AP file
Fleming Beach Park: America's best beach, at least according to beach expert Stephen Leatherman.
updated 6/6/2006 11:54:41 AM ET 2006-06-06T15:54:41

"Doctor Beach" is out with his top-ten list of the best beaches in North America, and a stretch of sand on the Hawaiian island of Maui is number one.

Stephen Leatherman is director of Florida International University's coastal research lab, and has studied beaches for years. He says Fleming Beach Park earned the top spot for its natural beauty and its well-maintained facilities.

Two other Hawaii beaches are on the top ten. Florida and New York each had two beaches on the the list.

Leatherman looks at 50 criteria in his annual survey, which he's done since 1991.

Here are his picks of the top ten beaches:

  1. Fleming Beach Park, Maui, Hawaii
  2. Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin, Florida
  3. Ocracoke Island, Outer Banks, North Carolina
  4. Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York
  5. Hanalei Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
  6. Main Beach, East Hampton, New York
  7. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  8. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
  9. Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii
  10. Barefoot Beach Park, Bonita Springs, Florida

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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