Two Outer Banks Beaches Ranked Among Top 10 in America

Posted By on June 6, 2018

Dr. Beach is back with his annual ranking of the Top 10 Beaches in America for 2018, and two Outer Banks locations made the list this year.

Lighthouse Beach in Buxton on Hatteras Island was ranked in sixth place this year, while Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach on Ocracoke Island was named as the number two best beach in the country.

Other beaches in the top five include Coast Guard Beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts in fifth; Coopers Beach in Southampton, New York in fourth; and Grayton Beach State Park in Florida in third.

This year’s number one ranked beach, according to Dr. Beach, is Kapalua Bay Beach in Maui, Hawaii.

You can read the full press release below.

Kapalua Bay Beach is number one in the 28th annual Top 10 Beach List, produced by coastal expert Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, professor at Florida International University.

Kapalua Bay Beach is a secluded, crescent-shaped beach lined by palm trees. This small beach is protected from the oceanic waves by the “arms” of lava flows, making it a great place for snorkeling with the plethora of beautiful tropical fish, which are just offshore of the white coral sand. Getting there from the main road is an easy drive through a golf course. There are showers and restrooms nearby; lunch and drinks can be purchased from the nearby Ritz Carlton. The only problem is the limited parking so arrive early to snag one of the spots.

As “Dr. Beach” (, Leatherman has selected the annual Top 10 Beaches since 1991. Fifty criteria are used to evaluate beaches, which include water and sand quality as well as safety and management. Dr. Leatherman is an internationally known coastal scientist who has published 20 books and hundreds of scientific articles and reports about storm impacts, coastal erosion and ways to improve beach health and safety.

Bonus points are awarded for prohibition of smoking on beaches. Previous National Winners are retired and listed on the Dr. Beach website site.

Dr. Beach ranked Ocracoke as the number two best beach in American for 2018.

Dr. Beach ranked Ocracoke as the number two best beach in American for 2018.

For more Outer Banks entertainment news, follow @obxe.


Posted by Matt Artz

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