Whenever a survey of best beaches gets released, it’s no surprise to find a Hawaii beach on the list. “Dr. Beach” has compiled a list of top beaches for the past 22 years. But what I like about this recent poll from Travel + Leisure magazine is that it categorizes the beaches in addition to ranking them.

Four Hawaii beaches made it on this first-ever “Best Beaches on Earth” list. Kauai’s Polihale Beach took the title of best for seclusion, while Black Sand Beach on Maui was the best for its dramatic landscapes. Also on Maui, Wailea Beach made the cut as the top beach for activities. And lastly, Hapuna Beach on the Big Island was third best for the family beach category.

There’s no doubt that Polihale is secluded. That’s what makes it one of my personal favorites. A dirt cane road takes beach-goers to the most western point on the island, where miles and miles of beach awaits. We’ve camped here many times and – especially if it’s during a week day – could be the only ones on the beach. It’s a little spooky at night but at the same time, it’s like nothing you’ll ever experience on the more populated islands, like Oahu or even Maui, for that matter. Maybe next year, the red sand beach in Hana will be on the list.

On the east side of Maui, a quarter-mile of black sand stretches along Hana Highway. I remember coming here for the first time as a kid and complaining to my parents that the “sand’s dirty!” Now I realize the beauty of a black sand treasure, such as this. It’s by no means one-of-a-kind, since there are many other black sand beaches throughout the world. But it’s definitely hard to find.

For a complete list of the Best Beaches on Earth, visit: www.travelandleisure.com/articles/bestbeaches.


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