San Diego's Coronado tops the list from "Dr. Beach," otherwise known as Stephen Leatherman, director of the laboratory for coastal research at Florida International University.
"The beach is very flat, making it great for skim boarding and walking, and the sand has a silvery sheen because of the presence of mica," Leatherman's website said.
Coming in second on the list was Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. The Dr. Beach website describes the destination as benefiting from a shallow offshore reef that protects swimmers from big waves, making it ideal for children.
The other destinations on Leatherman's Top 10 list are: Main Beach in East Hampton, New York;St. George Island State Park on the Florida panhandle; Hamoa Beach in Maui, Hawaii; Coast Guard Beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Waimanalo Bay Beach Park in Oahu, Hawaii; Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne, Florida; Beachwalker Park in Kiawah Island, South Carolina; and Cape Hatteras on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Last year, the top destination on the list was Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Florida. The 2010 winner was Coopers Beach on New York'sLong Island.
Leatherman has released his list of top coastal destinations every year since 1991. His criteria for judging a good beach include the width of the beach, the color of the sand, the slope, water temperature, frequency of rain, noise factors and the presence of lifeguards.
The full 2012 list is as follows:
1. Coronado Beach San Diego, California
2. Kahanamoku Beach Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
3. Main Beach East Hampton, New York
4. St. George Island State Park Florida panhandle
5. Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii
6. Coast Guard Beach Cape Cod, Massachusetts
7. Waimanalo Bay Beach Park Oahu, Hawaii
8. Cape Florida State Park Key Biscayne, Florida
9. Beachwalker Park Kiawah Island, South Carolina
10. Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks of North Carolina
More info is available at drbeach.org.
(Reporting By Alex Dobuzinskis; editing by Todd Eastham)