18 Best Beaches in Hawaii

Discover the Best Beaches in Hawaii for your next tropical getaway. Hawaii, an archipelago state, is well-known around the globe for its amazing beaches, thunderous waves, and volcanoes that can be found everywhere.

Hawaii has more than 130 islands, but you don’t need to travel far from the main islands to find amazing beach locations. There are beaches for families, adventurers, and those who just want to hunt the ideal wave, from the well-known Oahu to the modest Molokai.

Hawaii’s beautiful beaches are formed by nature. There are countless golden beaches, but there are also beaches with black and crimson sand that were scorched by rushing lava throughout history. You won’t have to work hard to get away from the crowds because to the variety of possibilities.

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The Best Beaches in Hawaii

If you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or untainted splendor, Hawaii is synonymous with stunning beaches, offering some of the most captivating coastal scenery in the world. Each island has its unique charm, with beaches ranging from serene coves to bustling shores perfect for water activities. Here are some of the best beaches in Hawaii, each promising an unforgettable experience.

Beaches on Maui

1. Ka’anapali Beach

Why You Should Visit Kaanapali Beach Maui For A Relaxing Vacation

Ka’anapali Beach, located on Maui’s west coast, is one of the best beaches in Hawaii and a great place to swim and snorkel. Here, visitors may take in the island’s natural beauty in addition to a variety of facilities that make this beach comparable to Waikiki.

The magnificent shoreline features three miles of golden sand, a profusion of dining options and drinking establishments, and an ample assortment of far-flung resorts. However, a day at Kaanapali Beach is something you shouldn’t miss, even if you’re not staying by the sea.

Set down the beach towel and enjoy the smooth, cloud-like sand while observing the crowds of people, both residents and tourists, leaping off the 16-foot Black Rock, a lava rock. After that, head to the northernmost point of the beach to enjoy fantastic snorkelling among vibrant reefs and the occasional sighting of sea turtles.

2.  Wailea Beach

As you move south on Maui, the secluded eastern shore quickly gives way to resort areas. Here, in front of the spotless Grand Wailea, sits Wailea Beach, one of the best beaches in Hawaii. You can mix your sunning with delicious food and waterfront bars on this length of sand, making it a terrific choice for an affluent beach day.

Soft sand at Wailea Beach creates a crescent around the beach, making it the ideal place to spend a day in the sun. Just to see the beauty beneath the sea, you will answer the call of the sparkling blue water. In addition to snorkelling, you can enjoy surfing, paddleboarding, and boogie board rentals at the beach.

3. Makena Beach

Makena Beach, one of the best beaches in Hawaii, is a little but mighty expanse of beach in South Maui. The 0.6 mile stretch of sand is located in the breathtaking Makena State Park, and the breathtaking views will make you think you’ve reached the top of the world. Despite its short length, the beach is 100 feet wide, giving plenty of room for sunbathing.

You may relax on the sand at Makena Beach, which is located inside a state park, and take in the view of the blue ocean and the surrounding scenery. The serene atmosphere created by the lack of development is surpassed only by the stunning coral beneath the surface.

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4. Kapalua Beach

As beautiful as one of the best beaches in Hawaii, Kapalua Beach’s vista is stunning. You can see the magnificent volcano Mauna Kahalawai from your sandbar position. Once you’ve cleared your jaw from the sand, you can gaze over the canal towards Molokai.

After taking in the scenery, focus on making the most of this fantastic beach. It’s well known that Kapalua is among the safest beaches on Maui for swimming, even in the winter when the winds pick up. Two reefs at either end break up the swell and make for exciting snorkelling. The Kapalua Coastal Trail, which leads to DT Beach Park, is another option.

5. Kaihalulu Beach

Kaihalulu Beach, sometimes referred to as Red Sand Beach, is one of the best beaches in Hawaii, a striking sandbar that is well worth the journey just for the experience. Hiking is required to reach this secluded beach, which is encircled by massive red cliffs. Wearing strong shoes and exercising caution when navigating the narrow path are important.

Once you’re here, take your time to enjoy the breathtaking view of the cliffs and cinder cones that encircle the beach. The little area of red sand serves as your only refuge from the harshness of the surrounding environment. This isn’t the appropriate area on Kaihalulu Beach for swimming. Although there are some protected spots, the swimming is usually rough.

