Beach | Coast of the Month

“Dr. Beach” unveils his Top 10 Beaches in the US – CNN Travel

Beach at St. George Island State Park (by Rachel Kramer CC BY 2.0 via Flickr).

Half of the top 10 beaches in the United States for 2023 are in Florida and Hawaii.

That’s according to the 2023 list of best US beaches released this week by “Dr. Beach,” aka coastal scientist Stephen Leatherman.

Florida’s St. George Island State Park earns the top slot. The barrier island park offers nine miles of pristine beaches along the Gulf Coast. With nature trails for biking and hiking, plus birding, fishing, boating and camping, St. George offers more than just excellent swimming and sunbathing. It’s also a prime spot for stargazing with limited light pollution and an observation platform for night sky exploration.

The beach has “some of the whitest, finest sand in the world,” said Leatherman, who is a professor in the Department of Earth & Environment at Florida International University. “The water is crystal clear and clean, far from any sources of pollution on this offshore barrier island.”

Leatherman has been ranking America’s best beaches since 1991.

He uses 50 criteria to evaluate hundreds of public beaches in the United States. The criteria include beach width, sand softness, water temperature and color, wildlife and more…