I had forgotten how nearly perfect this place is.
The beach itself is a relieving exhale; it’s wide and usually uncrowded, with enough room for you to stretch out. Unlike popular beaches in town, you won’t likely be disturbed by beach-goers blathering on their cell phones or chain-smoking on the beach mat next to you.
And there’s surf. Not the occasional freak set of swells. We’re talking serious waves from north and south swells that can reach advisory levels in the winter that can generate dangerous shorebreak and strong rip currents.
It’s easily one of my favorite beaches in Hawaii.
I get asked that question all the time — people visiting the Islands always want to know where the best beaches are. Some want calm waters with living coral reefs perfect for snorkeling. Others want world-class surf breaks. Still others want beaches where all the hot chicks frequent.
I like beaches that offer options.
The beaches in Waikiki (right) has a plethora of things to do, from snorkeling to swimming to surfing. You can rent everything from stand-up paddleboards to inner tubes at concession stands along the beach. And if you want to lie back and watch the world pass by, you can do that, too.
And if you get bored with the beach, you can always ditch the towels and walk along Kalakaua Avenue for frozen yogurt, shave ice or a li hing margarita.
But I can appreciate a more secluded beach like Wailea Beach on Maui.
This crescent-shaped golden beach on the southern shores of Maui (left) was voted “America’s Best Beach” — and for good reason. It offers ideal swimming and snorkeling in its protected waters, with restrooms and equipment rentals nearby. Like other Neighbor Island beaches — Secret Beach on Kauai, Papohaku Beach on Molokai — Wailea isn’t very crowded, at least by Oahu standards. And sometimes I like going to the ocean to get away from the noise and commotion that is my life. Crowds aren’t what I’m looking for.
So I’m throwing it out there: what are your favorite Hawaii beaches and why?