CORONADO — Like a Hollywood star, Coronado's 1.5 mile-long beach literally sparkles, thanks to the mineral mica glinting in its sand.
That's one of the reasons why Coronado — flanked by the iconic hotel featured in Marilyn Monroe's 1958 film "Some Like It Hot" — has been named the No. 1 beach in the United States in the 2012 survey by "Dr. Beach" professor Stephen P. Leatherman of Florida International University.
It is the first time "Dr. Beach" has given the top slot to California in the more than two decades that he has been ranking beaches in the United States based on their environmental quality and safety for swimmers.
Coronado Beach, on a peninsula across the bay from San Diego, has near-perfect Mediterranean weather and a postcard backdrop.
"I think it's one of the most super beaches around," said Leatherman, director of FIU's Laboratory for Coastal Research.