Sand & Surf: The Best Beaches of 2014

Duke Kahanamoku Beach

Duke Kahanamoku beach in Hawaii

(Image credit: Stephen Leatherman)

And the best beach of 2014 is ... Duke Kahanamoku Beach on Oahu, Hawaii. This beach is protected by a reef from big waves.[Read More]

Barefoot Beach Preserve

bonita springs beach in florida

(Image credit: Stephen Leatherman)

No. 2 on the 2014 Best Beaches is Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park in Bonita Springs, Florida.

St. George Island State Park

st george island state park in florida

(Image credit: Gennady Stetsenko, Shutterstock)

The sand dunes at St. George Island State Park in Florida, No. 3 on 2014's Best Beaches list.

Waimanalo Beach

Waimanalo Beach in Hawaii

(Image credit: Eric Broder Van Dyke, Shutterstock )

Waimanalo Bay State Park on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. This beach ranked No. 4 in "Dr. Beaches" Top 10 list of 2014.

Hamoa Beach, Maui

Hamoa beach in Maui Hawaii

(Image credit: Stephanie Coffman . Shutterstock)

Hamoa Beach on the island of Maui in Hawaii. This mixed coral and lava sand beach is inside an eroded volcanic crater and ranks No. 5 on the 2014 Best Beaches list.

Cape Hatteras

Cape hatteras beach and lighthouse

(Image credit: spirit of america, Shutterstock)

The iconic Cape Hatteras lighthouse overlooks the No. 6 beach on the 2014 list on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Cape Florida State Park

Cape Florida state park

(Image credit: Steve Heap, Shutterstock)

Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne, Florida, is the seventh-best beach of 2014, according to Stephen Leatherman of Florida International University.

Coast Guard Beach

Coast Guard Beach Station in Massachusetts

(Image credit: Tim Callen /

The 8th beach on the 2014 list is Coast Guard Beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, overlooked by this lighthouse and Coast Guard station.

Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island walkway to beach

(Image credit: Jason Trench, Shutterstock)

Kiawah Island, South Carolina is home to Beachwalker Park, the No. 9 beach of 2014. Though much of the island is developed, Beachwalker Park on the southern end is public and a great spot for bird-watchers.

Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park

delnor wiggins pass state park in florida

(Image credit: Stephen Leatherman)

Rounding out the top 10 beaches of 2014 is Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park in Naples, Florida. Sand dunes covered in sea oats give way to shores of fine white sand.

Stephanie Pappas
Live Science Contributor

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.