Beach expert Stephen Leatherman, “Dr. Beach,” annually issues a list of the top 10 U.S. beaches on the ocean and this year for the first time studied nominees from the freshwater seas to name the top 5 Great Lakes beaches. Two of the five are in Michigan. Topping the list are the beaches of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore along 35 miles of Lake Michigan coastline at Empire, just west of Traverse City. Ranked third is Sand Point Beach at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Lake Superior in Munising. Dr. Beach looks at dozens of criteria when ranking the beaches, from the quality and make-up of the sand to safety and facilities.