These Are 2020’s Top 10 Beaches In America And Only 2 Of Them Are In Florida

Grayton Beach State Park Florida #1 beach in America

iStockphoto / Jacob Boomsma

Dr. Beach has been the expert on beaches in America for over 30 years. When he ranks a beach #1 it literally injects millions of dollars into local economies with people all over the world flocking to these beaches. I’ve witnessed this firsthand as my hometown of Siesta Key was named the #1 beach in America back in 2017 and has frequented his list throughout the years.

This year’s a bit different. Usually, his list has at least four Florida beaches on there but this time around there are only 2 Sunshine State beaches. What seems even more strange to me there is only one California beach and just two beaches in Hawaii.

The Dr. Beach list of 2020’s Top 10 Beaches leans heavily on the East Coast with representation from Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, and Massachusetts. Dr. Beach uses 50 pieces of criteria for his beach rankings including everything from beach condition, size, water temperature, air temperature, sunny days, watercolor, beach shape, sand, wildlife, debris, and more. You can see his full list of criteria here.

Here’s how the list of 2020’s Best Beaches looks, according to beach expert Dr. Beach:

10. Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina

9. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California

8. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

7. Hapuna Beach State Park, Big Island Hawaii

6. Caladesi Island State Park, Clearwater, Florida

5. Lighthouse Beach, Buxton, Outer Banks North Carolina

4. Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

3. Cooper’s Beach, Southampton, New York

2. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks North Carolina

1. Grayton Beach State Park, Florida Panhandle

What exactly makes this Grayton Beach State Park so special? Here’s the description from Dr. Beach’s website:


This beach boasts of its sugar-white sand and emerald green water where development has been restrained so big sand dunes still dominate the landscape. At the same time, all the amenities of great restaurants and accommodations are close by in the old town of Grayton Beach or Seaside. Many people choose to camp in this wonderful state park that also features tidal lakes and freshwater ponds. Former Governor Bob Graham told me that this was his favorite beach.

I’ve certainly found myself gravitating towards emptier beaches as I’ve gotten older. My idea beach has perfectly white sand, sizable waves for surfing/bodysurfing, sand dunes, and warm water. Is that too much to ask for?

You can head on over to Dr. Beach’s website for a full rundown of what makes each beach so special.