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Dr. Beach's Top 10: Coronado Beach can crow 'We're No. 2!'

May 27, 2011|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Travel & Deal blogger
(Chris O'Meara / Associated…)

The doctor is in -- or weighing in with the best beaches in the United States for 2011. Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, Fla., was the big winner. And, like last year, only one California beach made the list: Coronado Beach near San Diego, the No. 2 spot in the 2011 lineup. It moved up from No. 3 last year.

Dr. Beach, a.k.a. Stephen Leatherman, director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University, says on his website that beaches are evaluated on 50 criteria, from sand softness and turbidity to how much debris is floating in the water.

Here's the full list of top beaches this year:

1. Siesta Key Beach, Sarasota, Fla.
2. Coronado Beach, Coronado, Calif.
3. Kahanamoku Beach, Waikiki, Hawaii
4. Main Beach, East Hampton, N.Y.
5. Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks, N.C.
6. Dr. Julian Bruce St. George Island State Park, Fla. (panhandle)
7. Kiawah Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, S.C.
8. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Mass.
9. Waimanalo Beach Park, Oahu, Hawaii10. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne, Fla.

With a coastal state this big, I always wonder why more California beaches don't make the grade. Part of the answer might rest with  a more sobering ranking that came out this week. Heal the Bay on Wednesday issued its Top 10 Beach Bummers, a list of California beaches with the poorest water quality statewide.

Still, the better news from this report is that water quality statewide dipped a little, but overall remained "very good to excellent."

Hey Dr. Beach, are you listening?

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