Special Report: America's Cleanest Beaches
Newport Beach, California (Photo: Mark Weston/Flickr)
Remember the Walrus and the Carpenter? Between all their weeping and oyster-scarfing they contemplated what it would take to clean the beach they were walking on:
“‘If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,
“That they could get it clear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.
Fortunately we don’t need maids or mops—we have the handy-dandy Newsweek clean beach finder (which we can’t imagine Lewis Carroll hawking in an infomercial). Based on the National Resources Defense Council’s annual analysis of water quality at 3,485 coastal U.S. beaches (Testing the Waters 2014: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches) that used the Environmental Protection Agency’s swimmer safety assessment known as the Beach Action Value, we have identified the best of the cleanest (taken from NRDC’s list of “superstars”). Below are seven of our favorites, broken out by region.
'Walrus and the Carpenter' from Disney's “Alice in Wonderland” (Photo: Disney)
Hawaii’s not a region, you say? What? We can’t hear you; we have water in our ears…
Pacific Coast: Newport Beach, 38th Street, California
There are more than eight miles of beaches to choose from, but where 38th Street meets the Pacific the waters are pristine, and the rest of it isn’t bad either. There’s a lengthy bike trail nearby, beach chairs and fire pits to be had and lots of pelicans for company. Word is they like the water too, though they take it all in a gulp.
Westhaven State Park.