Waikiki is a popular beach for both swimming and stretching out on the sand. Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/Tor Johnson

The best Hawaii beaches for swimming and lounging: HAWAII Magazine Readers' Choice Awards 2015

Today, we're headed to the beach! We're sharing our top 10 list for Hawaii's "Best Beach for Stretching out on the Sand" and the top 10 picks for the state's "Best Beach for Swimming" from the latest issue of HAWAII Magazine.

With all of the great beaches in Hawaii to choose from, how did we make such a list? We are glad you asked.

Last summer we polled our more than 200,000-strong HAWAII Magazine reader ohana, asking them to share their favorite Hawaii things for our third annual Readers’ Choice Awards. They came out in droves, submitting thousands of ballots filled with their nominations for Hawaii’s best hotels, resorts, bed-and-breakfasts, indoor and outdoor activities, places to nosh, swim and snorkel, go road tripping and much more.

We tallied votes across 98 categories to bring you this year’s 617 HAWAII Magazine Readers’ Choice Award winners. We’ve even compared this year’s list with last so you can see how time has changed rankings within each category.

You can find all of our winners in the new March/April 2015 issue of HAWAII Magazine currently on sale nationwide. Want it now? Head to Apple iTunes or Google play stores to download the issue instantly.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing some of the 98 lists from our 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards Issue here on HawaiiMagazine.com. We've already shared our readers' picks for the 20 Best Luxury Hotels and Resorts, and the 10 Best Places to get a Plate Lunch. Now... to the beach!

Best Beach for Stretching out on the Sand

1.
Kaanapali Beach
Maui
(2014 ranking: 1)

2.
Waikiki Beach and area beaches
Oahu
(2014 ranking: 2)

3.
Hapuna Beach
Hawaii Island
(2014 ranking: 3)

4.
Makena Beach, aka Big Beach
Maui
(2014 ranking: 5)

5.
Lanikai Beach
Oahu
(2014 ranking: 6)

6.
Poipu Beach
Kauai
(2014 ranking: 8)

7.
Hanalei Beach & Bay
Kauai
(2014 ranking: 4)

8.
Makua Beach, aka Tunnels Beach
Kauai
(2014 ranking: not ranked)

9.
Kailua Beach
Oahu
(2014 ranking: 9)

10.
Polihale Beach
Kauai
(2014 ranking: not ranked)

Best Beach for Swimming

  The #3 Best Beach for Stretching out on the Sand and the #4 Best Beach for Swimming as voted by HAWAII Magazine readers: Hapuna Beach, Hawaii Island. Photo: Big Island Visitors Bureau (BIVB).

1.
Kaanapali Beach
Maui
(2014 ranking: 2)

2.
Waikiki Beach and area beaches
Oahu
(2014 ranking: 1)

3.
Poipu Beach
Kauai
(2014 ranking: 3)

4.
Hapuna Beach
Hawaii Island
(2014 ranking: 6)

5.
Lanikai Beach
Oahu
(2014 ranking: not ranked)

6.
Napili Beach & Bay
Maui
(2014 ranking: not ranked)

7.
Hanalei Beach & Bay
Kauai
(2014 ranking: 5)

8.
Kailua Beach
Oahu
(2014 ranking: 8)

9.
Koolina Lagoons
Oahu
(2014 ranking: 10)

10.
Ala Moana Beach
Oahu
(2014 ranking: not ranked)

To learn more about the other Hawaii stories that fill the pages of our latest March/April issue of HAWAII Magazine, click here.