The 18 Best Beaches in Hawaii

There are so many people that want to visit Hawaii for the first time. It is a beautiful location, comprising many different islands, each of which is something to offer. The culture in the Hawaiian Islands is usually very laid-back, and there are many places that you can visit to enjoy this culture. There are beautiful beaches that you should visit while you are there. You can enjoy the Pacific Ocean on virtually every side of these islands. The colors of the beaches, their size, width, and their popularity, make them one of the first locations that people will go to once they arrive. If you have the time, you might want to consider interisland flights just to see the many different beaches that are there. Some of them are extremely popular, whereas others are fairly remote, and you may be the only people there. Whether you enjoy suntanning, surfing, or just taking pictures of the iconic views, you will never be disappointed by these features. Although most people have heard of Waikiki beach, there are a multitude of others that are just as beautiful in Hawaii.

Waikiki Beach Oahu

This is one of the largest crescent shaped beaches on the Hawaiian Islands. It has been available to the public, since the island was populated, and is certainly a destination for tourists that come there. Whether you enjoy spending an entire day on a beach, or if you just want to spend a few hours, you can enjoy the scenery, people, and the waves. Speaking of waves, if you go surfing, you will enjoy the small to medium-sized waves that are coming onto the beach every day. In conjunction with this beaches the beautiful Diamond Head which is a very popular tourist attraction. There are hotels in all directions, one of which you will be staying at, if you visit Waikiki Beach on Oahu.

Ko Olina Beach, Oahu

If you are bringing your family with you, this is an excellent place to go if you have a small family. There is a blue lagoon, with shallow crystal clear water, that is perfect for the ones. Nearby, you might be staying at the Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina or perhaps the Aulani. These are great locations to stay if you happen to be spending a few days, or even weeks, on the island of Oahu and one to have quick access to beautiful beaches.

Waimea Bay Beach Park, Oahu

Waimea Bay is on the north shore of the island. It is not one of the more scenic or dramatic areas of the island, but it has a big way beach. In fact, this particular beaches where many of the top servers in the world come to, especially during the winter months. Thought to be one of the greatest locations for surfing, this might not be the best place to start learning. It is because of its position on the north side of the island, that you will not only access to a beautiful beach, and scenic views, but massive waves that appear like clockwork toward the end of the year. If you are thinking about staying in this area of Hawaii, the Turtle Bay Resort would be an excellent choice. Additionally, if you want to go to other beaches, there is Ehukai Beach and Sunset Beach, both of which are close by.

Polihale State Park, Kauai

The Garden Island of Hawaii, also known as Kauai, also has a multitude of beaches available. If you want to go to one of the longest beaches on this island, you should consider visiting Polihale State Park. For 17 miles, this Western beach is a very popular one, complete with bumpy roads and beautiful sandy areas along the way. You may even encounter a sand dune, one that your kids may want to play on, plus there are the beautiful Napali cliffs that are nearby in Polihale. There is also the iconic if not infamous Niihau island which is often photographed by amateur and professional photographers. If you have a permit, you will be able to camp there, but remember to bring plenty of water and sunscreen because of the limited access to shade.

Hanalei Bay, Kauai

Although Kauai is one of the smallest islands, it is arguably the most beautiful. You may not have access to a volcano like you would find on the Big Island, which you do have many scenic mountain ranges that you can see. Some of the best vantage point are out on the ocean, looking back at the island in the beautiful sky up above it. These particular mountains are referred to as Emerald mountains, ones that can reach up to a height of 4000 feet. For two miles, you will get to see this outstanding scenery which is hard to compare with anything else you have ever seen. During the summer months, you are going to enjoy getting a good tan, hiking, and also swimming. It’s a great place to spend time with your family, friends, or your significant other on this outstanding beach.

Poipu Beach Park, Kauai

If you want to experience the most sun possible, the South Shore is the place to be. There are beaches on this side of the island of Kauai that are made in beautiful crescent shapes all along this part of the island. This particular beach is family-friendly, typically because of the calm and shallow waters that pervade. If you have beginning swimmers with you, you will not have to worry because of lifeguards that are positioned strategically on this beach. If you just want to splash around in the water, or go swimming, you can have hours of fun. However, if you do surf, or if you enjoy snorkeling, this is a great location to spend several hours. It is close to the Grand Hyatt Hotel, as well as the Ko’a Kea resort.

Kalapaki Beach, Kauai

Although this is more of a harbor than it is a scenic beach area, this particular bay has a lot to offer. From boogie boarding to sailing, or even canoeing, both locals and visitors are going to have fun. You are likely going to see many people playing volleyball out on the beach. It is a sandy beach, one that is close to the Marriott Resort which is where you might be staying. If you want a place that is full of activities, and provide you with plenty of beach to play on, this one is one of the best.

Kalihiwai Beach, Kauai

This particular beach is one that is known by locals, especially those that are close to Princeville. It is essentially a very tiny cove, with a couple of impressive cliffs, and is a perfect spot for body surfing. The lagoon is freshwater, and is quite shallow, which is why children are often brought to this location. However, even if you are visiting tourist, you should consider bringing a cooler, and have a fun picnic, if you want to spend some time at this beach.

Hulopoe Beach, Lanai

Locating close to the Four Seasons Manele Bay, if you are staying there, you will have access to this crescent shaped beach. If you enjoy snorkeling, or if you just want to go swimming, it’s the perfect place for individuals and families. You may actually see dolphins playing in jumping, plus it is also a location where humpback whales can be seen during the winter. If you go to the eastern portion of the beach, there are many safe tide pools that you can access as well.

Polihua Beach, Lanai

Perhaps the most expensive beach on this island, Lanai’s northeastern shore is the place to be. It is positioned on the shore, looking out at Molokai, yet you cannot do a lot of swimming. There are strong currents that are due to its proximity to the channel, yet you can have fun on the beach all day. It offers you a lot of privacy and is perfect for long walks, plus whale watching and seeing an occasional green sea turtle which the Hawaiians referred to as honu.

Makena Beach, Maui

This is a very wide beach, measuring over 100 feet, and almost a mile long, this is one of the biggest beaches on Maui. Locals and tourists alike enjoy this beach, and it is highly recommended that you bring plenty of sunscreen and towels. You can spend all day on the beach, enjoying the waters coming in, plus you can see the nearby island of Molokini just off the shore. There are plenty of food trucks, providing you with Hawaiian cuisine, allowing you to stay all day with family and friends. If you are looking for the most spacious beach on Maui, Makena Beach is where you want to be.

Wailea Beach, Maui

If you happen to be staying at the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea, you will get to see this beach once you arrive. It is a good location for kids due to the gentle water coming in, and you may actually see celebrities on this particular beach while you are visiting. Although it is not the widest beach, it is certainly very beautiful, with the walkway not that far from the sand. If you want to experience one of the most manicured beaches close to a hotel, this one will suffice when you visit Maui this year.

Hamoa Beach, Maui

This is located to Hana, a small town on the eastern side of Maui. You will likely have to drive to this location. If you have never been on the Road to Hana, you also get to enjoy this famous drive that millions of people have driven. Along the way, you might want to stop and get some pictures of the beautiful cliffs, as well as waterfalls that are not that far off of the road. Once you arrive, you can jump in the crystal clear waters, and enjoy the company of your friends or significant other, spending a long day on the beach of Hamoa.

Kapalua Bay, Maui

Another outstanding beach in Maui is found at Kapalua Bay. If you have never been there before, you will certainly see how popular that it is. Not only will people be swimming, but you also see boogie boarding, kayaking, and many other activities. There are also plenty of locations where you can see underwater coral reefs, something that will require you to bring your snorkel mask if you want to see them. Additionally, while you are in the water, you may be treated to parrot fish and turtles. Some of the turtles may already be sunbathing on the beach. If you want to go for a hike, you can always go down the Coastal Trail. It’s a wonderful place with a beautiful view of the ocean.

Hapuna Beach, the Big Island of Hawaii

Arguably the most beautiful beach on the entire Big Island of Hawaii, Hapuna Beach is an outstanding location. Located near some of the most luxurious resorts on the Kohala and Kona Coast, the white sand beach is what is most notable about this location. If you brought your snorkeling gear, if you head to the north, you will see a coral reef that is absolutely beautiful. You can walk into the water several feet before it gradually drops off. The water is crystal clear, giving you over 100 feet of visibility. This place is perfect for picnics, providing plenty of shade, and there is also a lifeguard that will be there to help you. If you are staying on the Kona side of the Big Island, you certainly want to head north if you are staying in Kailua Kona to see this beautiful location.

Kauna’oa (Mauna Kea) Beach, Big Island of Hawaii

Directly in front of the luxurious Mauna Kea hotel, you can access the public Mauna Kea beach. It is large, capable of accommodating hundreds of people, most of which will be individuals that are staying at the hotel. If you enjoy golf, the Hapuna golf course is nearby. It’s also close to the Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site. If you are going to be staying at the Mauna Kea, you are literally a short walk away from one of the best beach locations on the west side of the island.

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach, Big Island of Hawaii

Punalu’u beach is known for its black sand. After you leave the Punalu’u Bake Shop at the bottom of the island, and head north toward Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and before going through Pahala, the turnoff to the right. Similar to the Papakōlea Green Sand Beach at the tip of the Big Island, it has a unique color to the sand. This is the result of lava rock that has degraded over time, creating the beautiful black sand that you will see. You will have a perfect view of the ocean from this outstanding beach that you will want to visit many times. The only caveat is that there are many rocks that surround the beach, so you must be very careful as you move toward the black sand beach itself. Overall, it is a destination that everyone should see when they are visiting the Big Island.

Papaohaku Beach, Molokai

Although this island is not frequented as much as all of the others, this can be beneficial if you prefer avoiding the crowds. One of the top beaches on Molokai is called Papaohaku Beach. You will have to drive to the western side of the island. It is nearly 3 miles long, and has white sand, giving you a beautiful view of the Oahu to the northwest. If you do get to visit this island, this should be your primary destination if you want to spend a lot of time having fun nor getting a tan.

Traveling to the Hawaiian Islands can be exciting for many reasons. You now have multiple reasons for accessing their beaches. Keep in mind that most of the beaches that you will visit allow the public to visit, even if they are adjacent to a hotel or resort. Some of them will be very busy, whereas others are in remote locations where you may have the entire area to yourself. From green sand beaches to white and black sand beaches, Hawaii has so much to offer when it comes to the variety of the beaches that are there. Just make sure to map out where you want to go as many of them are miles away from one another. You may want to consider going from one island to the next just to see these beaches. Now that you know about the top beaches in the Hawaiian Islands, you should consider taking a vacation to this tropical destination.