Beachgoers enjoy a late summer day at Coopers Beach in Southampton.

Beachgoers enjoy a late summer day at Coopers Beach in Southampton. Credit: John Roca

Some of the best beach access in the Hamptons exists on Coopers Beach in Southampton Village and there’s a snack bar there that serves lunch and drinks as well.

Those are some of the reasons Coopers Beach is again on the list of the Top 10 beaches in the country by coastal expert Stephen P. Leatherman, a professor at Florida International University known as “Dr. Beach.” No other New York beaches made the list.

Leatherman, who has compiled the list for 29 years, ranked Coopers fourth this year — the same position it held in 2018 — and it was rated No. 1 in 2010.

“As the first ‘Gold Coast’ in the country, Coopers Beach is hundreds of yards wide, made of grainy white quartz sand,” Leatherman said in his description of the beach for the list. He adds, “The beach is backed by large sand dunes covered by American beach grass interspersed with large and extravagant mansions.”

Topping the list is Kailua Beach Park in Oahu, Hawaii, which Leatherman described as “a beautiful white sand coral beach with generally small waves, making it great for swimming and kayaking.”

Listed among its amenities are lifeguards, free parking, bathrooms, beach showers, picnic tables, volleyball courts and kayak rentals.


  1. Kailua Beach Park, Oahu, Hawaii
  2. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks of North Carolina
  3. Grayton Beach State Park, Florida Panhandle
  4. Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York
  5. Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
  6. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  7. Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin-Clearwater, Florida
  8. Hapuna Beach State Park, Big Island, Hawaii
  9. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
  10. Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina