Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Fla., rates as the top beach in the United States, Siesta Beach, with its fine, white sand and clear, warm waters, often makes the cut on Dr. Beach’s annual top beaches list, but this is its first year in the No. 1 spot. For 2011 here is the list of top ten best beaches of America according to coastal expert Stephen P. Leatherman. “Dr. Beach,” as Leatherman is known, is the director of Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research. 09 more top 10 best swimming beaches in the United States, after the break…
02. Coronado Beach
San Diego’s Coronado Beach makes the top 10 list for its lush subtropical vegetation, Mediterranean climate and fine, sparkling sand.
03. Kahanamoku Beach
A shallow reef off Kahanamoku Beach in Oahu, Hawaii, protects this beach from big waves, making it ideal for families with children.
04. Main Beach
Main Beach in East Hampton, N.Y., attracts wealthy summertime residents because a centuries-old conservation easement protects the wide beach and tall dunes.
05. Cape Hatteras
Cape Hatteras in the Outer Banks of North Carolina offers some of the best board surfing on the East Coast. Other draws include a lighthouse, fishing villages, beachcombing and excellent fishing.
06. St. George Island State Park
Winter tourists from up north tend to like St. George Island on Florida’s panhandle because sunny days in the 50s and 60s can seem like spring — but without the crowds. The area is known as the Forgotten Coast because Florida’s winter tourists tend to flock to the warmer beaches of south Florida.
07. Beachwalker Park
It’s a nature lover’s oasis on Beachwalker Park, on the south end of Kiawah Island, S.C., just south of Charleston. The sand is compact enough to ride bikes along the 10-mile long barrier island. The water isn’t clear, but it is clean and provides for great seafood for low-country cooking.
08. Coast Guard Beach
Coast Guard Beach in Cape Cod, Mass., slopes steeply into the water. Swimmers tend to take quick, cooling dips in the ocean since summertime water temperatures reach only 60 to 70 degrees.
09. Waimanalo Bay Beach Park
The long, white beach at Waimanalo Beach Park on Hawaii’s Oahu island slopes gently into the water, offering lots of opportunity for water recreation.
10. Cape Florida State Park
Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne, Fla., offers clear water, gentle surf and fine, white coral sand