Want To Know Where The Best Beach In The U.S. Is? Read On

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It’s a terrible thing to say, but I usually detest going to beaches in the U.S. Many are crowded, dirty, and littered with rows of obnoxious high-rise buildings and condos. I know, I must sound like a very grumpy person, but as a traveler who has ventured to (and is very thankful for) protected beaches enveloped by nothing more than swaying palms and the indefinite horizon, I do become just a wee bit surly when sitting next to a group of “Jersey Shore”-like wannabees who are using the sand as an ash tray for their cigarette butts.

This is not to say that the U.S. has no beaches worth visiting, because it does, and some are quite beautiful. As reported by the SF Chronicle, Florida International University professor Steven Leatherman, aka “Dr. Beach” (yes parents, you are paying his salary), just released his list of the best beaches in the U.S.

For the number one spot this year he chose Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Florida. Having been there myself, I can vouch that minus the scores of beachfront vacation rentals, hefty crowds in high season and poor public parking, this 40-acre stretch of soft, almost pure quartz crystal sand and calm, blue waters is exquisite.

Coming in for a strong second was San Diego’s Coronado Beach; Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki, Honolulu, took third; Main Beach, East Hampton, New York, came in fourth; and holding its own in fifth place was Cape Hatteras in North Carolina.

Wonder how one decides how good a beach is? According to the article, “Leatherman ranks beaches on 50 criteria, including the look and feel of the sand, water quality, weather, facilities and crowds. A top score is 250. Siesta Beach scored in the 230s, losing minor points because the vista is heavy on condos to the north and south of the county park. Once a beach reaches the pinnacle of Leatherman’s list, it is retired from consideration for future rankings.”

So if you’re planning on going beach-hopping through the U.S. this summer, these spots are where it’s at. Just remember to kindly discard of any cigarette butts, beer cans and “The Situation” tanning grease before leaving the pearly shores.

[Photo by ForthDude/Flickr]

By Maria Russo


About the Author

Maria Russo is a freelance writer who loves natural wonders, good eats, ethical travel, and boutique hotels. Her work has appeared on the Huffington Post, USA Today.com, People.com and A Luxury Travel Blog, among others.

When Maria is not writing for her all-time favorite site (that would be The Expeditioner), she spends her time blogging about foreign jaunts and delectable food experiences for her site: Memoirs of a Travel & Food Addict. She is also up to no good on Twitter (@traveladdictgrl, @expedmaria).

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