(NEXSTAR) – Dr. Beach is prescribing some sun, sand, and maybe even a trip to Hawaii.
Stephen Leatherman, aka “Dr. Beach,” has released his annual list of the top 10 beaches in America, and his top pick for 2021 is Hapuna Beach State Park on Hawaii’s Big Island.
Runners-up include sunny stretches of beach in the Carolinas, New York, California, Massachusetts and Florida.
Leatherman, a professor and the director of Coastal Research at Florida State University, has released his annual list of the country’s best beaches every year since 1991. He makes his choices based on a set of 50 criteria, including categories devoted to sand quality, crowds, noise and cleanliness.
This year, however, he says he’s hoping his choices will encourage Americans to get outdoors as pandemic restrictions loosen for fully vaccinated folks. And if that means navigating Hawaii’s strict requirements for visitors, so be it.
“Hawaii is a really special place, and so I think it’s worth it,” he told the Associated Press.
Can’t make it to Hawaii anytime soon? Dr. Beach has several other suggestions for stateside spots. Take a look at his complete 2021 list below:
- Hapuna Beach State Park, Island of Hawaii
- Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York
- Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks of North Carolina
- St. George Island State Park, Franklin County, Florida Panhandle
- Lighthouse Beach, Buxton, Outer Banks of North Carolina
- Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
- Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin and Clearwater, Florida
- Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
- Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina
- Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
More information about each beach, and why it ranks among 2021’s best, can be found at Dr. Beach’s official website.