Coastal expert Dr. Beach, aka Professor Stephen Leatherman, from the Florida International University, has released a list with the Top 10 Beaches for 2014. The highest award goes to Waikiki, in Hawaii. His well known and respected yearly list is based on factors that include cleanliness, safety and amenities. And the winner of 2014 is:
Kahanamoku Beach, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
Number 1 Beach in the US for 2014:
Kahanamoku Beach is named after the legendary Hawaiian hero Duke Kahanamoku (1890-1968) who was an Olympic swimming champion and later became a movie star as well as the Sheriff of Honolulu. The beach is located at the west end of Waikiki Beach, far from the large crowds elsewhere. It is the widest beach on this stretch of famous sands, and it is protected by an offshore coral reef, making it an excellent beach for families with children. This is a safe beach with no known drownings. Official lifeguards are not present, but the beach and pool concessionaires have lifeguard training. The nearby Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon is also a favorite bathing and swimming spot. Surprisingly to many visitors, this beautiful beach where smoking is not permitted, was created more than half a century ago by dredging through the shallow reef and importing sand.
Dr. Beach analyzes 50 variables to evaluate beaches, including water and sand quality, as well as safety and environmental management. The coastal expert also announced that, starting next year, more emphasis will be placed on environmental management and beach safety. Bonus points will be awarded for prohibition of smoking on beaches. Oahu is leading the way as smoking at all beaches on this Hawaiian island is banned as of January 1, 2014.
The remaining 9 of the list include beautiful and sometimes secluded beaches in the US. The Beach News will highlight each one of them every week during this summer. Soon:
2. Barefoot Beach, Bonita Springs, Florida
3. St. George Island State Park, Florida Panhandle
4. Waimanalo Bay Beach Park, Oahu, Hawaii
5. Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii
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
10. Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Naples, Florida