Top 5 Beaches in the U.S.

TOP 5 BEACHES IN THE U.S.Winter is quickly approaching, so to keep you from falling too deep into the cold weather blues, here is a little something to keep you dreaming of summer 2015 -- the top 5 beaches in America according to Stephen Leatherman, professor, and director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University.

5. Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Cliffs, palm trees and bountiful plants decorate this incredible Hawaiian beach in Maui. But it's not all fun and games -- the beach is actually located in a breached volcanic crater

4. Waimanalo Bay State Park, Oahu, Hawaii

If you aren't a fan of the big waves and rough currents, this beach is for you. Complete with lifeguards on duty, outdoor showers, tons of public parking and clean restrooms, this beach is a favorite for Hawaiian locals.

3. St. George Island State Park, Florida

This super-white squeaks-when-you-walk sandy beach is part of a state park on the eastern end of Florida. Birding and fishing are popular here, as well as stingray sightings and dune-walking.

2. Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park, Bonita Springs, Florida

This 8,200 foot long, 342-acre park is a staple for Florida residents. Gentle surf and shallow waters make for a perfect family outing.

1. Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

Named in honor of Duke Paoa Kahanamoku,  a gold medal Olympic swimmer who is credited with bringing surfing to the U.S., this beach is bounded by the Ala Wai small boat harbor and the Hilton Hawaiian Village catamaran pier. Big waves make it the perfect surf spot!