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The top 10 US beaches for 2024, according to ‘Dr. Beach’

<i>tropicalpixsingapore/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images via CNN Newsource</i><br/>1. Duke Kahanamoku Beach
tropicalpixsingapore/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images via CNN Newsource
1. Duke Kahanamoku Beach

By Forrest Brown, CNN

(CNN) — If you want to enjoy the top US beach in 2024, then make like “The Brady Bunch” and pack your bags for Hawaii.

Duke Kahanamoku Beach on the island of Oahu crowns the list of the 10 best US beaches put out annually by “Dr. Beach,” aka coastal scientist Stephen Leatherman.

Kahanamoku is no fluke pick, either. It was the No. 2 beach in Leatherman’s 2023 list. What makes it such a favorite?

The sandy haven “is located at the west end of Waikiki Beach, far from the large crowds elsewhere,” Leatherman said in a Thursday news release.

“It is the widest beach on this stretch of world-famous sands and protected by an offshore coral reef, making it a good beach for families with children.  The nearby Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon is also a favorite bathing and swimming spot,” said Leatherman, a professor in the Department of Earth & Environment at Florida International University in Miami.

Hawaii is king in 2024

The 50th state has the most entries on the top 10, sporting a total of three slots on the coveted list. So if you’re willing to island hop in Hawaii, you can score a top 10 beach trifecta in one state.

Like many beautiful places around the world, Hawaii is grappling with how to handle crowds and sometimes unruly tourists, like the ones who trespassed at the Haiku Stairs on Oahu even as they were being dismantled. Go Hawaii, the state’s tourism website, has a webpage devoted to tips on how to respect the islands’ culture and environment.

Elsewhere, New York and Florida have two beaches each on the list. And then South Carolina, Massachusetts and California landed one spot each to finish filling out the top 10.

Leatherman has been evaluating beaches and producing the annual list since 1991.  He uses 50 criteria to grade the beaches, which include water and sand quality, the size of waves, the shape of the beach, wildlife, public safety and cleanliness.

If Hawaii isn’t on your travel calendar, the No. 2 beach is in the highly populated Northeast.

Coopers Beach, located on Long Island, New York, is “shielded from the cold Labrador currents in the beautiful village of Southampton. The beach is backed by large sand dunes covered by American beach grass interspersed with extravagant mansions,” Leatherman said in the release. Coopers was the No. 3 beach in 2023.

The No. 6 beach in the United States is also located on Long Island.

As for the Sunshine State’s two entries, both beaches are on the Gulf coast, edging out its Atlantic-facing beaches.

Top 10 US beaches for 2024

1. Duke Kahanamoku Beach: Oahu, Hawaii

2. Coopers Beach: Southampton, New York

3. Wailea Beach: Maui, Hawaii

4. Caladesi Island State Park: Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida

5. Beachwalker Park: Kiawah Island, South Carolina

6. Main Beach: East Hampton, New York

7. Poipu Beach: Kauai, Hawaii

8. Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park: Naples, Florida

9. Coast Guard Beach: Cape Cod, Massachusetts

10. Coronado Beach: San Diego, California

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

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