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My Vacation Lady LOVES Hawaii for many different reasons and 1 of those reasons are the beaches. From black sand, to white sand, to green sand, Hawaii’s beaches are unique.
Which are Hawaii’s best beaches?
For the last 20 years or so, people have been reading Dr. Beach’s (Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman) annual list of what he calls America’s Best Beaches.
For 2016, 2 of Hawaii’s beaches made his top 10 list– Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve in Oahu and Kapalua Bay Beach in Maui.
These are some of Dr. Beach’s Past Winners.
Fleming Beach Park, Maui
Dr. Beach’s 2006 favorite, Fleming presides on the west side of Maui, known for its idyllic year-round sunny weather. A lure for sunbathers, swimmers and surfers alike, it also provides a rim of shady trees.
Hanalei Bay, Kauai
The Best Beach designee for 2009, this north shore gem features a pristine bay surrounded by majestic mountains made famous in the movie “South Pacific.” Locals love to surf here, and the beach is soft, white and inviting.
Hanauma Bay, Oahu
Dr. Beach called this 2004 Best Beach winner “one of the most spectacular natural resources in Hawaii.” A Marine Life Conservation District, it’s tops for snorkeling amidst brilliant fish and sea turtles.
Hapuna Beach State Park, Hawaii Island
The 1993 winner is set on the island’s Kohala Coast and flanked by the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. Dr. Beach praised it for its long stretch of white sand and perfect bodysurfing waves.
Hulopoe Beach, Lanai
This idyllic oasis earned the top spot on Dr. Beach’s list in 1997. A local favorite, it offers plenty of room to relax on its palm-lined crescent sands, presided over by a Four Seasons resort. Spinner dolphins make frequent appearances.
Kaanapali Beach, Maui
This west Maui marvel is the island’s best-known beach. Recipient of Dr. Beach’s 2003 award, it stretches luxuriously in front of a long series of hotels, hugged by pretty palms and a pleasant pedestrian path.
Kailua Beach Park, Oahu
Located on Oahu’s rural windward side, this 1998 list-topper draws windsurfers with its steady onshore breeze. Dr. Beach gave kudos to its gradually-sloping sands and clear azure waters.
Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui
Dr. Beach chose this northwest Maui beach as his very first winner in 1991. He likes its calm, clear waters sheltered from big waves and strong currents, which make it an ideal spot for swimming, snorkeling and diving.
Kaunaoa Beach, Hawaii Island
Also known as Mauna Kea Beach, the 2000 award-winner has gently-sloping sands and swimmable waters. The rocks on either side of the bay draw schools of tropical fish, and visitors can easily snorkel out to see them.
Lanikai Beach, Oahu
Topping the list in 1996, this windward Oahu jewel is excellent for swimming, and its view of two little offshore islands across a swath of turquoise water looks like something right out of the movies.
Poipu Beach Park, Kauai
On Kauai’s sunny southern shores, the Best Beach for 2001 is a winner for both visitors and residents thanks to its coral sands and areas of shallow, protected waters for safe swimming.
Wailea Beach, Maui
One of south Maui’s favorite swimming spots, Dr. Beach’s 1999 pick fronts the hotels of Wailea Resort. A paved path makes it easy to stroll from one end of the beach to the other, and there are equipment rentals for splashy fun.
Do you have a favorite beach in Hawaii that didn’t make Dr Beach’s list?
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