1. Siesta Beach
"Siesta Beach in Sarasota boasts that it has the finest and whitest sand in the world, and I cannot argue with this claim; the powdery sand is nearly pure quartz crystal," Leatherman said. "The beautiful blue-colored water is clean and clear, making it so inviting to bathers and swimmers. The beach is hundreds of yards wide, attracting volleyball players and beachcombers as well as those who just want to find their place in the sun."
2. Coronado Beach
San Diego, Calif.
"Coronado Beach is the toast of Southern California; it is a veritable oasis by the sea, measuring hundreds of yards wide," Leatherman said. "With its lush subtropical vegetation, unique Mediterranean climate, and fine sparkling sand, beach-goers flock to this beach for great ship watching and the summer’s mild surf."
3. Kahanamoku Beach
Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
"This beach was named in the honor of Duke Paoa Kahanamoku who was a gold medal Olympic swimmer and credited with introducing surfing to the outside world," Leatherman said. "Kahanamoku Beach is bounded by the Ala Wai small boat harbor and the Hilton Hawaiian Village catamaran pier. A shallow offshore reef protects this beach from the big waves, making it a great swimming area for families with children."
4. Main Beach
East Hampton, N.Y.
"Main Beach provides the perfect blend of nature and built environment," Leatherman said. "Wealthy summertime residents flock here to the beaches protected by a conservation easement, dating back over 300 years. Main Beach is a great place for star-spotting, since many actors and actresses frequently visit this beach for its idyllic setting in a small village."
5. Cape Hatteras
Outer Banks of North Carolina
"Bulging far offshore of the mainland coast as a barrier island, Cape Hatteras was the first National Seashore," Leatherman said. "Providing some of the best board surfing along the East Coast, as well as the most famous lighthouse in the United States, Cape Hatteras attracts beachgoers to its historic fishing villages. Nature lovers adore the excellent beachcombing and superb fishing."
6. St. George Island State Park
"The Florida panhandle beaches are back as oil from the BP spill has vanished, and the sand is squeaky clean," Leatherman said. "The brilliant white sands and clear waters of St. George Island were fortunately not even impacted last summer. Stingrays are sometimes resting in the shallow waters so shuffle your feet when entering. Birding and fishing are very popular activities here."
7. Beachwalker Park
Kiawah Island, S.C.
"South of Charleston, Beachwalker Park is the public beach located on the southern end of Kiawah Island," Leatherman said. "Tennis and golf are featured here, as well as interpretative tours of the fauna and flora of the island. This is certainly a nature-lovers coast, so visitors should pack their canoes and kayaks to paddle through the tidal inlets or walk down to St. Sam’s Inlet to see thousands of birds."
8. Coast Guard Beach
Cape Cod, Mass.
The Eastham beach fell one spot from last year's rankings. "Coast Guard Beach, accessible by bicycle or via shuttle bus from the Salt Pond Visitor’s Center, was formed where a sand spit attached to the eroding glacial cliffs," Leatherman said. "The sand is fairly coarse, so the beach slopes steeply into the water. The picturesque old Coast Guard station still sits atop the glacial bluffs, allowing for a spectacular view down upon the Nauset Spit barrier system and bay. During the summer, beach-goers take quick, refreshing dips in the ocean, as water temperatures only reach 60-70 degrees."
9. Waimanalo Bay
"This park has ample parking, restrooms, outdoor showers, and a good beach for swimming," Leatherman said. "While not as stunning as some other Hawaiian beaches, it is a safe beach because big waves and dangerous currents are rare and lifeguards are present. Hawaiians who live on Oahu frequent this beach."
10. Cape Florida State Park
Key Biscayne, Fla.
"Cape Florida State Park, located at the south tip of Key Biscayne, provides clear, emerald-colored waters and gentle surf," Leatherman said. "This fine, white coral sand beach is great for swimming, as waves are knocked down by a large sand shoal offshore. In addition, the Cape Florida Lighthouse allows for a breath-taking view of this beautiful beach."