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Hāmoa Beach Among Top 10 on Dr. Beach’s 2014 Picks

A monk seal buries its head in the sand at Hamoa Beach, Hana. File photo by David Kvasnicka. [1]

A monk seal buries its head in the sand at Hāmoa Beach, Hana. File photo by David Kvasnicka.

By Wendy Osher

Dr. Beach released his top 10 list of best beaches in the US this year, which includes three Hawaiʻi selections.

Duke Kahanamoku Beach on Oʻahu earned the number one ranking on the 2014 list, with Waimanalo Bay Beach Park on Oʻahu coming in fourth, and Hāmoa Beach in East Maui ranking fifth.

In comparison to last year’s list, Duke Kahanamoku Beach moved up one spot from number 2 in 2013; and Hāmoa move down a spot from its fourth place spot on last year’s list. Waimanalo Bay Beach was not on the list in 2013.

Dr. Beach, whose real name is Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, is a director for the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University.

His list is selected based on 50 criteria including views, safety, and access.

Hāmoa Beach also made an appearance on the national list in 2010 when it was ranked ninth.

According to the list guidelines, once a beach is named number one, it is excluded from further consideration in future lists in order to give other beaches an opportunity to enjoy the spotlight.

Other Maui County beaches that are former winners, and have since been retired from the rankings include: Wailea Beach; Fleming Park Beach; Kāʻanapali; Kapalua Bay Beach; and Hulopoʻe Beach on Lānaʻi.  Other beaches throughout the state that are former winners that have since been retired from the list include: Poʻipū Beach and Hanalei Bay Beach on Kauaʻi; Kaunaʻoa Beach on Hawaiʻi Island; and Kailua Beach Park, Lanikai Beach, and Hanauma Bay on Oʻahu.

Dr. Beach’s 2014 list of Best Beaches included the following: (1) Duke Kahanamoku Beach on Oʻahu; (2) Barefoot Beach Bonita Springs, Florida; (3) St. George Island State Park Florida panhandle; (4) Waimanalo Bay Beach Park on Oʻahu; (5) Hāmoa Beach on Maui; (6) Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks of North Carolina; (7) Cape Florida State Park Key Biscayne, Florida; (8) Coast Guard Beach Cape Cod, Massachusetts; (9) Beachwalker Park Kiawah Island, South Carolina; and (10) Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Naples, Florida.