Coopers Beach in Southampton Ranks 3rd Best in US

Coopers Beach.
Coopers Beach. Independent/Courtesy Southampton Inn

Coopers Beach in Southampton has slipped from second to third best beach in America, according to Dr. Beach’s annual list ranking the nation’s top 10 beaches released Thursday.

The beach, which topped the list in 2010, dropped down to No. 8 in 2016 before inching back up the list. It came in at No. 5 in 2017, No. 4 two years in a row, No. 3 in 2020 and No. 2 last year.

“As the first ‘Gold Coast’ in the country, Coopers Beach is hundreds of yards wide, made of grainy white quartz sand,” Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, a coastal expert and professor at Florida International University who has produced the list for the past 30 years, wrote in his review. 

“The beach is backed by large sand dunes covered by American beach grass interspersed with large and extravagant mansions,” he continued. “Some of the best beach access in the Hamptons exists on Coopers Beach, and a snack bar serving lunch and drinks can be found here as well.”

Coming in at No. 1 this year was Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Coast Guard Beach in Cape Cod came in at No. 2 this year. The full list can be found at

Dr. Beach bases his annual list of 50 criteria, including categories such as softness of sand, water temperature, air temperature, amount of rain, wind speeds, sand color, water color, presence of wildlife, presence of lifeguards and even the overall smell of the beach.

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