Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii
Shaped like a long half moon, Hanalei Bay makes some visitors believe they are in another world. Located in the shadow of Bali Hai, this beach is a favorite among our readers when it comes to a sandy escape.
Reader kauai33 said, "Hanalei Bay MUST be included on this list. Though part of me hesitates to broadcast it since more people might flock to it, and part of its charm and incredible beauty is its peaceful and uncrowded atmosphere. It is surrounded by the Bali Hai Mountains, is occupied by the famed Hanalei Pier, and is a spectacular two mile crescent of soft, white sand. I walk it often in my [mind], imagining every beautiful home surrounding this bay, seeing the surfers, and the rolling waves. I think I have even seen the word PARADISE inside the tunnels of these waves!"
Reader WalnutBaron added, "I nominate the beach at Hanalei Bay near Princeville on the island of Kaaui. It's a spectacular white sand beach stretching for more than a mile, ringing the beautiful inlet called Hanalei Bay. It's protected by a reef which makes it perfect for kids to play in the sand and water, but it's also ideal for surfers further out beyond the reef. And, to top it all off, it sits in the shadow of the mythical Bali Hai Mountain which plunges into the ocean and looks so close you can touch it. By the way, my nomination is apparently in good company: "Dr. Beach" named Hanalei Bay as America's Best Beach of all in May 2009."