Life's a Beach -- But Only in SoCal

One California beach makes top rankings

By Susan Taylor
|  Friday, May 22, 2009  |  Updated 8:52 AM PDT
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Life's a Beach -- But Only in SoCal

Erik Hermann

Coronado Beach in San Diego is ranked number four.

Dr. Beach is out with his top ten beaches in America and San Diego is the only California beach to get a nod.

Topping the list is  Hawaii's Hanalei  Bay. The crescent-shaped beach on Kauai is number one on this year's list of the top ten beaches in the U.S.

The list is prepared by "Dr Beach" -- Stephen Leatherman, who directs Florida International University's Laboratory for Coastal Research.

Leatherman says Hanalei's sheer beauty  is "breathtaking" -- with its emerald mountains, white sand and blue water.

Next on the list is Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Fla., followed by Coopers Beach in Southampton, N.Y.  

Coronado Beach in San Diego is ranked number four followed by Hamoa Beach in Maui, Hawaii.

Rounding out the top ten:

  • Main Beach in East Hampton, N.Y.
  • Cape Hatteras in Outer Banks, N.C.
  • Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne, Fla.
  • Coast Guard Beach on Cape Cod, Mass.;
  • Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island, S.C.

Leatherman uses 50 criteria, including water quality and temperature, cleanliness, weather, sand, safety and facilities

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