Top 10 US Beaches For 2012 Named

June 4, 2012 by

The results are in, and the best beach in the United States is Coronado Beach near San Diego, California.

For the past 22 years, professor Stephen P. Leatherman of Florida International University, otherwise known as “Dr. Beach,” has been ranking U.S. beaches based on environmental quality and safety for swimmers.

This year, Coronado Beach, situated on a peninsula across the bay from San Diego, took top honors. With 1.5 miles of sand that literally sparkles (thanks to the mineral mica found here) and the iconic Hotel del Coronado featured in the 1958 Marilyn Monroe film “Some Like It Hot” adorning the landscape, it’s not hard to see why.

Interested in how the beaches are ranked? Leatherman, who is director of FIU’s Laboratory for Coastal Research, visits top 10 candidates incognito to collect sand and water samples. He then uses 50 criteria, including sand softness, noise level and wind speed to rate each beach. Once a beach reaches number one, it is retired from consideration for future rankings.

Coronado’s points totaled in the 230s (out of a possible 250 points) with points off due to low water temperatures—a consideration that has kept California beaches out of the top spot since the survey began.

Check out the other beaches that made the cut:

1. Coronado Beach near San Diego, California
2. Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii
3. Main Beach in East Hampton, New York
4. St. George Island State Park, Florida Panhandle
5. Hamoa Beach in Maui, Hawaii
6. Coast Guard Beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts
7. Waimanalo Bay Beach Park in Oahu, Hawaii
8. Cape Florida State Park near Miami, Florida
9. Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island, South Carolina
10. Cape Hatteras in North Carolina

Chic Travelers: What’s your favorite U.S. beach?

photo credits: San Diego CVB

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