Need a sand bucket list for the best beaches in the nation? Start with Duke Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The Honolulu beach was picked as the best in the nation, according to Dr. Beach, aka Stephen Leatherman, a professor at Florida International University.
Hawaii and Florida beaches made a good showing, but California lost out in the Top 10 Beaches 2014 list. People pay attention to Dr. Beach's picks because they aren't derived from crowd-sourced travel reviews or online polls.
Dr. Beach chose Kahanamoku, named for the Olympic athlete and Hawaiian surfer folk hero, as No. 1 because it's less crowded, protected by a coral reef and good for families.
"Surprising to most visitors, this beautiful beach where smoking is not permitted was created more than half a century ago by dredging through the shallow reef and importing sand," according to his website.
The rest of the 2014 top beaches:
2. Barefoot Beach, Bonita Springs, Fla.
3. St. George Island State Park, Florida Panhandle
4. Waimanalo Bay Beach Park, Oahu
5. Hamoa Beach, Maui
6. Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks, N.C.
7. Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne, Fla.
8. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Mass.
9. Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, S.C.
10. Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Naples, Fla.
So why are there no great California beaches on the list? This might explain it.
Coronado Beach near San Diego was Dr. Beach's top pick in 2012. But past No. 1 winners are excluded from further consideration to give "other great American beaches an opportunity to enjoy the spotlight."Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times