Lighthouse Beach, in Buxton and part of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, is #5 among the 2023 Top 10 Beaches by Dr. Beach.
Dr. Stephen Leatherman, professor at Florida International University, released his annual ratings of the ten best beaches in the United States on last week.
The Charlotte-native has been releasing his top 10 list since 1991 and uses 50 criteria in the evaluation process of swimable beaches. Factors include beach width at low tide, sand softness and color, wildlife, pests including mosquitoes, available amenities and public safety.
Of Lighthouse Beach, Dr. Beach noted:
“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.”
Ocracoke Beach was named #1 among Dr. Beach’s 2022 Top 10 Beaches. Due to that recognition, it wasn’t eligible for consideration in 2023.
Here’s how the Top 10 was ranked by Dr. Beach for 2023:
1. St. George Island State Park, Florida Panhandle
2. Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
3. Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York
4. Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida
5. Lighthouse Beach, Buxton, Outer Banks
6. Coronado Beach, San Diego
7. Wailea Beach, Maui, Hawaii
8. Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina
9. Poipu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
10. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts