Everyone dreams of discovering a postcard perfect tropical paradise. Which is to say, an exceptionally beautiful beach. For most, this idyllic place eludes us. As a native Californian, I know the myth of the beautiful beach all too well. Yes California is a sunny state. But its beaches, I'm sorry to say, are crap as compared to myriad other, lovelier locations. Having surveyed the coastline from San Francisco to Santa Monica, I can say without hesitation that California's oceanfront real estate is real pretty, but far too cold for the dip we all dream of. It wasn't until the ripe old age of 25 that I finally found my archetypal strip of sand and sea on the first of many trips to Oahu. While nearly any Hawaiian beach is boundlessly better than its Californian cousins, Lanikai is world-class wonderful. Rain or shine, this beach delivers dreams.