Category Maui

Hanauma Bay, Oahu, tops Dr. Beach’s list of Top Beaches for 2016

Hanauma Bay is the number one beach in the 26th annual Top 10 Beach List, complied by coastal expert Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, professor at Florida International University. Below are Dr. Beach’s Top 10 Beaches of 2016, including his photos and description of each:

1. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Oahu, Hawaii. Hanauma Bay Beach Park is located on the eastern end of Oahu. There is limited parking so the best way is to reach this stunning white sand coral beach enclosed in a breached volcano is to take the Waikiki Beach Shuttle. The marine protected area, which has the best accessible snorkeling in Hawaii, is closed on Tuesdays to give the fish a chance to rest. In fact, this became the first no-smoking beach in Hawaii because of the necessity to protect the thousands of beautifully-colored tropical fish which span the rainbow. There are lifeguards along this crescent-shaped beach along with full amenities.


2. Siesta Beach Sarasota, Florida. According to Dr. Beach: “With some of the finest, whitest sand in the world, this beach attracts sand collectors from all over. Siesta Beach has clear, warm waters ideal for swimming. The beach is hundreds of yards wide in the shape of a crescent, due to anchoring of onshore rocks to the south. This beach is great for volleyball and other types of recreational fitness.”


3. Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii...

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10 Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA | U.S. News Travel

IMG_0884Taking the family to the beach can create lifelong memories, as long as every member of the family is satisfied. To help you choose your next family beach vacation, U.S. News considered factors like safe waters, kid-friendly attractions, dining options, spacious accommodations, multi-generational appeal and overall accessibility. The list below features destinations across the country that are most ideal for family getaways, according to travel experts and our readers. Weigh in by voting below, then use this list to plan your upcoming travels.

Source: 10 Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA | U.S. News Travel

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Beach of the Week: Kaanapali Beach, Maui

Black Rock, Kaanapali Beach, Maui - Photo by Bill Hurley, all rights reserved

Black Rock, Kaanapali Beach, Maui – Photo by Bill Hurley, all rights reserved

BeachManiacBlogWithText3_150pxNothing beats feeling the gentle tropical breeze as you walk along the softly lit Kaanapali Beach walkway past beautifully landscaped hotels, refreshing swimming pools and inviting beachside restaurants and bars. The three-mile white-sand Kaanapali Beach is one of the most popular locations on Maui, with a string of resorts connected by the beachside walkway and featuring Black Rock (photo above), where you can snorkel right from the beach in crystal clear waters and watch local cliff-divers celebrate the sunset nightly. GoHawaii says Kaanapali was Hawaii’s first planned resort and has become a model for resorts around the globe. It features the open air Whalers Village shopping complex, with shops, restaurants, a whaling museum and free Hawaiian entertainment. Kaanapali Beach provides the perfect location for a day at the beach or pool or the backdrop for exploring all of Maui. At the end of the day, return to Kaanapali for a luau, a relaxing stroll or dinner overlooking one of the top-rated beaches in the world. Find out more about the resorts along Kaanapali Beach.

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Providenciales named world’s best island

Grace Bay. Photo by Tobias LIndman via Flickr (create commons license).

Grace Bay. Photo by Tobias Lindman via Flickr (Creative Commons license).

BeachManiacBlogWithText_150pxProvidenciales in the Turks & Caicos chain of islands – east of Cuba and north of Haiti – is the world’s best island for beach lovers, according to the TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards for 2015. Providenciales has been under the radar for many travelers but in recent years has been cited repeatedly as hosting one of the best beaches – if not the very best beach – in the world: Grace Bay.

The growing popularity of Grace Bay has led to the development of upscale resorts, along with enticing bars, top-notch waterfront restaurants and shops. But its main attraction clearly is its perfect combination of clear turquoise waters and soft clean white sand.

Providenciales_MapTripAdvisor says: “The diving and snorkeling is as convenient as it is stunning, thanks to miles of coral reef that’s easily accessible from the shore. The upscale resorts and captivating beachscapes of Grace Bay make it a popular choice for waterfront escapes. The cliffs and crags of Chalk Sound make a lovely backdrop for kayaking the bright turquoise waters.”

One TripAdvisor traveler adds” “This is definitely one of, if not the most beautiful beach! Pictures do not do the beautiful shades of the blue waters justice. The sand is so soft and never to hot to walk on barefoot. And you can walk for miles. There is always a nice breeze and the water is perfect to swim in. Calm and refreshing. But, not cold. And it is not over crowded at all...

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Honolulu is top U.S. beach destination


BeachManiacBlogWithText_150pxTripAdvisor’s list of top U.S. destinations for 2015 includes some of our favorite beach locations. Mixed in with urban locations such as New York City (#1) and Chicago (#2) are few great beach locations in the areas we tend to favor at, including Florida and Hawaii.

The top beach destination in our top areas on this year’s list are:

Honolulu_250pxHonolulu, Oahu, Hawaii (#13). TripAdvisor says: The mere mention of Hawaii is enough to prompt visions of grass skirts and colorful cocktails with tiny umbrellas. While you will find some kitsch in Honolulu, you’ll also find art museums, bike paths, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Popular Waikiki Beach has soft sands and great surf. For majestic Oahu views scramble to the top of Diamond Head – a 350-acre volcanic crater. Historic structures like Iolani Palace and Ali’iolani Hale are worth a visit on a non-beach day.