6. Wai’anapanapa State Park

Wai'anapanapa State Park | Maui Guidebook

On the island of Maui, Wai’anapanapa State Park has one of the best beaches in Hawaii with another stretch of black sand that is not to be missed. The dense Hawaiian vegetation that encircles the beach towards the end of the well-known Road to Hana is just as untidy as the gorgeous sand.

Still, it’s not an easy journey here. Those who wish to visit the beach will need to travel to a trailhead down the gravel road. After that, you’ll stroll through the bush until you reach a little cove. There are plenty of captivating views to behold at the little beach. You may explore lava caverns, see the magnificent sea arch, and take in the vibrant underwater life.

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Beaches on Oahu

7.  Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach, one of the best beaches in Hawaii and maybe the most well-known, makes up the majority of the well-known coastline in front of the lively Waikiki. This beach, which is not far from Honolulu’s downtown, has it all and has come to represent travel in Hawaii. Staying close to the beach is a popular choice because of the variety of lodging options in the area. But what really makes Waikiki so popular is the enjoyment to be had both on and off the ocean.

The fun on the golden sand lasts all day long as volleyballs are tossed back and forth as people move back and forth between the shore and the bars that are close by. The beach is divided into roped-off areas that keep swimmers and adjacent surfers and water sports enthusiasts apart. The sensation is serene as the blue-tinged ocean crashes in, but is lessened by the ropes. Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon is behind the beach if you want to unwind even more.

8. Lanikai Beach

One of the best beaches in Hawaii, Lanikai is a classic paradise located on Oahu’s windward shore. Due to its position, it is far quieter than beaches, particularly Waikiki, on the opposite side of the island. But those who venture there will find a serene beach with shimmering white sand blending with baby blue water.

The shadows cast by swinging palms move left and right as you gaze out towards the ocean, serving as a constant reminder of the jungle behind you. All ages will enjoy the peaceful swimming created by the offshore reef cutting the swell’s legs out from beneath them.

9. Sunset Beach

Stretching two miles, Sunset Beach is one of the best beaches in Hawaii, well-known for its massive barrels, which draw world-class surfers, in addition to its golden hour. Sunset Beach is the ideal location to put your courage and talent to the test on Oahu’s famous North Shore, which is also home to the Bonzai Pipeline.

However, that is only during the winter, once the winds have increased. Beachgoers will feel more at ease going out on the sea in the summer. That is a terrific time of year for big parties and families since the sand is wide and the ocean is quiet. If you’ve come during the winter, don’t miss the action by going to Sunset Beach to see the surfers manage the wild waves.

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10. Kailua Beach

Over two miles long, Kailua Beach on Oahu’s eastern shore offers plenty of space for relaxing on one of the best beaches in Hawaii and swimming in the shallow seas. Kailua is another well-liked beach location, just up the coast from Lanikai Beach, but it is free of the large crowds that can be seen elsewhere on the island.

The beach is ideal for windsurfing and kiteboarding due to its steady breeze and windward orientation. Beachgoers may access waves further out, which are ideal for boogie boarding or even exhilarating sea kayaking. There is a sizable oceanfront park with picnic areas and restrooms beyond the sand.

Beaches on Kauai

11.  Poipu Beach

Poipu Beach, one of the best beaches in Hawaii, which is divided into two portions on Kauai’s South Shore, is a well-liked option for all beachgoers. Nukomoi Point, which rises out into the Pacific in the middle of the beach, blocks off the surge and creates calm, kid-friendly conditions that are enjoyable. The sandbar, which has lifeguards on duty all year round, highlights this. Surfers and snorkelers rig up on the opposite side of the point.

Snorkelers can explore in peace and quiet away from the surfers, and novice and intermediate surfers will find the range of waves ideal for those just starting out or feeling a little rusty. Experienced surfers might get some thrills by venturing out past the point during larger swells. Hawaiian monk seals are known to lounge on the golden sand of Poipu Beach, so wherever you decide to set up shop, be sure to keep a look out for them.

12. Hanalei Bay

Hanalei Happy Place | A Hanalei Vacation Rental on Kauai's North Shore

One of the best beaches in Hawaii to swim is Hanalei Bay, which curves around the coast and is shielded from the sun by two sturdy reefs. The two kilometres of sand have patches that are well over a hundred feet wide. This aids in dispersing the big crowds that frequent the well-liked beach.

In addition to gazing at the distant distance, beachgoers will be treated to stunning vistas of Kauai’s enormous mountains. If you happen to visit on a calm, windless day, the surface is glassy and cries out for you to jump in and go swimming. Surfers can experience choppy waves in the eastern portion of the beach.

