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Explore Dr. Beach’s Top 10 Beaches of 2016 With These YouTube Videos

See for yourself why these beaches made the Top 10 list for this year

Theresa Boehl
Theresa Boehl
Editor
Posted on: July 14, 2016

Every year, Dr. Stephen Leatherman (aka Dr. Beach) releases his list of the best beaches in the United States. This year’s Top 10 list highlights some coastal gems that might not be familiar to even the most experienced beach traveler.

So what’s it like to visit one of Dr. Beach’s top 10 beaches of 2016? To find out, we turned to our favorite resource for videos: YouTube.

Join us on a binge-watching journey through beachfronts in Hawaii, Florida and the East Coast.

1. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Oahu, Hawaii

The Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is a protected park on the southeastern edge of Oahu, and home to enviable vistas, a dazzling stretch of beach and hundreds of species of marine life.

As the mini-documentary mentions, it’s $7.50 to enter — the park is closed on Tuesdays. Want to check out this golden-sand haven during a vacation to Honolulu? Learn more about the roundtrip Hanauma Bay Shuttle from Waikiki hotels.

2. Siesta Beach, Sarasota, Florida

You haven’t seen Siesta Key Beach, a barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico, until you’ve seen it from above. A few things stand out in this aerial video — sand as white as snow and pure turquoise water, as well as the occasional brightly colored beach umbrella.

Read our beach directory entry on Siesta Key.

3. Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii

No time or money to watch the sunset over Kapalua Bay Beach in person? This time-lapse video is the next best thing. Take a few minutes and get to know this veteran of Dr. Beach’s list (it garnered the No. 1 slot in 1991).

Kapalua Bay Beach happens to be fairly close to Ka’anapali Beach, which held the No. 1 slot in 2003.

4. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks of North Carolina

In this five-minute family vacation video, you get a true sense of the purity, simplicity and slower pace at Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, which has garnered a 4.5-star rating from the TripAdvisor community of reviewers.

We’re glad to see this lesser-known beach get some much-deserved attention.

5. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Watch the bottom portion of the screen during this video and you’ll surely spot them — dozens of surfers with their boards, ready to ride this beach’s robust waves. Other shots show a beachfront perfect for walking, swimming and playing in the sand.

Fun fact: This beach is not far from the Marconi Wireless Station Site, where the first transatlantic wireless communication was sent from the United States to Europe. A few years later, operators at this station used this new form of communication to alert the RMS Carpathia to the sinking of the Titanic — the Carpathia responded and helped with rescue efforts.

6. Grayton Beach State Park, Florida Panhandle

If you’re a fan of nature and wildlife, you’ll fall hard for Grayton Beach State Park, located in the Florida Gulf between popular vacation towns Panama City Beach and Destin. The park boasts some rare features — quartz sand, marshes, dunes, sea oats and flatwoods.

Rent one of the park’s 30 cabins or pitch a tent to see these various habitats up close.

7. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California

It’s just 5 miles from downtown San Diego, but in Coronado Beach, you feel like you’ve been whisked far away to some yesteryear seaside resort town. The Victorian Hotel del Coronado certainly adds to that feeling — built in 1888, it remains an icon along the beachfront.

In this video, our host takes us along to sample cocktails, have some ice cream, visit Coronado Village and more.

8. Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York

You have to take this quirky video with a grain of salt. It was made in 2010 after Coopers Beach garnered the No. 1 slot on Dr. Beach’s list for that year. Though not everyone in Coopers Beach agreed with Dr. Beach’s assessment, it’s refreshing to see a video that focuses on the people in this particular place, rather than the beachfront itself. We dare you not to smile.

9. Caladesi Island State Park Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida

The Florida Gulf is very well-represented in this year’s Top Beaches list, and we can see why Caladesi Island State Park near Clearwater made the cut. Mangroves, nesting turtles, armadillos, nature trails, a pristine beachfront — it’s all here.

Join Park Ranger Tracy Telatycki as she explains why this beach is special and what the park means to her.

10. Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina

It’s under the radar, it’s awe-inspiring, and as these young ladies show, it’s gorgeous. Kiawah Island, a barrier island in South Carolina, is home to the expansive golf courses, beachfronts, villas and parks of the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, but Beachwalker Park is a public space for all to enjoy.

Dr. Beach is not the only one to take note of the splendor of this area — in 2013, Forbes named this beach the 10th best in the nation.

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Does Dr. Beach’s “Top 10 Beaches of 2016” list have you itching to travel to one of these destinations? Browse our deals or sign up to receive our daily emails.

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