Dr. Beach Names Ocracoke Island, N.C. America's Best Beach
Ocracoke Island NC named #1 beach
News June 8, 2007: Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach on Ocracoke Island,
North Carolina takes the number one spot on Dr. Beach's annual America's
Best Beaches list of 2007. The island, embraced by the Cape Hatteras
National Seashore on North Carolina's Outer Banks, is known for its
clean water, sand and unspoiled natural beauty. At 16 miles long and a
half-mile wide, Ocracoke is a sun-swept wilderness, once a favorite
haunt of Blackbeard the Pirate and the place where he met his demise.
Today also marks the first time a beach outside of Florida or Hawaii
has been named to the top position on Dr. Beach's celebrated annual
"We are proud that Ocracoke Island has been recognized as the home of
America's best beach," says North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley. "The
unmatched beauty of our coast has for decades been a favorite of
visitors who truly wish to get away - to relax among the quiet natural
shorelines, explore the native wildlife, meet unique people and hear the
compelling stories of the Outer Banks."
Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic Ocean surround Ocracoke Island; it is
accessible only by water and air and sits 26 miles from the North
Carolina mainland nestled against the Graveyard of the Atlantic (a
coastal area famous for the many seagoing vessels that wrecked there
years ago because it was difficult to navigate). The island's remote
location invites visitors looking for a pristine place to swim, fish,
surf and explore. No chain hotels exist on the island.
International beach expert Stephen Leatherman made the #1 designation.
Known as "Dr. Beach" he is the nation's foremost authority on beach
quality and ratings. He has gained international renown for his annual
list of top-ten beaches in America, which he has released since 1991.
More than 650 beaches throughout the United States are judged on a list
of 50 criteria under four main areas: physical factors such as sand
color and quality, and number and size of waves; biological factors such
as color and condition of the water; presence of wildlife and pests;
and human use and impacts such as lifeguard protection, far-reaching
views and traffic.
The natural, untouched beauty of Ocracoke Island's sand, clear
sunshine, good waves and clean water caught the attention of Dr. Beach
years ago. Visitors have come for the same reasons.
Article courtesy of the NC Division of Tourism