‘Dr. Beach’ says powerful Hawaii shoreline is 2021’s best

  • FILE - This Aug. 30, 2006, file photo, shows Hapuna Beach Park on the Big Island of Hawaii. Stephen Leatherman, a coastal scientist and professor at Florida International University, has been drafting a list of the best beaches in the U.S., under the alias “Dr. Beach” since 1991. He has named Hapuna Beach Park the best beach in the country in his 2021 list. (West Hawaii Today via AP, File)

  • In this April 21, 2020, photo, a woman walks on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Stephen Leatherman, a coastal scientist and professor at Florida International University, has been drafting a list of the best beaches in the U.S. under the alias “Dr. Beach” since 1991. This year he has named Kahanamoku Beach, on the west end of Waikiki Beach and in view of the iconic Diamondhead volcano in the distance, the sixth-best beach in the country. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)

HONOLULU — Cruising along the west side of the Big Island, the landscape is dominated by ancient volcanic flows and jagged shorelines.