In 1997, Dr. Stephen Leatherman of the University of Maryland (a professional beach surveyor who’s also known as “Dr. Beach”) ranked Hulopoe the best beach in the United States. It’s easy to see why. This palm-fringed, gold-sand beach is bordered by black-lava fingers, protecting swimmers from ocean currents. In summer, Hulopoe is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, or just lolling about; the water temperature is usually in the mid-70s (mid-20s Celsius). Swimming is generally safe, except when swells kick up in winter. The bay at the foot of the Four Seasons Resort Lanai is a protected marine preserve, with schools of colorful fish and spinner dolphins. Humpback whales cruise by here in winter. Hulopoe is also Lanai’s premier beach park, with a grassy lawn, picnic tables, barbecue grills, restrooms, showers, and ample parking. You can camp here, too.