The list is prepared by "Dr Beach" -- Stephen Leatherman. He directs Florida International University's Laboratory for Coastal Research.
Leatherman calls Hanalei's sheer beauty "breathtaking" -- with emerald mountains, white sand and blue water.
Next on the list is Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Fla., followed by Coopers Beach in Southampton, N.Y., Coronado Beach in San Diego and Hamoa Beach in Maui, Hawaii.
Rounding out the top 10: Main Beach in East Hampton, N.Y., Cape Hatteras in Outer Banks, N.C.; Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne, Fla.; Coast Guard Beach on Cape Cod, Mass.; and Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island, S.C.
Leatherman uses 50 criteria, including water quality and temperature, cleanliness, weather, sand, safety and facilities.