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Phil & Mel In The Morning

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He’s back! No lousy pandemic is going to stop Dr. Beach from telling which beaches are best. Sure, many of us aren’t ready to put ourselves out there yet, but it’s still good to know where we should go when we are ready for some fun in the sun.

Dr. Beach, otherwise known as Stephen Leatherman, has been ranking America’s ten best beaches annually for 29 years. As a professor and coastal scientist at Florida International University, he has become the nation’s authority on the quality of sand and surf from sea to shining sea. And while going to the beach might look and feel a bit different this year, it can still be a beautiful experience.

At the top of Dr. Beach’s 2020 list is Grayton Beach State Park in Florida’s panhandle. He told the Associated Press that Grayton Beach has “sugar-white sand and emerald green water where development has been restrained so big sand dunes still dominate the landscape.” Leatherman added, “It’s some of the finest white sand in the world. The first time I saw it I felt like I had to put on sunglasses it was so bright. Some people thought it was snow. I said, ‘No that’s not snow!’ The sand is the highest quality in the world. It’s pure quartz crystal.”

Two beaches each in Florida and Hawaii made this year’s top ten. Dr. Beach says he gives bonus points for beaches where smoking is banned and that are staffed with lifeguards, which landed two North Carolina beaches on his list as well:
  1. Grayton Beach State Park, Florida
  2. Lifeguarded Beach on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
  3. Coopers Beach in Southampton, New York
  4. Duke Kahanamoku Beach in Oahu, Hawaii
  5. Lighthouse Beach in Buxton, North Carolina
  6. Caladesi Island State Park, Florida
  7. Hapuna Beach on Big Island, Hawaii
  8. Coast Guard Beach on Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  9. Coronado Beach in San Diego, California
  10. Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island, South Carolina

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