Hawaii's Kailua Beach Park tops 2019 list of America's best beaches

There's perhaps no better summertime activity than a trip to the shore, but some of the country's beaches stand out from the rest.

That's according to Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach, who has named Kailua Beach Park in Oahu, Hawaii, as the top beach in the country for 2019.

Leatherman described Kailua Beach Park "a beautiful white sand coral beach with generally small waves." The park features lifeguards, free parking, bathrooms, showers, picnic facilities, volleyball courts and kayak rentals among its amenities and is close to the village of Kailua. He gave Kailua and several other Hawaii beaches extra points for banning smoking, which keeps the beaches clear of cigarette butts.

Here's the full list of all 10 beaches Leatherman ranked:

  1. Kailua Beach Park; Oahu, Hawaii
  2. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach; Outer Banks of North Carolina
  3. Grayton Beach State Park; Florida panhandle
  4. Coopers Beach; Southampton, New York
  5. Duke Kahanamoku Beach; Oahu, Hawaii
  6. Coast Guard Beach; Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  7. Caladesi Island State Park; Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida
  8. Hapuna Beach State Park; Big Island, Hawaii
  9. Coronado Beach; San Diego, California
  10. Beachwalker Park; Kiawah Island, South Carolina


Leatherman has been ranking the nation's beaches for nearly three decades. While studying beach erosion in the impact of storms on coastal ecology, Leatherman developed a list of 50 criteria and has surveyed 650 major beaches around the United States for his annual rankings.

Click here to see 2018's rankings.
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