19 Best Beaches in Hawaii

For all the best reasons, Hawaii is everyone’s go-to destination for the summer.

The Polynesian paradise was created here due to volcanic activity, which, after millions of years, resulted in lush tropical flora and the most magnificent ocean vistas.

Hawaii’s residents are still lively and passionate about the natural world, and the state’s beaches and state parks still have a strong sense of the ancient gods that once inhabited them.

This selection of Hawaii’s top beaches can help you plan your trip if this sounds like a relaxing beach escape you should pursue.

  1. Waikiki Beach — Honolulu

This well-liked beach, also renowned as The Gathering Place, was formerly a destination for sprouting waters because of the streams and fountains that once budded the area.

The beach is well-known for its beautiful white sand and clear blue water, and Waikiki Beach Park is a great place to relax and enjoy the view.

The beach is also famous for surfing, bodyboarding, and stand-up paddleboarding. However, if you’re looking for a more laid-back experience, Waikiki Beach offers plenty of opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, and simply taking in the stunning scenery.

Why We Recommend This Beach

The Waikiki suburb was a favorite of Hawaii’s royalty and nobility in the 1800s. It is known worldwide for its namesake beach, which inspired the construction of the first hotels there.

Waikiki Beach is one of Hawaii’s most well-liked beaches, and travelers who want to see the entire state’s attractions should prioritize it due to its cultural significance and location near top tourist attractions.

Expert Tip

Kalakaua Avenue, close to the coast, is studded with eateries, hotels, and retail establishments.

Get a bite to eat or a cup of coffee if you need to take a break from the beach.

Witness the shore come alive later with musical performances and nightlife.

  1. Ko Olina Beach — Kapolei

Ko Olina, which denotes “completion of delight,” is a lovely two-mile coastline of four artificial lagoons connected by pathways adorned with palm trees.

Why We Recommend This Beach

A lovely family-friendly shoreline is Ko Olina.

The sea is shielded by reefs from solid waves and rips currents, rendering this the best beach for children. The sparkling white sand and clear blue water make it a perfect place to relax and enjoy the incredible views. Ko Olina is also great for swimming, boating, and windsurfing.

There are plenty of restaurants and shops nearby, so you can find everything you need for a perfect day at the beach. Ko Olina is the place to be if you’re looking for an unforgettable beach experience.

Expert Tip

Ko Olina has a port and can accommodate whale watching, diving expeditions, and dinner cruises, so you have more options than just swimming, snorkeling, and paddle boarding.

  1. Waimea Bay Beach Park — Haleiwa

The energetic Waimea Bay Beach offers countless opportunities for pleasure and is known for its enormous waves.

This beach’s Da Big Boulder, a vast rock utilized for diving, is one of its features.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Waimea Bay is one of the most well-liked beaches for watching the most daring and accomplished surfers.

Along with traditional water sports activities, diving off the enormous Da Big Rock is a must-try activity in this location.

The bay is protected from the open ocean by a large reef, making it perfect for swimming, bodyboarding, and surfing.

Waimea also has a wide range of tide pools that are perfect for exploring. The beach is well-maintained and has plenty of amenities, including showers, restrooms, and picnic tables.

Best of all, Waimea Bay is located just a short drive from Honolulu, making it an excellent option for a day trip from the city.

Expert Tip

The relatively tall and robust waves at Waimea Bay Beach are well-known.

Summer is the ideal time to go if you want to enjoy swimming in calm seas.

  1. Makena Beach — Wailea

Makena Beach, the largest of the two beaches in Makena State Park, is also considered Big Beach and Oneloa Beach.

The beach is significant, and there are plenty of areas to explore. You can find plenty of shells, coral, and fish if you’re willing to go for a swim.

The sand is also very soft and white, making it a great relaxing place. So if you’re looking for a place to escape the crowds, Makena Beach is definitely worth a visit.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Makena Beach is 1.5 miles long and has a range of beachside facilities.

A large parking lot makes it simple to find a spot, lifeguards ensure your well-being, and plenty of picnic sites are available for beachgoers trying to cut costs.

Expert Tip

Makena Beach offers food trucks by the parking lot if visitors don’t want to spend additional time making packed snacks and beverages for their family and friends.

  1. Kalapaki Beach — Lihue

Just outside Nawiliwili Harbor and the Marriott is the crescent-shaped beach of Kalapaki.

Kalapaki Beach is a great place to spend the day swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and kayaking. The beach has a wide variety of activities to keep everyone entertained.

Kalapaki Beach is also home to several restaurants, cafes, and shops. This beach is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the beauty of Hawaii.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Many beach vacationers choose Kalapaki Beach because of its superb swimming conditions, a wide range of facilities, gradually sloping beachfront, fine sand, and calm waves.

The best part is that top-notch accommodations, eateries, and stores are nearby.

Expert Tip

This beach offers surfing instruction and guided kayak tours, so don’t pass up the opportunity and make reservations before you visit.

  1. Polihua Beach — Lanai

A quiet and largely undeveloped section of tranquil shoreline known as Polihua can be found at the northwest tip of Lanai.

