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Smile Clearwater Beach, Florida vs. Lanikai Beach, Oahu
Old 03-01-2016, 05:51 PM   #1
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Smile Clearwater Beach, Florida vs. Lanikai Beach, Oahu

Best Beaches in the United States - Travelers' Choice Awards - TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor listed Clearwater Beach in Florida as the number one beach in the U.S., and in second place--Lanikai Beach in Oahu. I was recently in both places and IMO, Lanika is second to none.

If you have been to both places, WEIGH IN and let us know your experience. Here's my observation...

In Clearwater Beach, there's the white sand beach, the pier, the blue sky, inflatable bouncy slip and slide, multiple hotels, shopping areas and a harbor nearby.

In Lanikai, you have the beach in front of you and the mountains in back of you. Mountain hiking (Pillbox), the golf course (I believe that's where the president played during his recent vacation)--all in walking distance from each other. The sight of colors are green trees, blue skies, turquoise water and white clouds.

The Beach in Clearwater was anything but clear. I was wondering why they called it that. People, mostly older and retirees, walked up and down the beach with occasional joggers. There's a pier and some fishing. No one was swimming and half a dozen or so brave souls were wading in the water. It was freezing cold. Many sunbathers, but that's about it. White sand, blue skies and murky water.

Lanikai Beach is very clear and there were many activities going on at once in the water and along the beach. You see people snorkeling, paddle boarding, canoeing, swimming, --young, old, families. Off the beach, there were plenty of people jogging, riding bikes and hiking. I went hiking up the Pillbox Trail with spectacular views from the top of the mountain. You see every color of the rainbow, bright and vivid. After the hike, I walked down to the beach and spent my time swimming and talking to people from New Zealand, Australia and the states. You hear people talking in foreign languages from Asia and Europe.

There is one negative you have to put up with when you visit Lanikai--the dreadful traffic congestion. I've had more luck moving from one area to another in Waikiki. On the other hand, they don't have the unsightly urban hotels lined up along the beach such as in Waikiki and Clearwater.

Hands down, my fav experience is Lanikai....
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:02 PM   #2
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I think one of the nicest beaches in Florida is Siesta Key. I've been to both Clearwater and Siesta -- Siesta is the winner. This time of year the water is chilly. Wait a month and the water will be more temperate. In August, it's like bath water.


There are no mountains, but there are a number of tourist things to do within an hours drive -- if that is your thing. Plus this time of year, there is spring training; Ford and Edison museum in Fort Myers, decent fishing up and down the coast, dog races, a number of small town festivals...


Plus Sarasota is a lot closer and less expensive.
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:08 PM   #3
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Nothing beats Panama City Beach, FL area. I have been to 100s of beaches. In Hawaii and Florida.

Hawaii beaches are definitely nice.
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:11 PM   #4
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I think one of the nicest beaches in Florida is Siesta Key. I've been to both Clearwater and Siesta -- Siesta is the winner. This time of year the water is chilly. Wait a month and the water will be more temperate. In August, it's like bath water.


There are no mountains, but there are a number of tourist things to do within an hours drive -- if that is your thing. Plus this time of year, there is spring training; Ford and Edison museum in Fort Myers, decent fishing up and down the , dog races, a number of small town festivals...


Plus Sarasota is a lot closer and less expensive.
Siesta Key is the best beach I have ever been to. Granted, I have never been outside the continental US. I hope to snowbird in Sarasota/Siesta Key when i'm FIREd.
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:14 PM   #5
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Siesta Key is the best beach I have ever been to. Granted, I have never been outside the continental US. I hope to snowbird in Sarasota/Siesta Key when i'm FIREd.
I have been to Clearwater Beach and it is no where close to as good as Siesta Key IMO.
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:59 PM   #6
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I have been to Clearwater Beach and it is no where close to as good as Siesta Key IMO.
Wished I had known about Siesta Key when I was there early this year. Would have liked to have seen it.
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Old 03-02-2016, 05:27 PM   #7
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I finally went to "the beach" in May--to Seaside, Florida. My buddy has a $2 million second house there.

Around here "the beach" means the Gulf Coast from Gulf Shores, Alabama to Panama City, Florida.

I've been to many, many great beaches of the world as an avid scuba diver. The Gulf Coast of Florida and South Alabama is as good as beaches get. And the facilities and hotels are top notch.

I used to spend 5 weeks a year in Florida, and Clearwater's just another suburb city of Tampa. In Central Florida, my favorite beach is Cocoa Beach--one of the few that's got the waves for surfing.
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Old 03-02-2016, 05:48 PM   #8
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I prefer Lanikai beach, but it is difficult for me to be impartial because I grew up there. It's home.
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Old 03-02-2016, 06:03 PM   #9
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Best Beaches in the United States - Travelers' Choice Awards - TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor listed Clearwater Beach in Florida as the number one beach in the U.S., and in second place--Lanikai Beach in Oahu. I was recently in both places and IMO, Lanika is second to none.

If you have been to both places, WEIGH IN and let us know your experience. ....
TripAdvisor's system doesn't just count average rating. It apparently weighs number of votes in determining "best" anything--and possibly other items as well. For example, in Nashville, the Catbird Seat, a dining destination around which people schedule their trips to the City, comes in as the 139th best restaurant (out of 1635). Having maximum capacity of 42 per night during the time it has been open (and now capacity is less), is a factor in that. Mind you, I have nothing against Joey's House of Pizza, which serves a nice slice for lunch, but ranking it as number 1 is .... interesting.

Turning to the beaches, clearwater has 5500 reviews, while Lanikai has only 1750. That may be the answer.

E.T.A.: Here is TripAdvisor telling destinations how to improve their rankings, which are based on "Quality, Quantity, and Age" of the reviews: https://www.tripadvisor.com/TripAdvi...nd-how-improve
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:03 PM   #10
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Lanikai here; +10
Last time at Clearwater, it was day three of a red tide. Dead fish everywhere, the "aroma" was not pleasant. It was interesting, dozers dug deep holes in sand, while dozers with sand screeners scooped up the fish and dumped them in the hole. Cover back up, rinse and repeat up and down beach. Remember fish thou art sand...............
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:12 PM   #11
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In Central Florida, my favorite beach is Cocoa Beach--one of the few that's got the waves for surfing.
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Of course I may be biased!
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:04 PM   #12
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Turning to the beaches, clearwater has 5500 reviews, while Lanikai has only 1750. That may be the answer.
Excellent observation 2017ish. Thought something was awry...
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:30 AM   #13
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I would say the Hawaii wins on beauty and Florida wins on price. Also Hawaii wins on year round good weather. I really like Oahu (except for Waikiki Beach).
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:40 AM   #14
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I would say the Hawaii wins on beauty and Florida wins on price. Also Hawaii wins on year round good weather. I really like Oahu (except for Waikiki Beach).
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:39 PM   #15
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Do not tell anyone, but ours is not so shabby....
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Old 03-03-2016, 02:14 PM   #16
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Nothing against any other places, but having just seen several Hawaiian beaches in December, I found them all breathtaking in terms of both sand and water. The landscapes facing them aren't too shabby either.
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:31 PM   #17
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Makalawena beach on the big island is probably the best beach I've been to. The dirt road to get to it is pretty bad which for me is a plus because it cuts down on the people that go to it .




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Old 03-04-2016, 02:35 PM   #18
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Have been to Clearwater Beach a few times. The water was indeed clear, warm, relatively calm, and shallow for a pretty good ways out. YMMV...

Haven't been to Hawaii yet, but I'd imagine the "total beach experience" is likely better there.
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