13.  Anini Beach

One term that best describes Anini Beach, known as one of the best beaches in Hawaii, would be tranquil. The location is well-liked by guests vacationing in the neighboring resort town of Princeville. It offers serene and gorgeous swimming that is surrounded by coral reefs. Once you leave the shore, the water stays shallow for a while. This aids in making up for the shortage of lifeguards.

However, those who feel confident taking a chance can venture further out to explore the stunning Anini Reef. This is a beautiful location that scuba divers and snorkelers meet, one that deserves to be in an art gallery on its own. You can set up camp on Anini Beach for the night if you don’t want the day to finish.

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14. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

There are plenty of incredible beach experiences in the state of Hawaii, but one of the best beaches in Hawaii is at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, which might be the most unusual. The bay is situated atop an old volcanic crater that was built in prehistoric times. The land protrudes on both sides of the bay, shielding the sea and fostering a picturesque setting. Hanauma Bay is a swimming area.

You can explore the flawless underwater world that flourishes due to its protected status when there is minimal swell. In addition to paying a charge to enter the preserve, visitors must view a park overview movie. This will enable you to fully enjoy the riot of colour that envelops the reefs and marine life, as well as the dynamic nature beneath the surface.

Beaches on the Big Island (Hawaii Island)

15. Hapuna Beach Big Island

This beach, one of the best beaches in Hawaii, which is part of Hapuna Beach State Park, is the focal point of the unforgettable Kohala Coast. The breathtaking shoreline stretches throughout the Big Island’s northwest coast, and the sight of Hapuna Beach’s dazzling white sand beckons you as soon as you arrive. The beach is shorter than some of the others on our list, at about half a mile.

However, the serene seas and neighbouring nature preserve offer a traditional Hawaiian experience. You’ll enjoy the sparkling turquoise ocean while you lie on the golden sand, with the swaying vegetation serving as the ideal background.

Hapuna Beach is well-known for its friendly swimming areas, which have gentle waves ideal for body surfing. Notably, family-friendly amenities including picnic spaces, food stands, and restrooms are available year-round, and lifeguards are on duty 24/7.

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16. Punalu’u Black Sand Beach Big Island

Visitors will absolutely love exploring Hawaii’s unique and enchanting black sand beaches, which are a perfect complement to the classic golden sand beaches. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary experience! Punaluu Beach, one of the best beaches in Hawaii, on the Big Island’s southeast coast, is a broad expanse of rich black sand that was formerly burned by lava and now creates a striking contrast.

The sea of greens that is only broken up by the sky overhead will greet you when you first stroll through the coastal jungle. The trees soon scatter, giving way to dense, shimmering black sand and electric blue ocean. Throughout the day, when the beach warms up from the heat, many people take a refreshing swim in the Pacific Ocean.

17. The Kua Bay Big Island

At Kua Bay, one of the best beaches in Hawaii, the good times commence right away. You will travel across a sizable lava field on an accessible paved route before you even reach the lovely golden sand. The bleak beauty soon gives way to dazzling turquoise sea surrounded by old volcanic rocks.

Once you’ve located a position on the beach, you may enjoy the view of some waves that are just begging to be ridden. Try body surfing or take a boogie board into the ocean while a lifeguard is keeping an eye on you. You’ll have access to restrooms, showers, and picnic spots with BBQ grills when you’re ready for a break.

Beaches on Molokai

18. Papohaku Beach

Kepuhi Beach Resort #1182

Papohaku Beach, one of Molokai’s longest beaches and among the Best Beaches in Hawaii, the ideal location for those seeking seclusion. There are almost unlimited options to find your own spot of sand throughout the three miles of coastline. Once you’ve walked the whole length of the shore, leaving footprints in the sand, find a point to gaze out over the channel to Oahu.

A sharp eye could even be able to identify Diamond Head. Papohaku Beach features all the facilities you require, including picnic tables and restrooms with showers. You can camp out overnight at the beach, and you’ll want to stay for the breathtaking sunsets that face west.

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From the world-famous shores of Waikiki to the secluded beauty of Papohaku Beach, Hawaii’s beaches offer something for every traveler. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or stunning natural landscapes, these 18 best beaches in Hawaii promise unforgettable experiences. So pack your beach gear, set out for the islands, and discover the unique allure of Hawaii’s coastal paradises.

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