by Leo Jakobson | July 02, 2018
The best beach in America for 2018 is… Kapalua Bay Beach on Maui.

The Hawaiian beach is perfect "for swimming and snorkeling in the clear, azure waters that are protected by two headlands formed long ago by lava flows into the sea," says Dr. Beach, also known as Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman. "This beautiful crescent-shaped, white sand beach is bounded by these rocky anchors where good restaurants can be found. The fine coral sand beach slopes gradually into the deeper water where the rocky bottom is punctuated with corals that attract vividly-colored tropical fish."

Dr. Leatherman is a professor and director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University. Since 1989, he has been rating the top 10 beaches in the United States in time for the Independence Day holidays. He uses 50 criteria to rate each of the 650 major public recreational beaches in America.

The rest of the top 10 for 2018 are:

2. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks of North Carolina
3. Grayton Beach State Park Florida panhandle
4. Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York
5. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
6. Lighthouse Beach, Buxton, Outerbanks of North Carolina
7. Caladesi Island State Park Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida
8. Hapuna Beach State Park, Big Island, Hawaii
9. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
10. Beachwalker Park Kiawah Island, South Carolina