Cleanest Beaches in the United States
NRDC(Natural Resources Defense Council) issued star ratings to 200 popular beaches around the
country. The star system awards up to five stars to each
popular beach for exceptionally low violation rates and
strong testing and safety practices. Criteria include
testing more than once a week, notifying the public as soon
as tests reveal bacterial levels violating health standards,
and posting closings and advisories both online and at the
beach. In 2012, thirteen beaches received a 5-star rating.
These beaches are listed below:
List of 5 Star Rated Beaches
Alabama: Gulf Shores Public Beach
If you're looking for volleyball-playing, beach-bar-hanging good times, this
spot - where Highway 59 dead-ends into the Gulf - is for you. For a small
fee, you get all-day, up-close parking, making it easy to unload your gear.
Beach attendants, three open-air pavilions and a picnic area are available.
There are also restrooms and showers on site. This is a popular spot, so you
may want to arrive early to get a prime parking spot.
Alabama: Gulf State Park
Located in the city of Gulf Shores on the coast of Alabama, white sun-kissed
beaches, a surging surf, seagulls and seashells greet you at Gulf State
Park. Consisting of 6,150 acres with two miles of sugar white sand beaches,
Gulf State Park has a modern campground, Cabins, Cottages, Back Country
Trails, and the Largest Fishing Pier in the Gulf of Mexico! The area also
has an interactive Nature Center, new Tennis Courts, a beautiful Beach
Pavilion, the 18-hole Refuge Golf Course, and a 900 Acre Lake for fishing in
our Picnic Area on Lake Shelby.
California: Bolsa Chica Beach
Bolsa Chica State Beach is a popular place for surf fishing
for perch, corbina, croaker, cabezon and sand shark. Also
popular is in the summer is bare-handed fishing for
California grunion, a species that only spawns on sandy
southern California beaches. The Park is located in
Huntington Beach and extends three miles from Sunset Beach
to Seapoint Avenue. A bike-way connects it with Huntington
State Beach, seven miles south. Wildlife and bird watching
are popular. Across the road from the beach is the Bolsa
Chica Ecological Reserve, operated by the California
Department of Fish and Game.
Beach, 38th Street, 52nd/53rd Street
Newport Beach prides itself on pristine beaches with 10
miles of coastline for surfing, swimming, or sunbathing.
Millions of people visit Newport beaches annually and enjoy
the sand, pier, ocean, and boardwalk. The most famous spot
for seeing monstrous surf is The Wedge at 2172 E. Ocean
Front. Thirteen beaches received a 5-star rating by the
Natural Resources Defense Council with Newport Beach taking
top honors. Enjoying a warm fire while your toes dig in the
cold sand is an ideal way to spend the time with family or
friends. The fire rings are located at Corona del Mar State
Beach and near the Balboa Pier.
California: San Clemente State Beach, Avenida Calafia,
Since 1937 San Clemente has been one of the most popular
beaches in California. A dramatic setting and invigorating
air satisfy its many visitors, whatever their interest,
energy level or state of mind. The mile long beach stretches
between the curling ocean surf and the foot of a steep
bluff. Midway between Los Angeles and San Diego, the park
attracts water sports enthusiasts and those seeking respite
from the inland heat or an escape from nearby metropolitan
areas. San Clemente State Beach is located on the south end
of the city of San Clemente in Orange County.
Delaware: Dewey Beach
Delaware's Dewey Beach is a spectacular sandbar community -
on one side is Rehoboth bay, and on the other side there are
the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Dewey Beach itself is
a small town of less than 400 people, but it has become a
popular tourist destination for anyone interested in water
sports and beach.
Delaware: Rehoboth Beach
Located within the City limits, Rehoboth Beach has it all.
Stroll the mile-long boardwalk, relax on the beach, swim in
the Atlantic, and visit the exquisite local shops and
restaurants.There is no beach fee.
Maryland: Ocean City at Beach 6
It's 10 miles of beautifully kept, family-friendly ocean
beach. And it's absolutely free - the way beaches should be!
Ocean City, Maryland's beaches are perfect for swimming and
sunning. For surfing or fishing. For kayaking or canoeing.
During the summer, you'll find free family activities six
nights a week, including concerts, movies - even a beach
Olympics! And when you're ready for more fun, one of
America's best boardwalks is only a few steps away. Get out
early for an invigorating bike ride, shop an almost endless
variety of stores, or head for the arcades and amusements.
Michigan: Bay City State Recreation Area
Bay City State Recreation Area has one of the largest
remaining freshwater, coastal wetlands on the Great Lakes,
the Tobico Marsh. More than a thousand feet of sandy beach
and over 2,000 acres of wetland woods, wet meadows, cattail
marshlands and oak savannah prairies make it an ideal
staging area for migratory birds.
New Hampshire: Hampton Beach State Park
Hampton Beach is located on Route 1A just by the Hampton
Beach Bridge. This state park offers convenient parking,
rest rooms, convenience store and snack bar. The beach sand
is soft and white and often experiences tide pools which are
great for the kids to play in or look for sea urchins on the
massive natural wall of rocks. RV camping with full hook-ups
in the campground. Call 603-436-1552 for more information on
RV availability. Phone: 603-926-3784. Admission is $15 per
passenger vehicle for the parking area at South Beach. NH
residents age 65 and over are admitted free. Season passes
New Hampshire: Wallis Sands Beach at Wallis Road
Wallis Sands is a wonderful family beach! It's not too large
and is bordered on both sides by a barrier of rocks. It has
a waist high concrete wall separating the beach and bath
house and lots of nearly pristine sand. A smaller beach,
there is ample parking and the bath house has a diverse park
store. A large grassy area between the beach and the parking
lot is perfect for frisbee, volleyball or wiffleball!
Weekends can be quite crowded here: arrive early to get a
good spot and be sure to enjoy the view of the Isles of
Minnesota: Park Point Franklin Park / 13th Street South
Minnesota: Lafayette Community Club Beach