Dr. Beach Ranks Ocracoke and Buxton in Top 5 Best Beaches in America 2021

Posted By on May 28, 2021

Dr. Beach has released his annual list of his picks for the Top 10 Best Beaches in America for 2021, with two Outer Banks locales making the top five.

Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach is ranked as the third best beach in the country. Dr. Beach says: “Ocracoke, once the home of Blackbeard the pirate, is still a special place—it is my favorite getaway beach. Here you will find some of the wildest beaches in the country. Big surf dominates in late summer so families with children may want to come earlier in the year. Don’t expect to play golf or stay at the Ritz; the main pursuits are swimming and beachcombing.”

Lighthouse Beach in Buxton is ranked as the fifth best beach in America. Dr. Beach says: “Lighthouse Beach is where the old spiral-striped Cape Hatteras Lighthouse once stood until it was moved landward in 1999 because of beach erosion. This lifeguarded beach is the number one surfing spot on the U. S. Atlantic Coast as the large offshore sand banks, known as Diamond Shoals, cause wave refraction focusing wave energy on this beach. It is fun to stroll down to the Cape Point where a long sand spit often exists, making one feel somewhat like Moses because the waves are coming from both directions as you walk along this narrow string of sand in the ocean.”

Hapuna Beach State Park in Big Island, Hawaii is Dr. Beach’s number one pick for the best beach in America in 2021, with Coopers Beach in Southampton, New York ranking number two, and St. George Island State Park in the Florida Panhandle ranking number four.

The Top 10 list is rounded out by Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu, Hawaii at number six; Caladesi Island State Park Dunedin Clearwater, Florida at number seven; Coronado Beach, San Diego, California at number eight; Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina at number nine; and Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts at number 10.

For over three decades, Dr. Stephen Leatherman (“Dr. Beach”) has reviewed, evaluated, and rated beaches and coastal areas throughout the world. In addition to his annual ranking of America’s Best Beaches, he works tirelessly to increase awareness about the dangers of rip currents and to promote no smoking at beaches.


Posted by Matt Artz

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