Memorial Day weekend is the official start of summer, and with its arrival comes the annual announcement enumerating the best beaches in the United States from Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, aka “Dr. Beach,” who runs the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University. This year’s winner is close to my heart (and home): Coopers Beach in Southampton, New York, on the east end of Long Island.
Say what you will about how the Island stacks up against the Jersey Shore, the Outer Banks, or Hawaii’s hideaways (don’t worry, they all appear on the list as well), Coopers is one of my all-time favorites (you can see a live webcam of the beach here). Idyllic, without the bravado of a boardwalk, and with a single quaint concession stand, I tend to visit at the beginning or end of the season, and that might have to be my plan this year as well. Dr. Leatherman says that with its #1 designation, the beach can expect a 20 percent spike in tourism.
How does your favorite beach rate? Check out the complete list after the jump.
1. Coopers Beach in Southampton, New York
2. Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Florida
3. Coronado Beach in San Diego, California
4. Cape Hatteras in the Outer Banks of North Carolina
5. Main Beach in East Hampton, New York
6. Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
7. Coast Guard Beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts
- Nat Geo Expeditions
8. Beachwalker Park in Kiawah Island, South Carolina
9. Hamoa Beach in Maui, Hawaii
10. Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne, Florida
Photo: Courtesy of the Long Island Convention and Visitors Bureau