Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
With a backdrop of world-class restaurants, hotels, and shopping, Waikiki is a popular place to have fun in the sun, while enjoying the modern perks of a big city. Several readers think its close proximity to the hustle and bustle is what sets this beach apart.
Reader RobZonie said, "Best beach? Waikiki. Particularly the stretch of sand fronting the Royal Hawaiian—the Pink Palace of the Pacific. This is the quintessential Hawaiian beach. Near the top of the crescent running from Fort de Russy to Diamond Head, the water here is relatively calm, perfect for swimming. Further out you'll find respectable waves for the tourist surfer—nothing like North Shore, but that's not always a bad thing. Waikiki is a place to see and be seen, so don't be surprised if a celebrity makes a cameo as an extra in your vacation photos. And it is a world famous attraction; you're just as likely to spread a towel next to someone from Japan, France, or Rhode Island, as you are a local ... maybe more so. Sun, sand, scenery, and citizenry from around the world—perfect!"
Reader bdarrah added, "This is a beautiful beach with the backdrop of Diamond Head. Hawaiians have avoided construction or signs blocking the view of this volcano. The view of Waikiki from the top of Diamond Head is breathtaking. Waikiki is a melting pot of locals and visitors from all over the world. Having a Mai Tai at the Banyan Court of the Moana Hotel makes a special evening listening to Hawaiian music and the sound of the surf. Keep Smiling and Aloha."
(Photo: iStockphoto/Sheldon Kralstein)