Best Beaches in Oahu Hawaii (2023)

Best beaches in us

The best beaches in Oahu Hawaii for 2023 has been announced by Dr. Beach (aka Dr. Stephen Leatherman). Dr. Beach is a coastal expert and professor at Florida International University and has been ranking beaches all across the United States since 1991. He uses the same list of 50 criteria to judge every beach on the list. Interestingly, top beaches from previous years are not even mentioned in the top 10 for 2023. His criteria covers a wide spectrum from the natural environment, ease of use, and even safety.

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The No. 1 Beach in the US

Last year’s number 1 beaches in the US was Ocracoke Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, which isn’t mentioned at all for the 2023 list.

The winner for 2023 is St. George State Park in Florida.

And fun fact, number 8 spot went to a beach right outside my own hometown in Charleston, SC – Beach Walker in Kiawah Island!

Previous number one beaches were

2021 – Hapuna Beach State Park, Hawaii Island

2020 – Grayton Beach State Park

2019 – Kailua Beach Park, Oahu

2018 – Kapalua Beach, Maui

Best beaches in us
Duke Kahanamoku Beach was named the second best beach in the US by Dr. Beach. Located Directly behind the Hale Koa Hotel.

The Best Beach in Oahu Hawaii

The number two beach in all of the United States, and the best beach in Hawaii for 2023 is none other than Oahu’s own Duke Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki on Oahu.

Two other Hawaii beaches placed 7th, Wailea Beach on Maui and 9th, Po’ipu Beach, Kaua’i.

Previously high ranking beaches include Oahu’s own Lanikai Beach & Kailua Beach Park. (Best Beach in the US in 2019 and Hawaii Magazine Reader Choice Awards 4th place in 2021)

The Criteria for Best Beaches in the US

Dr. Beach uses 50 points of criteria like water temperature, color, wildlife, and sand quality to rank beaches every year. He even goes beyond the physical characteristics into accessiblity, enjoyment, public safety, dumping, and views.

He even uses some of the same criteria I have for choosing family photo locations!

  • Softness of the sand
  • Wide space to be free
  • Crowds
  • Accessiblity
  • Parking
  • Facilities – toilets for toddlers!

You can see his full list of 50 here.

Top 10 Beaches in the US 2023 by Dr. Beach are:

  1. St. George Island State Park, Florida
  2. Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
  3. Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York
  4. Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida
  5. Lighthouse Beach, Buxton, Outer Banks of North Carolina
  6. Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
  7. Wailea Beach, Maui, Hawaiʻi
  8. Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina
  9. Poʻipū Beach, Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi
  10. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
best beaches in oahu hawaii
Lagoon at Hilton Hawaiian Village, part of Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu Hawaii

Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu

Duke Kahnamoku Beach is named for the native Hawaiian surfer and Olympian, Duke Kahanamoku. He’s also the name sake for the famous restaurant, Duke’s. It’s located right outside the Hilton Hawaiian Village and Hale Koa hotels on the west end of Waikiki. The crowds are thinner in this area and there’s definitely more room to relax.

“It is the widest beach on this world-famous stretch of sand and protected by an offshore coral reef, making it a good beach for families with children. The nearby Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon is also a favorite bathing and swimming spot.”

Dr. Beach
best beaches oahu hawaii
Family Photo Session at Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

More of Best Beaches in Oahu Hawaii

Other beaches on Oahu have consistently ranked best in the world in previous years and with other surveyors.

Lanikai Beach

Kailua Beach Park

Waimanalo Beach

Sunset Beach

Waimanalo Beach Photos
Waimanalo Beach, Oahu Hawaii

More Resources on the Best Beaches in Oahu Hawaii

I'm a USMC spouse, South Carolina native, recovering homeschool mama of a 4 boy circus. They've taught me the most important facet of family photography: KEEP IT FUN!

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I find joy in chaos. The louder, the better!

I'm a USMC spouse, South Carolina native, recovering homeschool mama of a 4 boy circus.

They've taught me the most important facet of family photography: KEEP IT FUN!

hey, I'm Alison!


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