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America’s Best Beach

Ka'anapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii’s Ka’anapali Beach Tops ‘Best in U.S.’ List

MIAMI (Reuters) – Hawaii’s Kaanapali Beach topped this year’s list of “America’s Best Beaches,” released on Friday by a coastal scientist who lauded its white coral sand and clear emerald-green waters.

The 3-mile beach on the dry and sunny side of Maui earned the No. 1 spot on the annual list compiled by Dr. Stephen Leatherman, director of Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research.
Leatherman, nicknamed “Dr. Beach,” has taken on the enviable task of visiting beaches nationwide and ranking them on 50 criteria that include sand and water quality, water temperature, absence of litter and balance between nature and man-made amenities.

Kaanapali is one of four Hawaiian beaches to make the top 10, and the seventh Hawaiian beach to win top honors in the past eight years.

Rounding out this year’s list are No 2. Florida’s Fort DeSoto Park; 3. North Carolina’s Ocracoke Island; 4. Hawaii’s Hanalei Bay; 5. Florida’s Caladesi Island State Park; 6. New York’s Main Beach in East Hampton; 7. Hawaii’s Makalawena Beach; 8. Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay; 9. Florida’s Cape Florida State Park and 10. Cape Hatteras in North Carolina.

Leatherman, who holds a doctorate in environmental sciences, released the rankings for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, which traditionally kicks off the U.S. summer beach season.

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