Sunday, May 31, 2009

America's Top Beaches

Where are some absolutely wonderful places to swim?

Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, Director
of Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research, better known as Dr. Beach, announced his 19th annual Top 10 Beaches in America. The list includes:

1. Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii
2. Siesta Beach, Sarasota, Florida
3. Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York
4. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
5. Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii
6. Main Beach, East Hampton, New York
7. Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks, North Carolina
8. Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne, Florida
9. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
10. Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Hanalei Bay, a spectacular beach on Kauai, is deservingly ranked number one. Open water swimmers can enjoy the two-mile stretch of palm tree-lined shoreline with a backdrop of waterfalls and mountain peaks. The crescent-shaped beach, which is generally flat and calm due to the protective outer reef, is a great place to practice navigational sighting.

Because Hanalei Bay is crescent-shaped, swimming straight can be difficult because you can be easily drawn to swimming along the gorgeous shoreline. But, swimming along the shoreline is not the quickest way to swim from point A to point B.

So you can get double benefit: swimming in America's top beach while practicing navigational sighting by picking a point off in the distance and trying to swim as straight as possible to that point.

As Dr. Beach says, "Beaches are the number one recreational destination for Americans. These sandy playgrounds that line our coasts are the most extensive natural parks in the country. Nothing restores the body and soul like a stay at the beach."

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