Dr. Beach’s annual results are out and Hawaii beaches ranked high as some of the top beaches in America. This year, the picks were #2 Kahanamoku Beach Waikiki, #5 Hamoa Beach Maui and #7 Waimanalo Bay Beach Park Oahu. I recently visited each of these beaches and here’s our take and a personal favorite.
This is the wide swath of beach that fronts Fort DeRussy Park to the Hilton Hawaiian Village and sits adjacent to the man-made Kahanamoku lagoon. It is named in honor of Hawaii surf legend Duke Kahanamoku. You’ll find all ocean activities here and places to rent surfboards, stand up paddle boards and take lessons.
Perfect: A reef protected Waikiki swimming, surfing, SUP, sunning and bathing beach.
One of the most picturesque and remote of Maui beaches can be found beyond Hana. It is a near perfect crescent shape that’s lined with a black lava wall. The beach is not reef protected which means that water conditions vary seasonally. A favorite choice of authors Ernest Hemingway and James Michener.
Perfect: If your travels find you in Hana, don’t miss this for photos and more. Our personal favorite.
Waimanalo is a beautiful Oahu beach popular with locals, and great for family picnics and sports. I’ve always enjoyed being in the water here and looking back towards the spectacular mountains. It can also be a good place to body surf for beginners. There’s protection from the sun under ironwood pines (Casuarina equisetifolia). It’s a wide beach with beautiful sand, turquoise waters and a gentle shore break. Years ago it was featured often in the Magnum, PI television series.
Perfect: A short drive from Honolulu, this feels like the other side of the world. Picnics, water and more.
Do you agree with Dr. Beach’s picks for 2011? We look forward to hearing your selections for best Hawaii beaches.
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