Top Ten Beaches in the United States

Best Sunset: Polihale State Park (Hawaii)
  |  Gorp.com
Monk Seal on the beach in Kauai, Hawaii
Monk seal on the beach in Kauai, Hawaii (Kauai Visitors Bureau)

The stunning Hawaiian sunset is more clichéd than the Vermont country inn, but there's a reason the 50th state's evenings have achieved legendary status. Simply put, they're phenomenal. And no place is this more apparent that in Polihale Beach on the western coast of Kauai. Plant yourself in the sand as the fading sun glints off the waves, its orange rays slanting off the cliffs that jut out into the water.

The spectacular setting sun could, in fact, be called otherworldly. Just north of Polihale State Park is the powerful Polihale heiau (sacred site), one of the points from which the souls of the dead departed the island into the (you guessed it) setting sun. But whatever the reason, this three-mile stretch of beach makes a great vantage point from which to check out the action.

Tip: Be prepared for a long drive on dirt roads out to Polihale State Park, four-wheel drive is preferable. The upside? Little competition.


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