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Coronado Beach is Awesome, Says Beach Expert

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Photo by Aine D via Flickr
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It's not really breaking news that San Diego has amazing beaches, but it's still always nice to be recognized. That's why we are frolicking about with joy over the fact that Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, a coastal expert and professor at Florida International University, has named San Diego's own Coronado Beach the number one beach in America.

Leatherman -- who also goes by the nickname Dr. Beach -- has been ranking the nation's top ten beaches every year since 1991. On his website, he explains how he got started:

An unexpected inquiry got me started rating beaches. In 1989 I received a telephone call from a travel magazine writer who wanted a listing of the top 10 U.S. beaches. I was on my way to catch a plane to China for an extended trip as an exchange professor with Peking University in Beijing. Pressed by the reporter, I rattled off the first 10 wonderful beaches that came to mind.

When the list was published, Leatherman writes, he heard from both cities whose beaches made the list and those that didn't. The latter group wanted to know what his criteria was, to which he responded, "Criteria? I didn't have any criteria. All of this hoopla made me think about how seriously Americans take ratings everyone wants to know what is best. We rate everything from hotels and restaurants to graduate programs in universities, so why not beaches?"

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The environmental expert went on to create 50 criteria for awesome beaches, including noise level, sand softness and wind speed, and has been ranking away ever since.

Coronado Beach, he writes, "is popular for swimmers, surfers, sunbathers and beachcombers... [and] is very flat, making it great for skim boarding and walking, and the sand has a silvery sheen because of the presence of mica."