The beach is located on the island’s north shore and is only accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles. Polihua Beach is about two miles long and is known for its dramatic cliffs, turquoise waters, and white sand beaches.

Visitors to Polihua Beach can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, and hiking. There are also several restaurants and bars located nearby. Polihua Beach is a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Hawaii.

Why We Recommend This Beach

This 1.5-mile gem is the longest in the city, with Diamond Head and Molokai vistas.

Due to its peace and tranquility, sea turtles enjoy spending time there, and during the winter, whales swim through.

Expert Tip

Come here to sunbathe, have a picnic, or stroll along the beach, but despite its tranquil appearance, Polihua’s waves carry currents that can sweep swimmers away.

Don’t stray too far out into the ocean.

  1. Polihale State Park — Waimea

Polihale State Park is an easily accessible shoreline in Kauai’s western section, also known as Polihale Beach.

Why We Recommend This Beach

It’s the best place to take your buddies or your beloved others because Polihale State Park is easily accessible and conveniently situated.

Polihale, one of Hawaii’s most impressive beaches, is distinguished by its fine golden sand, pure blue sea, and mountain backdrops.

Expert Tip

It’s not the perfect site for swimming with kids since this beach lacks a lifeguard, and the tide can be extremely powerful.

  1. Hulopoe Beach — Lanai

Manele Bay, sometimes called Shark’s Bay locally, is home to the crescent-shaped Hulopoe Beach.

The white sand and blue waters are breathtaking, and the beach is great for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. Hulopoe is also a popular spot for whale watching, as the beach is located in Hawaii’s Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

Visitors to Hulopoe Beach can enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the pavilions or hike on one of the nearby trails.

There are also several restaurants and shops within walking distance of the beach.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day by the ocean or an adventure-filled day in nature, Hulopoe Beach is the perfect place to go.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Hulopoe Beach may provide you with one of the most tranquil vacations in Hawaii since it is quiet and distant from the city, full of enormous crowds and mobs of sellers.

Once you arrive, the only sounds you’ll hear are the waves and the seabirds.

Expert Tip

Watch out for passing dolphins, monk seals, and sea turtles while swimming in the cold, refreshing water.

Since there is only one restaurant in the vicinity, bring some drinks and snacks with you just in case.

  1. Kapalua Bay — Kapalua

Kapalua Bay Beach is a lovely stretch of coastline with golden sand and crystal-clear turquoise sea.

Owing to the abundance of marine life there, it is greatly adored by the residents.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Kapalua Bay Beach is the best swimming beach in Hawaii, a highly regarded, family-friendly coastline.

The coastlines of a cove are shielded from the powerful Pacific currents and waves.

Additionally, it boasts one of Hawaii’s most popular beaches with beautiful seawater.

Expert Tip

Kapalua Bay Beach might be pretty busy due to its attractiveness and good swimming grounds.

On a weekday, arrive early in the morning to escape the congestion.

  1. Poipu Beach Park — Koloa

A two-mile beach, a tiny hamlet, and a pier make up Hanalei Bay, the largest bay of its kind on Kauai’s northern coast.

Why We Recommend This Beach

This coastline has two intriguing aspects.

It is crescent-shaped, and occasionally Hawaiian monk seals can be seen there!

Do maintain a safe distance; after all, these remain dangerous predators.

Expert Tip

Lanikai Beach, also recognized as Kahao Beach by locals, is one of the pristine beaches to visit when exploring Oahu.

The beach has a wide variety of activities to keep you busy, including swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and boating.

Many restaurants and shops are nearby, making it easy to find something to eat or drink.

  1. Lanikai Beach — Kailua

The left side of Poipu Beach is your best choice if you desire a more modest beach with calm or nonexistent waves.

The western portion of Poipu Beach has more pleasurable surf for water activities.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Dreaming of the inviting Oahu beaches of Hawaii?

Lanikai Beach is the most gorgeous place on earth.

It’s a gorgeous stretch of white sand and pristine waters that just beckons you to jump in.

 

Sparkling white sand and clear blue waters make it a paradise for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. The beach is also surrounded by lush green mountains, creating a stunning natural backdrop.

Lanikai is a popular spot for stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking, and several kayak rental companies are located nearby.

For those looking for a more challenging hike, the Lanikai Pillbox Trail provides sweeping views of the beach and surrounding area.

Lanikai Beach is truly a slice of paradise, and it’s no wonder it’s been voted one of the best beaches in Hawaii.

Expert Tip

Along with the typical swimming and diving, Lanikai can occasionally experience wind, making it the ideal location for some sailing and windsurfing.

When the weather is calm, you could go kayaking.

  1. Sunset Beach — Oahu

The northern side of Oahu is home to Sunset Beach, one of the most picturesque beaches in Hawaii. It features a lengthy stretch of sugary white sand, beautiful cerulean water, and an infinite vista of the Pacific Ocean.

Why We Recommend This Beach

The moniker Sunset Beach is more than just a word; it’s a vivid description of the breathtaking sunsets that practically grace this location daily.

On the other side, the world’s finest surfing events are held on the shore of Sunset Beach throughout the winter.

