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Duke Kahanamoku in Waikiki tops 2014 beach ranking


HONOLULU — A tourist-friendly beach named for a Hawaii surfing legend has been dubbed the best U.S. public beach in this year’s ranking by Dr. Beach.

Duke Kahanamoku Beach, a well-groomed crescent of blond sand and palm trees by the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, beat out more than 600 other beaches for the distinction.

Stephen Leatherman is the Florida International University coastal science professor who goes by the nickname Dr. Beach. He says the cleanliness, safe conditions, amenities and beautiful views at Duke Kahanamoku Beach pushed it to the top of his 24th annual list.

The Honolulu beach is the fourth on Oahu and 13th overall in Hawaii to take top honors.

Hawaii’s Waimanalo Bay Beach Park on Oahu, and Hamoa Beach on Maui, were also among the top 10 beaches Leatherman named this year. The others were Florida’s Barefoot Beach, St. George Island State Park, Key Biscayne and Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park; North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras; Massachusetts’ Cape Cod; and South Carolina’s Kiawah Island.