Miami_Beach_250pxMiami Beach, Florida (#14). TripAdvisor says: At the shore in Miami Beach, visitors can swim, surf and jet ski in the warm and crystal-clear Atlantic waters. You can also nap on the white sands, work on a tan or simply watch the beautiful people, especially at South Beach, a favorite of models and celebrities. We add this: Beach lovers need go no further than the famous South Beach to experience everything from amazing sun-kissed beach bodies to spectacular clubs that host one of the wildest night-life experiences in the country and beyond...

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Siesta Beach does it again: Named America’s best beach


TripAdvisor traveler photo

TripAdvisor traveler photo

BeachManiacBlogWithText_150pxThis kind of attention is nothing new for Siesta Beach, with its pristine, sugary white sand and wide expanse, but this Florida Gulf Coast slice of paradise has been named the best beach in America by the 2015 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards.

“I was totally blown away by how fine, soft, clean and uncrowded the beach was. My feet were in heaven,” wrote on recent traveler.

And while the sand is the main attraction at Siesta Beach, the island that serves as its home is also a big draw. The beaches of Siesta Key, just south of Sarasota, are lined with condos and hotels, but the island nonetheless has retained a quiet get-away atmosphere. You won’t find a lot of restaurants and bars on the beaches of Siesta Key, but that keeps it quiet and family-fun oriented.

The other top 10 American beaches in the 2015 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards, in order, are:

The Beach Maniac Blog by Bill Hurley

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Hawaii’s Best Beaches


Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority

Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are on some of the most beautiful islands of the world: the Hawaiian Islands. USA Today recently put together this slideshow highlighting some of Hawaii’s gems. Perhaps top on top of the list is one of best snorkeling sites you’ll every visit: The protected Hanauma Bay on the Island of Oahu. But Hawaii’s offering of great beaches definitely doesn’t stop there. View the USA Today slideshow:

Photo tour: Hawaii’s best beaches

Posted by Bill Hurley

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7 of TripAdvisor’s Top 10 U.S. Beaches for 2014 are in Hawaii

Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii. TripAdvisor photo.

Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii. TripAdvisor photo.

beach_maniac_blog_100pxHawaii has seven of the top 10 beaches in the United States, including the top beach: Lanikai Beach in Kailua on the island of Oahu, according to TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards for 2014.

The other Hawaii beaches in the Top 10 are Ka’anapali Beach, Lahaina; Maui (2), Hanalei Beach, Hanalei Kauai (4);  Wai’anapanapa State Park, Hana, Maui (5), Wailea Beach, Wailea, Maui (6); Manini’owali Beach (Kua Bay), Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii (8); Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Honolulu, Oahu (10).

Two Florida beaches made the Top 10: Siesta Key Public Beach and Saint Pete Beach. Hunting Island State Park in Beaufort, S.C., was the other Top 10 beach.

Other non-U.S. beaches in our part of the world that made the list of the Top 10 Beaches in the World are Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos (2); Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico (3); and Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres, Mexico (10).

Top 10 beaches in the U.S.:

1. Lanikai Beach, Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii

2. Ka’anapali Beach, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

3. Siesta Key Public Beach, Siesta Key, Florida

4. Hanalei Beach, Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii

5. Wai’anapanapa State Park, Hana, Maui, Hawaii

6. Wailea Beach, Wailea, Maui, Hawaii

7. Hunting Island State Park, Beaufort, South Carolina

8. Manini’owali Beach (Kua Bay), Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, Hawaii

9. Saint Pete Beach, Saint Pete Beach, Florida

10. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Top 10 beaches in the world:


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Gold List: World’s Best Beach Hotels

See on Scoop.itBeach Maniac

If it’s sand and sun you’re hankering for, look no further than these beach hotels in the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Australia, Mexico, and more.


Beach Maniac‘s insight:

The Conde Nast Traveler list of the World’s Best Beach Hotels has the Rosewood Mayakoba, Riviera Maya, Mexico, as Number One in the world!

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Fodor’s Travel identifies the Top 10 Hawaiian Resorts

Disney’s Aulani Resort, Oahu. TripAdvisor traveler photo.

If you’re going to visit what may be the most beautiful place on Earth – Hawaii – what could be better than staying at one of the top resorts while you’re there? Well, if you have the money, or just want to dream a little,  be sure to check out one these amazing Hawaiian resorts that made it onto a  new list of Fodor’s Travel Top 10 Hawaiian Resorts. A couple of my favorites – the
Hilton Hawaiian  Village Waikiki Beach Resort on Oahu and the Sheraton Kaui on Poipu Beach – did not make the list, but be assured that you just can’t go wrong on any of these incredible paradise resorts. In the list of Fodor’s Travel Top 10 Hawaiian Resorts below, I link to TripAdvisor pages that provide extensive traveler reviews of each site, as well as opportunities to compare prices and find the best deals:

Read the Fodor’s Travel article.

The Beach Maniac Blog by Beach Maniac Publisher Bill Hurley

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