Stephen Leatherman, the famous American geoscientist popularly known as Dr. Beach has recently shared the 2022 Top 10 Beach List. The scientist has been reviewing and rating beaches for the past three decades and his results have been very popular across media.
Dr. Beach considers 50 criteria —which include sand softness, water temperature, number of sunny days, water color, access, public safety, and more— to evaluate 650 public beaches in the United States.
This year’s number 1 beach is Ocracoke’s Lifeguarded Beach in North Carolina. It was ranked third place last year and made it to the top in 2022. This beach is located in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore area.
Regarding this year’s beach winner and the area in which it is located, Leatherman said to CNN: “I like this area because it has the three things that you must have to make a great beach: clean sand, clean water, and beach safety.”
Access to Ocracoke isn’t that obvious, travelers must take a ferry service or boat or private plane. The island hosts some of the “wildest” beaches, but according to the expert, the journey is worth it.
North Carolina hosts two of the best beaches and so does Hawaii. But here’s the complete list of the top 10 beaches in the United States and what travelers must know about them:
1. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks, North Carolina
Travelers must consider that they can’t access it by car, but this public getaway —once the home of the Blackbeard the pirate— will give its guests a great beach experience. Dr. Beach recommends families with children go before summer since surf dominates during summer.
2. Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin, Florida
Access to this beach is also tricky, travelers must take a pedestrian ferry boat, a long walk from Clearwater beach, or a private boat. Caladesi’s white and soft sand —made of crystalline quartz— and its sparkling clear waters will win any traveler’s heart.
3. Cooper’s Beach, Southampton, New York
This beach is on the south shore of Long Island and offers visitors hundreds of yards to enjoy. Coopers Beach is backed by sand dunes covered with green grass and travelers will also get to see extravagant mansions. Food services are available here and it’s easy to access by car.
4. St. George Island State Park, Florida Panhandle
This long barrier island is far away from urban areas and connects visitors with nature on its 2,023 acres. This “serene” beach will allow travelers to disconnect and enjoy a beautiful beach.
5. Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
Travelers will find this beach right at the end of Waikiki Beach, far from large crowds —can be included as one of the off-the-beaten-path things to do in Hawaii— and it is the widest beach in the area.
6. Lighthouse Beach, Buxton, North Carolina
Known as one of the best spots for surfing in the U.S. Atlantic coast, this beach offers unique waves that can add fun to traveler’s vacations. Leatherman recommends to walk to Cape Point till a long sand spit, where travelers can see waves coming from both directions.
7. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
This place has been described as an “oasis” in Southern California. It has subtropical vegetation and a “unique Mediterranean climate” that will relax all visitors. Famous people —from kings to famous actors— have stayed at the Hotel del Coronado, an iconic local landmark.
8. Wailea Beach, Maui, Hawaii
These five pocket beaches are part of a resort but include public access. Wailea Beach has white coral sand and it’s perfect for snorkeling when the ocean is calm.
9. Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Right at the end of Kiawah Island, nature-lovers will find Beachwalker Park. It’s a great place to take canoes, kayaks, paddles, and even bicycles. There is a lot to see, explore and enjoy.
10. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
This beach offers fascinating views and travelers can access it by bike or shuttle buses. On sunny days water gets a little warmer, but travelers must stay aware of red flags for white sharks.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com