The islands of Hawaii are lined up with coastlines full of beautiful beaches, and it’s a challenge to pick the ones suitable to enter the top list among them as they are all world-class in their own way.
So we’ve picked up the best beaches in Hawaii from each of the islands and put them in our top 15 list.
1. Poipu Beach Park, Kauai
Located on the Kauai south shore, Poipu Beach is one of the best beaches in Hawaii, with a series of sand crescents, with narrow sand spits and shallow sand bar, which is the favorite napping spot of the endangered Hawaiian monk seals.
The beach is a favorite destination for beginner surfing and bodyboarding and has great spots for snorkeling as well.
With peaceful waters in an area protected from the tide, Poipu Beach Park is considered to be among the safest beaches in Hawaii, not to mention the lifeguards available and on duty seven days a week, which makes it a perfect place for family outings and activities.
2. Kaanapali Beach, Maui
Situated in the dry west side of Maui, Kaanapali is a three-mile stretch of white sand and popular resort areas, known to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Once a retreat for the Hawaiian royalty, its beach is fronted by luxurious hotels and resorts, a world-class shopping complex, and varieties of fine shops and restaurants.
Nothing gets better than this if you’re looking for a world-class beach and resort getaway experience, as one can say that Kaanapali beach itself was made perfect.
It’s also famous for its daily torch lighting and cliff diving ceremony off of Black Rock every evening at sunset.
3. Waikiki Beach, Oahu
One of the most popular beaches not just in Hawaii, but on the whole planet, this two-mile coastline of white sand and turquoise clear waters, fronted by towering high-rise hotels and resorts, welcomes millions of visitors from around the world each year, giving proof that Oahu is “The Gathering Place” and making it the most visited and one of the busiest spots in Luau Oahu, where guests are offered varieties of activities all day and night.
With the beach’s consistent wave breaks, it is also one of the best surfing spots on Oahu.
4. Hapuna State Beach, The Big Island
Located on the western volcanic coastline of the Kohala Coast, Hapuna Beach is the largest white sand beach on the Big Island of Hawaii. It is one of the best destinations for swimming, body boarding, and snorkeling, and has been consistently rated to be on Hawaii’s top ten lists of best beaches.
It’s a half-mile crescent of fine white sand, which is rare in the Big Island where most beaches have black sand and lava rocks due to its volcanic origin, and is lined with trees and a beautifully landscaped state park.
At sunset, the shoreline is filled with onlookers hoping to witness the legendary green flash of the Hawaiian sunset.
5. Hulopoe Bay Beach, Lanai
Considered to be Lanai’s most popular beach, visitors will be welcomed by its pristine white sand and beautiful blue waters.
Located on the island’s south coast, it is a protected marine preserve, and with its crystal clear waters, it’s a perfect spot for snorkeling.
You’ll get to see Hawaiian spinner dolphins frolicking in the bay, and during the winter seasons, humpback whales can be seen breaching in the distance.
Along the east side, there are fascinating tidal pools abundant with sea critters, and just a short hike away is Puu Pehe, or the Sweetheart Rock, which is famous not just for its picturesque rock formation, but for its tragic legend of two lovers.
As mentioned, it was a challenge to pick the best among the so-many beaches deserving to be on the top list. So we’ve added some more as our honorable mentions.
6. Wailea Beach, Maui
Wailea Beach, located on the island of Maui, is a must-visit destination for any beach lover. This stunning beach boasts crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches and lush tropical landscape. It’s a perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing.
The beach is located in the Wailea Resort area, home to some of the most luxurious resorts in Hawaii, making it an ideal spot for a romantic getaway. The beach is also equipped with facilities such as showers, restrooms and beach rentals. Wailea Beach is also a great spot for people-watching, as it’s a popular spot among the wealthy and famous. Overall, Wailea Beach is a perfect blend of natural beauty, luxury and relaxation. A true paradise on earth.
7. Lanikai Beach, Oahu
Literally means “Heavenly Ocean”, a fitting name for such a paradise situated on the windward side of Oahu, and ranked to be America’s number-one beach for several years, and for sure one of the best beaches in Hawaii, if not the best.
Calm, crystal blue waters and a magnificent ocean view greet visitors to this dreamlike place. Don’t forget to take the quick Pillbox hike to get a better panoramic view of the beach and its neighboring twin islands.
8. Hanalei Bay Beach, Kauai
The largest bay on Kauai and one of the most spectacular beaches on the Garden Isle, its name translates to “crescent bay”, a fitting description for its half-moon-shaped two-mile-long shoreline.
Its beauty inspired the Japanese writer Haruki Murakami to create the short story “Hanalei Bay”, which has already been made into a film of the same title.
9. Waimanalo Beach
Located on the island of Oahu, Waimanalo Beach is known for its long stretches of white sand and clear blue waters. The beach is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking.
10. Kauna’oa Bay
Kauna’oa Bay is a stunning beach located on the Big Island of Hawaii. It’s known for its crystal clear waters, powdery white sand, and lush vegetation. It’s a secluded bay with a less crowded atmosphere, perfect for those looking for a peaceful and luxurious beach experience.
The bay is surrounded by a number of luxury resorts and it’s perfect spot for romantic getaways. The snorkeling here is excellent, and the bay is home to a variety of tropical fish and coral. The beach is also great for enjoying the beautiful sunset. Overall, Kauna’oa Bay is a must-visit destination for those looking for a luxurious and secluded beach vacation in Hawaii.
11. Honolua Bay
Honolua Bay is a picturesque bay located on the island of Maui. It’s known for its beautiful scenery, including the nearby cliffs and lush vegetation, as well as for its excellent surf and snorkeling conditions. The bay is also a marine life conservation district and a popular spot for nature lovers, adventure seekers and water sports enthusiasts.
Honolua Bay is a perfect place to visit for those who want to enjoy the natural beauty of Hawaii while also getting a taste of its world-renowned surf culture.
12. Makalawena Beach
Makalawena Beach is a secluded and beautiful white-sand beach located on the island of Hawaii. It’s known for its natural beauty and privacy, being a bit of a hike to get there but it’s worth the effort. The beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing, and it’s surrounded by lush vegetation and clear blue waters.
Makalawena beach is a great spot for those who are looking for a more secluded and peaceful beach experience, away from the crowded tourist spots. It’s a perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle and enjoy the natural beauty of Hawaii.
13. Polihale State Park
Polihale State Park is a beautiful and remote beach park located on the island of Kauai. Known for its long stretches of white sand and its scenic views of the nearby mountains and valleys, the park offers a variety of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, hiking and camping. The park’s location is remote and the road to get there is not well maintained, but it’s worth the effort.
The park is also home to several ancient Hawaiian archaeological sites and traditional Hawaiian cultural practices. It’s a great spot for those who are looking for a more secluded and natural beach experience, away from the crowded tourist spots. The park also offers a great opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Hawaii and to learn about its rich cultural heritage.
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