Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, also known as "Dr. Beach", a professor at Florida International University has been selecting Top 10 Beaches in the United States annually for the past 25 years since 1991. This year two of our Hawaii beaches have made its place on the Top 10 List. Waimanalo Bay Beach Park was listed as the number one beach for this year along with Hamoa Beach Park in fourth place.
|Waimanalo Bay Beach Park|
Photo Creditor: TripAdvisor
Waimanalo Bay Beach Park is located in the northeastern corner of Oahu and is often missed as tourist drive through the small village. Waimanalo Bay is Oahu's longest beach which extends for more than five miles; This white sand beach is great for walking and the wind always blows onshore due to Trade Winds. It is also known sometimes for strong currents so keep a look out for the lifeguard tower for safer swimming. There are restrooms and showers along with some shaded areas. It's also a good place for body boarding due to the shallow sandbar.
|Hamoa Beach Park, Maui, HI|
Photo Creditor: Aloha-hawaii.com
Hamoa Beach Park is located on the east side of Maui in Hana and is listed number four on Beach's list. It is rimmed by cliffs, palm trees, and flowering greenery. This crescent shaped beach is a mixture of coral and lava sand and is the most famous of Maui's Hana beaches. Getting to this remote beach will take you a little over two hours to drive on a long windy road on some high cliffs and few guardrails, not to mention 50 one-way bridges along with waterfalls. It was listed at number five on last year's 2014 list. It also appeared in the national list in 2010, ranking nine.
Top 10 Beaches 2015
- Waimanalo Bay Beach Park, Oahu, HI
- Barefoot Beach, Bonita Springs, FL
- St. George Island State Park, FL
- Hamoa Beach Park, Maui, HI
- Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks of NC
- Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne, FL
- Coast Guard Beach , Cape Cod MA
- Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Is., SC
- Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Naples, FL
- East Beach, Santa Barbara, CA
National beaches that make it to the Top are then retired and listed on the website to giving other beaches a chance for first place. Fifty criteria are used to evaluate these beaches, which includes views, water, sand quality, as well as safety management.
Some of Hawaii's past winners that have been archived are:
Fleming Park Beach, Maui, Hawaii
Hanalei Bay Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii
Hapuna Beach State Recreational Area, Big Island, Hawaii
Hulopoe Beach, Lanai, Hawaii
Kaanapali, Maui, Hawaii
Kailua Beach Park, Oahu, Hawaii
Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii
Kaunaoa Beach, Big Island, Hawaii
Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
Poipu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
Wailea Beach, Maui, Hawaii
More emphasis is being placed on environmental management as well as safety. Bonus points are awarded for prohibition of smoking on beaches. Both Maui and Oahu have recently been leading the way as smoking is prohibited in all county parks, beaches, and recreational facilities.
More information on the 50 criteria used and also past beaches archived may be seen on Dr. Beach's website at: www.drbeach.org