When thinking about Hawaii, it’s impossible not to associate it with beautiful sandy beaches with shiny blue skies in the background. And it’s not by chance because two Hawaiian beaches have been voted as the best in the United States by a specialist called “Dr. Beach.” The two Hawaiian beaches named for this year top 10 were Kahanamoku Beach on Oahu on the 5th spot and Wailea Beach on Maui on the 8th.
Stephen Parker Leatherman is an American geoscientist, coastal ecologist, and author. His previous jobs were Director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at the University of Maryland, Director of the National Park Research Unit at the University of Massachusetts, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Geology at Boston University.
Dr. Beach has been known for analyzing beaches for more than three decades, making the top 10 every year since 1991. More than fifty criteria are used to make a list, including water and sand quality and safety and management. As a specialist in the subject, Hawaii heading two of the top 10 makes it exceptionally creditable for the islands regarding its absolute beauty.
Hawaii has not been on the list only this time. Quite the opposite, it has won the number one spot on many occasions, earning the crown in 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2021, making the aloha state one of the most wanted locations for beaches.
Kahanamoku Beach got the 5th position this year but already won the 2nd position in 2012. This one is a part of the world-famous Waikiki Beach, but it’s located on the west end, known for calm waves, a big blue lagoon which is very popular for children to swim as it’s separeted from the ocean, and the notorious picturesque scenario with Diamond Head in the background. The beach is named after Duke Paoa Kahanamoku (1890-1968), perhaps the most remembered and respected Hawaiian surfer, a champion Olympic swimmer, and a master of canoeing.
Wailea Beach is located on the southwest shore of the island of Maui (known as one of the most beautiful islands in the world). Like Kahanamoku, this one is also known for calmer waters and snorkeling-friendy. However, remember that accidents can happen even on tranquil beaches, like powerful rip currents and even sudden large waves that may knock people onto the rocks.
Another crucial fact about Wailea is that it is often packed with tourists, as it’s a top-rated beach among many celebrities who enjoy their stay in nearby resorts like the world-famous Four Seasons, located by the side of Wailea. Wailea is Hawaiian for “the water of Lea,” the goddess of boat manufacturers. This beach was known as Kahamanini before resort development. Original Hawaiian place names frequently convey more information about a region, and Kahamanini is no exception – the name means “place of the surgeonfish.”
Hawaii is internationally awarded for having outstanding beaches. No wonder the aloha state is consistently among the top 10 list and frequently even reaches the first position. Although the state has some of the best beaches in the world, it is strongly recommended always to be aware of the possible dangers you might encounter while traveling, especially in Hawaii. You can find deep forests, scenic landscapes, earthquakes, treacherous T-storms, and even snow in this state.
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