EASTHAM (CBS/AP) — The sixth-best beach in all of America is only a drive away for Massachusetts residents, according to a new ranking.
Coast Guard Beach in Eastham once again lands on Dr. Beach’s Top 10 list. The Cape Cod beach fell one spot from its No. 5 place last year.
“The picturesque old Coast Guard station still sits atop the glacial bluffs, allowing for a spectacular view down upon the Nauset Spit barrier system and bay,” Dr. Beach said. “During the summer, beach-goers take quick, refreshing dips in the ocean as water temperatures only reach 60-70 degrees.”
Oahu’s Kailua Beach Park with its “beautiful white sand coral beach” took the top spot this year.
Here’s the full Top 10 from Dr. Beach:
10. Beachwalker Park Kiawah Island, South Carolina
9. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
8. Hapuna Beach State Park, Big Island, Hawaii
7. Caladesi Island State Park Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida
6. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
5. Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
4. Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York
3. Grayton Beach State Park, Florida panhandle
2. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks of North Carolina
1. Kailua Beach Park, Oahu, Hawaii
Stephen Leatherman, a coastal scientist and professor at Florida International University, has been drafting the list under the alias “Dr. Beach” since 1991.
Leatherman uses 50 criteria to evaluate beaches, with the most important categories being water cleanliness, safety and management of the beach environment and its facilities. Leatherman uses data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to grade the beaches on water quality and has been to all the beaches on his list.
Leatherman acknowledged that not everyone appreciates the publicity his lists give to top beaches.
“I get a lot of people who are very happy about it. They like to know where to go,” Leatherman said. But “I always get some pushback. Oh yes, people say, ‘Oh no, we already have too many people coming here. What are you doing?’ It’s almost like they think it’s a secret beach or something.
Leatherman’s goal in producing the list each year, he says, is to reward high-quality, safe beaches that balance nature with accessibility and amenities. He hopes beaches that haven’t made his list will make changes for a better experience and a healthier coastal ecosystem.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)