Internet Travel Monitor - Travel Industry News

June 13, 2018

“Dr. Beach” Names Hawaii’s Kapalua Bay Beach America’s Best Beach
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.


  1. Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii
  2. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks of North Carolina
  3. Grayton Beach State Park, Florida panhandle
  4. Coopers Beach Southampton, New York
  5. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  6. Lighthouse Beach, Buxton, Outer Banks of North Carolina
  7. Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida
  8. Hapuna Beach State Park, Big Island, Hawaii
  9. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
  10. Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina

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

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