Expert Tip

One of the best beaches in Hawaii to visit owing to the sunsets is Sunset Beach; however, before traveling there, examine the weather to ensure there will be sundown to enjoy.

  1. Kaihalulu Beach — Hana

The stunning shoreline is known as Red Sand Beach or Kaihalulu Beach.

An offshore reef keeps strong currents and waves from damaging the shoreline.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Visiting Kaihalulu Beach is like stepping into another world.

Weary of the white sand?

You may find fine red sand and black pebbles at Kaihalulu.

The crescent-shaped beach is tucked away in a secluded cove and is only accessible by foot. Kaihalulu’s dramatic landscape results from years of volcanic activity, and the red sand and cliffs make for a unique swimming experience.

The beach is also known for its strong currents, so it’s important to be cautious when swimming. Nevertheless, Kaihalulu is the perfect place to escape Maui’s crowded beaches and enjoy Hawaii’s natural beauty.

Expert Tip

Its offshore reef has more substantial water in the outermost part of it.

Do not try to swim past the reef unless you are a proficient swimmer.

  1. Kaanapali Beach — Kaanapali

Undoubtedly, Hawaii is home to many lovely beaches. Still, there’s also Kaanapali Beach, regarded as one of the most stunning beaches in the US, with its vivid cerulean water, three miles of sugary sand, and distant mountain stunning views.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Kaanapali Beach is surrounded by magnificent hotels that want a piece of the beauty it offers.

Along with surfers, boogie boarders, stand-up paddleboarders, and scuba divers, whales also swim close to this lovely beach.

Expert Tip

In addition to cliff diving, Kaanapali is a snorkeling paradise, and Black Rock is the ideal location.

  1. Baldwin Beach — Paia

Baldwin Beach Park offers a substantial stretch of white sand beach alongside crystal-clear pristine beaches on Maui’s North Shore.

Why We Recommend This Beach

With Baby Beach in the west and Baldwin Cover in the east, Baldwin is one of the top choices for family-friendly beaches and doesn’t fall short when it comes to providing miniature natural swimming holes that are safe for toddlers.

Shallow waters with minimal to no waves can be found in both locations.

Expert Tip

Cook along with your family using the provided barbecue grills and picnic tables.

It’s located in Paia on the island of Maui, and it’s known for its beautiful white sand beaches, clear blue waters, and lush tropical vegetation. Baldwin Beach is also a great place to surf, paddleboard, and snorkel.

Many beach amenities are nearby, including restaurants, shops, and showers. Baldwin Beach is definitely the place to go if you’re looking for a relaxing day by the water.

  1. Hamoa Beach — Hana

There are many exotic wonders along the Road to Hana.

One of these is Hamoa Beach, a stunning crescent-shaped stretch of milky white sand.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Hamoa Beach is the beach of every outdoor enthusiast, surrounded by lush cliffs, Hala trees, and minimal to no urbanization.

Surfing has been practiced here since the dawn of time by Hawaiians.

Expert Tip

Because of its proximity to the open ocean, the water at Hamoa Beach’s outer extremities experiences bigger and more unstable tides.

  1. Wai’anapanapa State Park — Hana

Hana’s Waianapanapa State Park has 122 acres and is most recognized for its black sand beach.

Wai’anapanapa means “glistening water” in Hawaiian, and the sparkling ocean waves are certainly a sight to behold.

The beach is also home to a variety of interesting rock formations, including a natural sea arch and a blowhole.

Visitors can explore the lava tubes, hike to the nearby lighthouse, and picnic on the scenic coastline. Wai’anapanapa State Park is truly a gem of the Hawaiian Islands.

Why We Recommend This Beach

What does the beach look like on a volcanic coastline?

Strangely, tiny basalt shards give the sand its jet-black hue.

At Wai’anapanapa, that is precisely what to anticipate.

Although black sand beaches in Iceland receive the most media attention, you don’t have to go all the way there to check them off your bucket list.

The beauty of Wai’anapanapa is comparable.

The tropical vibes that envelop the beach should also be added.

Expert Tip

There is more to the black sand beach than just pretty photos.

You are invited to lodge, camp, have a picnic, go fishing, and stroll along the historic Hawaiian coastline trail at Wai’anapanapa State Park.

  1. Hapuna Beach — Waimea

It is humbling to see Hapuna Beach’s white shoreline, blue waves, and exhibition of lava rocks once concealed in the cliffs.

Hapuna has a wide range of activities to keep you entertained all day. You can go bodyboarding, bodysurfing, surfing, or stand-up paddleboarding.

Hapuna also has a great snorkeling spot where you can see a variety of colorful fish. If you’re looking for a place to relax, Hapuna has a beautiful sandy beach where you can sunbathe or read a book.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Like all of Hawaii’s top beaches, Hapuna Beach provides beachgoers a magical experience amid silky white sand, crystal-clear waters, and distant views of prehistoric Hawaiian volcanic rocks.

Expert Tip

Visit Hapuna Beach in the early months of the year if you wish to take your family to see the majestic sight of migrating whale pods.

If you reserve a campsite, you can spend the evenings by the shore admiring the stars.