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Hanalei Beach Rates As Best Beach HAWAII DATELINE 2016

HAWAII DATELINE 9/12/2016

This classic, two-mile crescent-shaped beach on Kauai where the emerald mountains meet the sparkling sea was selected No. 1 on "Dr. Beach" Stephen P. Leatherman's list of top 10 beaches, which was released Friday.

Hanalei beat out other shores stretching from San Diego to Cape Cod.

"The sheer beauty of Hanalei Bay is breathtaking," said Leatherman, director of Florida International University's Laboratory for Coastal Research. "It's really an idyllic setting."

Hanalei features postcard views from every angle and is untouched by the feverish development that has transformed the coastlines of other islands. It's cherished by both locals and tourists as the perfect spot to swim, surf, snorkel or simply escape and unwind.

"It's just gorgeous," said Annie Meredith, who regularly surfs in the bay. "You've got green mountains, white sand, blue ocean — that's kind of hard to beat."

The runner-up on Leatherman's list was Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Fla., followed by Coopers Beach in Southampton, N.Y., on Long Island; Coronado Beach in San Diego; Hamoa Beach in Maui, Hawaii; Main Beach in East Hampton, N.Y., on Long Island; Cape Hatteras in Outer Banks, N.C.; Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne, Fla.; Coast Guard Beach on Cape Cod, Mass.; and Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island, S.C.