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These are the Top 10 U.S. beaches

Heading to the beach this summer? Perhaps you’ll be enjoying the sun and sand at one of the top 10 beaches in the USA.

For 2018, Kapalua Bay Beach in Maui is No. 1, according to coastal sciences professor Dr. Beach.

Dr. Beach, also known as Stephen P. Leatherman, has been releasing an annual list of the United States’ top beach destinations since 1991. Leatherman is professor and director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University.

He uses 50 criteria to assess the beaches — from water and sand quality to amenities, pests and views and vistas.

Kapalua, a gorgeous white-sand crescent, is billed as perfect for swimming and snorkeling, and fish food and snorkeling gear are available from a concession hut at the north end of the beach.

Lined by palm trees, the beach is protected from waves by the “arms” of lava flows, creating an area teeming with colorful fish.

The second-ranked beach is nearly 5,000 miles away on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach is located on Ocracoke Island, which is only accessible via private boat or ferry.

Rounding out the top three, the mile-long beach at Grayton Beach State Park is located in a 2,000-acre park on Florida’s Panhandle. There are 30 cabins available for rent in the park.

Best US beaches for 2018

1. Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii

2. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks, 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, Outer Banks, 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