Hapuna Beach #1 Beach in U.S.

Best Beaches USA 2021 | Dr. Beach Proclaims Hawaii is #1

Update May 26, 2021: We remain on the hunt for the best beaches in the USA, including those in Hawaii and your top picks. And so do others, including Dr. Beach. You can’t go wrong at any of the beaches below. We’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions too. See why two of Hawaii’s incredible beaches made Dr. Beach’s picks again this year.

Ranked #1. Hapuna Beach, Hawaii (Big Island). Up from #8 last year.

Hapuna Beach


Hapuna also moved up from #9 in 2019. A well-loved Beat of Hawaii favorite, Hapuna Beach rocks. The beach is remotely positioned on the Big Island’s Kohala Coast, fronting the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. It is renowned for a wide range of consistently good beach activities like swimming, surfing, paddleboarding, sunbathing, snorkeling, and more. Walk to the north end to find Turtle Cove, where you will likely see Hawaiian green sea turtles.

Ranked #6. Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu. Moving down from #4 last year.

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Located on the west end of Waikiki and fronting the Hilton Hawaiian Village. This was rated by Dr. Beach as the #5 best beach in America in 2019 and has moved up in ranking. Not connected but also nearby is Ala Moana Beach Park, Hawaii’s single most popular beach.

Kahanamoku is a beautifully wide and calm beach, a favorite of families and kids. Also at hand is the lagoon by the same name, pictured above, which is another favorite.

Beat of Hawaii suggestions for best beaches in the USA (Hawaii):

Best Beaches in Hawaii | 7 Lead TripAdvisor US Rankings

Hawaii Stand Up Paddle Boarding and Duke Kahanamoku

Updated 5/26/21.

19 thoughts on “Best Beaches USA 2021 | Dr. Beach Proclaims Hawaii is #1”

  1. Manini’owali Beach is my favorite on the Big Island. Hapuna is lovely, but I really don’t like the warning sign that there may be unexploded ordnance on the beach.

  2. After carefully reviewing Dr Beach’s top ten list and considering it futher I cannot in all honesty agree that any beach on the mainland is better than the top 100 hawaiin beaches. It seems even more incredulous to think a beach in NewYork could be number 2. The list is laughable. I wonder what criteria is used. If you like freezing water with no sea life crowded by tourists then and only then could this list make sense.

  3. Agreed! Just spent a week at the Westin Hapuna Beach. The best!! Aloha and mahalo for sharing the beautiful Kohala coast. We love the Big Island!

  4. We like A Bay near Waikoloa too. Hapuna beach can get crowded. But ANY beach in Hawaii is GREAT in my opinion.

  5. Dr. Beach is absurd how do the top 10 beaches change so dramatically every year? The fact is, they don’t! He simply changes them to stay relevant and keep interest in himself. There’s been so many number one beaches by him that it is ridiculous. I would use another source to find the best beaches. If he wants to recommend some beaches that’s fine but don’t try to rank them every year in order so nonsensical and not honest or accurate.

  6. I won’t try to dispute the choice because I haven’t been to Hapuna Beach. But I have been to almost every beach on Maui and I would have to rank Keawakapu beach number one in Maui followed closely by Ulua beach. Both beaches provide perfect snorkeling conditions, shade trees, parking, fantastic views, calm waters, and avoid all the unsightly beach chairs laid out by the resort hotels. I don’t particularly like over crowded beaches surrounded by high rise hotels. A few condos or hotels are ok but not to the extent of Waikiki or West Maui.

  7. Aloha, I really like Ala Moana park for walking. It is great to be out and watching the activity all over the park. The beach is so clean and blue. I am there every year. A fantastic place to be.

  8. I have to agree, Hapuna Beach is my favorite, then again I love the Big Island. White sand, nice waves in winter, clean, great views among other things. You can’t go wrong there.

  9. A.K.A the publishers of this post are Democrats and since Obama will at sometime in the near future be moving to his forever home on Waimanalo Beach, Hawaii we took that beach off our list for his privacy.

    NO and NO, Waimanalo Beach is in the top 5 beaches in America, skip Ala Moana Beach Park (too crowded and no parking) and skip Dukes for the same reason. Waimanalo is one of most famous beaches on tourist websites often ranking it in the top10 beaches in the WORLD, pristine, isolated and scenic beyond words. Go to Google images and see for yourself. Go to Waimanalo Beach and forget that Obama will live there shortly, and disregard his privacy goonies beach recommendations, remember folks Obama didn’t pick an ugly beach in the selection of his forever home.

      1. I agree Lorna, kinda puts a damper on my fun reading about Hawaii.
        I do like the tips from readers, I’m about to Google Keawakapu on Maui.
        Thanks BOH for all the info and fun things to read.

    1. Thank you, Debi. As a former kamaaina, Waimanalo is a most beautiful beach. I married a Waimanalo girl and we had so many good times there. I don’t get to Oahu enough, the last time was three years ago and it was perfect. Not crowded and the most beautiful and calm water. I hope it stays that way.

      Aloha no!

  10. Those two beaches and the others on the list are really quite incomparable; that is, so different it’s hard to say one is better than the other. I would think one might have 4 or 5 beach features that are each rated on a scale or by stars.

  11. Love Beat of Hawaii! I think one of the best beaches is Waialea Beach-A.K.A. Beach 69 on the Big Island near Puako Bay.There is plenty of shade and a nice sandy area for swimming. It’s usually not that crowded and the mix of green trees, black rocks, beautiful blue water and golden sand make it great for photos. Thank you for consistently provided the best Hawaii info!

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