Coast Guard Beach Named Among America’s Best by ‘Dr. Beach’

Sunrise at Coast Guard Beach

EASTHAM – Eastham’s Coast Guard Beach was named among the top ten best beaches in the nation by Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, also known as “Dr. Beach.”

The coastal expert and professor at Florida International University uses 50 criteria to make his list, ranging from sand and water quality to average winds.

He also factors in safety concerns, such as rip currents, pollution, and presence of lifeguards. 

For Leatherman’s 30th year of assembling the list, Coast Guard Beach came in at number ten, falling from its number eight spot in 2020 and a further tumble from number six in 2019.

The reason for the fall down his rankings is due to the growing presence of sharks off the coast of Cape Cod, said Dr. Leatherman. 

“I am still concerned about the sharks. The Great White sharks out there chasing the seals. So that’s a worry, but so far there’s been no attacks at Coast Guard Beach, and let’s hope that stays the same,” said Leatherman.

He said that he has seen shark awareness increasing around the nation, with some beaches adopting more warning signage as well as utilizing more technology to spot the marine animals sooner. 

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy’s Sharktivity sighting and resource app can help make beachgoers aware of where and when sharks have been spotted all around Cape Cod.

With coronavirus pandemic restrictions lifting Saturday, May 29 and the summer expected to be one of the Cape’s busiest yet, Leatherman said that beaches across the region will likely see their fair share of visitors.

“Things are opening up, thank goodness, around the country,” said Dr. Leatherman.

“So I think one of the best places to be is on the beach, after all. Nice clean, fresh air coming ashore there on Cape Cod and Coast Guard Beach—in fact, all your beaches. I think this is a delightful time to visit the Cape.” 

The full list of top ten beaches includes: 

  1. Hapuna Beach State Park, Hawaii Island, Hawaii
  2. Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York
  3. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks of North Carolina
  4. St. George Island State Park, Florida Panhandle
  5. Lighthouse Beach, Buxton, Outer Banks of North Carolina 
  6. Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu, Hawaii 
  7. Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida
  8. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California 
  9. Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina 
  10. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.



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