Number Two, Says Who?

Sundae Horn, Press Release
Number Two, Says Who?

Dr. Beach ranks Ocracoke's Lifeguard Beach as #2 in the nation.

We know we're really #1. We got that designation in 2007. But once you reach the top spot, Dr. Beach, a.k.a., Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, "retires" you for a decade. Ocracoke was also #2 last year, #3 in 2017, after reappearing on the list at #4 in 2016. 

I met Dr. Beach in 2007 and ate lunch with him at Howard's Pub – he likes to visit and make his #1 announcement in person. I suspect we'll be hosting him this time next year. You can't beat publicity like this. First of all, it's FREE, and will get picked up by every major and minor news organization. Secondly, it features the very things about Ocracoke that we most want to promote: clean water, pristine beaches, friendly village close by. 

It should be noted that Dr. Beach specifically choose Ocracoke's Lifeguard Beach. Safety is important and all the beaches he promotes have lifeguards. Dr. Beach also dislikes ORVs on the beach, so the Lifeguard Beach gets points for being closed to ORV traffic. 

As “Dr. Beach” (, Leatherman, a professor at Florida International University, has selected the annual Top 10 Beaches since 1991. Fifty criteria are used to evaluate beaches, which include water and sand quality as well as safety and management. Dr. Leatherman is an internationally known coastal scientist who has published 20 books and hundreds of scientific articles and reports about storm impacts, coastal erosion and ways to improve beach health and safety.

Bonus points are awarded for prohibition of smoking on beaches, and Oahu, Hawaii is leading the way by keeping their beaches clear of cigarette butts. That's why Kailua Beach Park in Oahu is number one in the 29th annual Top 10 Beach List. Think of the publicity if Ocracoke banned smoking, too! (Is that just a dream, Cape Hatteras National Seashore?)

Previous National Winners are retired and listed on Dr. Beach's website.

  1. Kailua Beach Park Oahu, Hawaii
  2. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach Outer Banks of North Carolina
  3. Grayton Beach State Park Florida panhandle
  4. Coopers Beach Southampton, New York
  5. Duke Kahanamoku Beach Oahu, Hawaii
  6. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  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




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