long, but part of a sandy seven-mile stretch, and is both hundreds of yards wide and shielded from currents, not to mention backed by both large sand dunes and "large and extravagant mansions."

Also in the top 10 is another New York beach, Main Beach in East Hampton, Long Island, not far from Southampton. It's ranked No. 5.

Dr. Beach uses 50 criteria to evaluate the beaches including water and sand quality, safety and environmental management.

In the No. 2 spot is Siesta Beach in Sarasota, which Dr. Beach says has some of the finest white sand in the world.

Another Florida beach makes the grade too, Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne, in the No. 10 spot.

Two Hawaii beaches are on the list, Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki, Honolulu (6), and Hamoa Beach in Maui (9).

Rounding out the top 10: Coronado Beach in San Diego, Calif. (3), Cape Hatteras, N.C. (4), Coast Guard Beach in Cape Cod, Mass. (7), and Beachwalker Park in Kiawah Island, S.C. (8).
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