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Kaanapali Beach named best in Hawaii

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Winning beach features three miles of white sand on Maui

From the black sand beaches of the Big Island and Maui to the big wave beaches of Oahu, Hawaii offers a diversity of beach experiences found in few other destinations on the planet. And the best news? They're all open to the public by state law! 

  • Kaanapali Beach
    Maui

    A former retreat for Maui royalty, some of the island’s best resorts border this 3.5-mile, very popular beach. Waves break gently, a beach walk runs parallel to the warm sand and clear water permits snorkeling. Don’t miss the daily cliff diving ceremony at Black Rock held at sunset on the north end of the beach in between enjoying the various restaurants and shopping at the waterfront Whaler’s Village entertainment area.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / ejs9

  • Ko Olina Beach
    Oahu

    On the leeward coast of Oahu, Ko Olina Beach comprises four man-made lagoons protected by offshore reefs. Calm waters, in addition to the presence of resorts like Disney's Aulani and the Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club, make it a popular choice with families. The beach park offers free parking, as well as restrooms and showers, even for beach-goers who aren't staying at one of the Ko Olina resorts.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / VickyRu

  • Poipu Beach
    Kauai

    A series of three crescents on the south coast of Kauai make up Poipu Beach. It offers a little bit for everyone with a variety of water activities to enjoy when not watching palm trees sway from the comfort of your beach towel. Surf closer to the rocky outcroppings and find calmer waters mid-crescent. Shallow water and lifeguards near Poipu State Park make swimming a dream.
    Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

  • D.T. Fleming Beach
    Maui

    On Maui’s West Shore, D.T. Fleming Beach Park is one of the most popular spots for bodysurfing and bodyboarding on the island. The long, sandy stretch enjoys ample shade from ironwood trees lining the sand, as well as amenities like picnic tables, BBQ grills, showers, and lifeguards.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / estivillml

  • Waikiki Beach
    Oahu

    On Oahu's southern shore, world-famous Waikiki has long been a beachy playground for the rich and famous, including Hawaiian royalty. Beneath the shadow of Diamond Head, the 2-mile-long beach here welcomes more than 4 million visitors each year. Visitors who aspire to take on the big breaks on the North Shore can learn to surf on the small and consistent wave breaks of Waikiki.
    Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

  • Hapuna Beach
    Big Island

    Located on the Big Island's Kohala Coast, Hapuna State Beach represents the largest of the island's white sand beaches. The half-mile crescent of powder soft sand and crystal blue waters ranks among the island's top spots for swimming, snorkeling and bodysurfing, and come sundown, the beach fills with onlookers hoping to see the "green flash" of a Hawaiian sunset.
    Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

  • Hanalei Bay
    Kauai

    The 2-mile crescent-shaped Hanalei Beach hugs the wide and visually stunning Hanalei Bay. With verdant mountains to one side, the sea to the other and anchored by a pier, Hanalei is quintessentially Hawaii, especially during the winter when onshore breaks attract surfers from around the globe. Even when the current prohibits swimming, the beach is plenty wide for sunning and strolling.
    Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

  • Hulopoe Beach
    Lanai

    Beautiful white sand awaits at this stunning beach in front of Four Seasons Lanai. Crystal clear waters make it the best place on the island for snorkeling and swimming. It’s a public beach with showers, picnic tables, restrooms and barbecues. Tide pools carved out of volcanic rock are located on the eastern side of the bay and home to hermit crabs, sea stars and much more.
    Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Heather Goodman / @hbgoodie

  • Lanikai Beach
    Oahu

    Set on Oahu's windward coast, this gorgeous beach – often considered one of the best in the world – offers incredible waters and the picturesque presence of two small, offshore islands. About a mile long, the beach varies in width, although its entire stretch provides soft sands and beautiful vistas out towards the ocean and of the Koolau Range. The beach is protected by an offshore reef, making the waters calm on this quiet stretch of coastline.
    Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

  • Big Beach
    Maui

    Makena Beach State Park on the southwestern coast of Maui is home to Makena Beach, or Big Beach as locals call it, with golden sands stretching for nearly two thirds of a mile. One of the island's longest beaches, Makena Beach is vast enough that it never feels crowded, and there's hardly a bit of development in sight.
    Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

The top 10 winners in the category Best Beach in Hawaii are as follows:

  1. Kaanapali Beach - Maui
  2. Ko Olina Beach - Oahu
  3. Poipu Beach - Kauai
  4. D.T. Fleming Beach - Maui
  5. Waikiki Beach - Oahu
  6. Hapuna Beach - Big Island
  7. Hanalei Bay - Kauai
  8. Hulopoe Beach - Lanai
  9. Lanikai Beach - Oahu
  10. Big Beach - Maui

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning beaches!

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