Today "Dr. Beach," a.k.a. Stephen P. Leatherman, released his annual "best beaches" list.
Topping the list was Hanalei Bay. This remote, two-mile crescent-shaped beach on Kauai where the emerald mountains meet the sparkling sea was selected No. 1 on "Dr. Beach" Stephen P. Leatherman's 2009 list of top 10 beaches, which was released Friday.
But the runner-up on Leatherman's list was Siesta Beach in Sarasota, FL:
"With some of the finest, whitest sand in the world, this beach attracts sand collectors from all over. Siesta Beach has clear, warm waters that serve for ideal swimming. The beach is hundreds of yards wide in the shape of a crescent, due to anchoring of onshore rocks to the north and a unique underwater formation of coral rock and caves, providing for great snorkeling and scuba diving. This beach is great for volleyball and other types of recreational fitness."
Siesta Key was followed by Coopers Beach in Southampton, N.Y., on Long Island; Coronado Beach in San Diego; Hamoa Beach in Maui, Hawaii; Main Beach in East Hampton, N.Y., on Long Island; Cape Hatteras in Outer Banks, N.C.; Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne, Fla.; Coast Guard Beach on Cape Cod, Mass.; and Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island, S.C.
Leatherman based his selections on 50 criteria, including water quality and temperature, cleanliness, weather, sand, safety and facilities. And Hanalei is his personal favorite "getaway beach" in Hawaii.
Axel & Bea Weiss