SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — One of the country's best spots to lay and in the sand and watch the tide roll in is right in San Diego.
Stephen Leatherman, a professor at Florida International University more widely known as "Dr. Beach," has released his annual list of the best beaches in the U.S. Rounding out the top 10 at number nine is San Diego's own Coronado Beach for the second straight year.
Tucked along Coronado, the beach is hailed by Leatherman as a local oasis and "toast of Southern California."
"Coronado Beach is the toast of Southern California; it is a veritable oasis by the sea, measuring hundreds of yards wide. 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 warm and mild surf," Leatherman writes.
The Hotel del Coronado is also touted for its "Old World elegance" and appeal that it adds to the sandy shores.
Coronado Beach was the only California beach to make the list. Topping the beach rankings is Kailua Beach Park in Oahu, Hawaii.
So what makes Leatherman the expert?
He uses 50 criteria to evaluate beaches, including water and sand quality as well as safety and management. Since 1991, the professor has graded beaches and is regarded as a coastal expert, from storm impacts and coastal erosion to beach health.