World's 50 Best Beaches include two in Hawaii

Friday, 01 December 2017, 05:57:23 AM. Beaches on Maui and Oahu were honored on a list that had as its criteria untouched beauty, remoteness, sand and water quality, and annual days of sunshine. The No. 1 beach is in the Caribbean.

Two little-known gems among Hawaii’s beaches — Maui’s Honokalani Beach and Oahu’s Lanikai Beach — ranked among the World’s 50 Best Beaches compiled by FlightNetwork.

More than 600 travel experts polled by the Canadian travel company placed Honokalani Beach at No. 28 and Oahu’s Lanikai Beach at No. 41.

Criteria for the best beaches include sheer untouched beauty, remoteness, sand and water quality, and annual days of sunshine.

Honokalani Beach Tor Johnson/Hawaii Tourism Authority Tucked in a cove within Maui's Wai'anapanapa State Park, Honokalani Beach allows visitors to dip their toes into volcanic, black sand. Tucked in a cove within Maui's Wai'anapanapa State Park, Honokalani Beach allows visitors to dip their toes into volcanic, black sand. (Tor Johnson/Hawaii Tourism Authority)

For remote locations, the crescent-shaped Honokalani Beach easily qualifies. It’s tucked away at the lush Wai’anapanapa State Park amid the switchbacks and one-lane bridges of the famous Hana Highway.

The beach is well-known to locals but often overlooked by white-knuckled tourists desperate to reach the village of Hana, a few miles to the south. The black sand strand sits beside tide pools that turn red several times a year with the arrival of small shrimp. Blowholes and lava tubes add to the allure.

Honokalani Beach Hawaii Division of State Parks Surrounded by the lush greenery of Wai'anapanapa State Park, Honokalani Beach is a Maui gem that's often overlooked by motorists on their way to nearby Hana. Surrounded by the lush greenery of Wai'anapanapa State Park, Honokalani Beach is a Maui gem that's often overlooked by motorists on their way to nearby Hana. (Hawaii Division of State Parks)

Not for the timid, the drive from Kahului Airport (OGG) takes about 2 1/2 hours.

On Oahu, it’s only a 45-minute drive from the hotels of Waikiki to the Lanikai Beach, on the island’s windward side.

Often overlooked by visitors, the eastern side of the island is dotted with pristine, uncrowded beaches. FlightNetwork’s Top 50 list gives Lanikai 10 out of 10 in the “sheer, untouched beauty” category.

Located in the city of Kailua (the one on Oahu, not Hawaii Island), Lanikai looks out toward two nearby islets, which make it a beautiful backdrop for photos. Calm waters make this spot ideal for a splash in the ocean or more serious endeavors such as kayaking and paddleboarding.

Lanikai Beach Tor Johnson/Hawaii Tourism Authority Kayakers glide past pristine Lanikai Beach on the eastern side of the island of Oahu, just 45 minutes from far-more congested Waikiki Beach. Kayakers glide past pristine Lanikai Beach on the eastern side of the island of Oahu, just 45 minutes from far-more congested Waikiki Beach. (Tor Johnson/Hawaii Tourism Authority)

Experts, including the folks at the Kailua Chamber of Commerce, recommend the portion of beach just north of Onekea Drive. But don’t be tempted to park in the no-parking zones or block driveways; you’ll face a hefty fine.

By the way, the best beach in the world is Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos, followed by Whitehaven Beach in Australia’s Whitsunday Island National Park (No. 2) and Anse Lazio in the Seychelle Islands (No. 3).

Info: World’s 50 Best Beaches

To read the article in Spanish, click here

Chasing Mark Twain through Nevada and California CAPTION

Times travel writer Christopher Reynolds follows Mark Twain's trail through the silver-mining town of Virginia City, Nev.; the north shore of Lake Tahoe (where the great author once started a forest fire); and the California Gold Country, where Twain spent a winter on Jackass Hill.

Times travel writer Christopher Reynolds follows Mark Twain's trail through the silver-mining town of Virginia City, Nev.; the north shore of Lake Tahoe (where the great author once started a forest fire); and the California Gold Country, where Twain spent a winter on Jackass Hill.

Chasing Mark Twain through Nevada and California CAPTION

Times travel writer Christopher Reynolds follows Mark Twain's trail through the silver-mining town of Virginia City, Nev.; the north shore of Lake Tahoe (where the great author once started a forest fire); and the California Gold Country, where Twain spent a winter on Jackass Hill.

Times travel writer Christopher Reynolds follows Mark Twain's trail through the silver-mining town of Virginia City, Nev.; the north shore of Lake Tahoe (where the great author once started a forest fire); and the California Gold Country, where Twain spent a winter on Jackass Hill.

Mojave CAPTION

There is no place as intense and wondrous and few people as compelling as those who make the California desert their home.

There is no place as intense and wondrous and few people as compelling as those who make the California desert their home.

Vivid Sydney CAPTION

A look back at 2016 highlights from Vivid Sydney

A look back at 2016 highlights from Vivid Sydney

Carrizo Plain's fields of gold CAPTION

The national monument, about 70 miles from San Luis Obispo, is ablaze with color

The national monument, about 70 miles from San Luis Obispo, is ablaze with color

The Great American Eclipse CAPTION

The Great American Eclipse

The Great American Eclipse

travel@latimes.com

@latimestravel

ALSO

Chile is Lonely Planet's top country for 2018. Detroit and San Juan, Puerto Rico, land on 10 best cities list

Viking is best cruise line in Mediterranean, Royal Caribbean offers best value, in new rankings

Southern California's best holiday light shows for keeping spirits bright

  • Can't wait for 'Hamilton' tickets to go on sale in L.A.? This San Francisco hotel gives you two with your stay

  • Taste test: Starbucks is now serving a Unicorn Frappuccino

  • Conde Nast Traveler places these four California hotels among the world's 75 best

...Read more
Share this

You might also like