The other nine on Leatherman's 2013 list after Main Beach are: Kahanamoku Beach, Waikiki, Hawaii; St. George Island State Park, Fla.; Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii; Waimanalo Bay State Park, Oahu, Hawaii; Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park, Bonita Springs, Fla.; Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne, Fla.; Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks, N.C.; Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Mass.; and Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, S.C.
East Hampton village residents have free access to Main Beach, although parking permits are required from May 15 to Sept. 15. Nonresidents can buy parking passes at $25 per day but they are limited in number, with only 40 nonresident daily parking passes sold on weekends and holidays.
Max Scainetti, a lifelong East Hampton resident, said the tiny grains of tan sand and the cleanliness of the beach are two of the things that make Main Beach special.
"This is one of the best beaches in the country, and I've been to a lot of beaches," Scainetti said. "I think basically it's a lot to do with the sand. A lot of Long Island beaches tend to be rocky, where these are more sandy beaches."
Javier Baldo, an East Hampton cook, said he has visited Main Beach regularly for about eight years.
"It's fairly civilized. It doesn't get too crowded. The water is delicious," he said. Delicious? "It's really great water, it's really clean. You just have a lot of space."
Baldo said celebrities are sometimes seen at the beach, but people generally keep to themselves.
"It's quiet, there's no loud music playing. It's obviously very safe; great lifeguards. There are really great lifeguards. They're actually fit and very well experienced. That's a big thing, just the safety," he said.