Discover Paradise: The 10 Best Beaches in Hawaiʻi

Taylor Martin

Hawaiʻi, the tropical paradise known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking landscapes, is a dream destination for beach lovers. With its unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage, Hawaiʻi offers a wide array of stunning beaches that cater to every traveler's preferences. In this blog post, we'll delve into the top 10 beaches in Hawaiʻi, providing you with a comprehensive guide to help you plan your ultimate beach getaway.


1. Waikīkī Beach, Oʻahu:


Photo by: Cristo Vlahos, CC BY-SA 3.0

Starting off our list is the iconic Waikīkī Beach, situated on the island of Oʻahu. This world-renowned beach is synonymous with luxury and beauty, boasting golden sands, palm-lined shores, and the mesmerizing Diamond Head backdrop. Perfect for both swimming and surfing, Waikīkī Beach offers a range of water activities, upscale resorts, and vibrant nightlife.


 2. Kāʻanapali Beach, Maui:


Moving on to the island of Maui, Kāʻanapali Beach stands out as a true tropical paradise. With its soft, white sands and calm turquoise waters, this beach offers an idyllic setting for relaxation and leisure. Snorkeling, paddleboarding, and sunset cruises are just a few of the activities you can enjoy in this postcard-perfect location.

As a local to the island of Maui, Kāʻanapali Beach is one of my personal favorites. As a child, I looked forward to going on family beach trips to enjoy the many activities the beach had to offer. As I mentioned, there are a ton of activities to do on the beach, but my favorite was jumping off of Puʻu Kekaʻa, better known as Black Rock. Whether you take the leap of faith and jump off of Puʻu Kekaʻa or just enjoy relacing on the beach, this beach should be at the top of your list.


 3. Lanikai Beach, Oʻahu:


Photo by: Hakilon, CC BY 3.0

Often referred to as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Lanikai or Kaʻōhao Beach on Oʻahu's windward coast is a hidden gem worth exploring. The powdery white sand, gentle waves, and palm-fringed shores create a serene ambiance. Kayaking to the nearby Mokulua Islands is a popular adventure for visitors seeking a unique experience.


 4. Hāpuna Beach, Big Island:


Photo by: Polihale, CC BY-SA 3.0 

Located on the Big Island, Hāpuna Beach enchants visitors with its vast stretches of white sand and crystal-clear waters. Renowned for its excellent swimming and bodyboarding conditions, this beach offers a chance to spot vibrant marine life and explore the captivating coral reefs. Don't forget your snorkeling gear!


 5. Poʻipū Beach, Kauaʻi:


Photo by: Polihale, CC BY-SA 3.0

Nestled on Kauaʻi's sunny south shore, Poʻipū Beach is a favorite among families and snorkeling enthusiasts. The beach is divided into two crescents, offering protected swimming areas and ample space for sunbathing. Keep an eye out for Hawaiian monk seals, which are known to frequent the shores of Poʻipū.


 6. Makalawena Beach, Big Island:


Photo by: Travis.Thurston, CC BY-SA 3.0

For those seeking seclusion and untouched beauty, Makalawena Beach on the Big Island is an ideal choice. Accessible only by a rugged trail or by boat, this beach rewards adventurers with its unspoiled surroundings, turquoise waters, and golden sand. Remember to bring your supplies, as amenities are limited.


7. Hanalei Bay, Kauaʻi:


Photo by: Goshea at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Tucked away on Kauaʻi's north shore, Hanalei Bay beckons with its stunning crescent shape, emerald mountains, and cascading waterfalls. The beach is renowned for its excellent surfing conditions, especially during the winter months when larger swells roll in. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the beach or explore the charming town of Hanalei nearby.


 8. Waimānalo Beach, Oʻahu:


Photo by: Robert Linsdell from St. Andrews, Canada, CC BY 2.0

Offering a tranquil escape from the crowds, Waimānalo Beach on O'ahu's eastern shore is a local favorite. With its miles of powdery white sand, clear waters, and picturesque views of the Ko'olau Mountains, this beach provides a serene setting for picnics, beachcombing, and unwinding amidst nature's beauty.


 9. Polihale State Park, Kauaʻi:


Photo by: Travis.Thurston, CC BY-SA 3.0

For a truly off-the-beaten-path experience, head to Polihale State Park on Kauaʻi's west side. This remote beach offers miles of undeveloped coastline, dramatic cliffs, and golden sand dunes. Be prepared for a bumpy ride on the access road, but the reward is a secluded and awe-inspiring beachscape.


 10. Kapalua Beach, Maui:


Photo by: Christopher Michel, CC BY 2.0

Rounding out our list is Kapalua Beach, a tropical paradise nestled in Maui's northwest coast. This crescent-shaped beach boasts calm waters, ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Lush greenery and volcanic formations provide a stunning backdrop, making Kapalua Beach a picturesque spot for capturing memorable moments.


Hawaiʻi's beaches are a testament to nature's unparalleled beauty, offering an array of experiences for every type of beach enthusiast. Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or the perfect wave, the top 10 beaches in Hawaiʻi will leave you mesmerized. From the iconic Waikīkī Beach to the secluded Polihale State Park, these destinations offer the chance to unwind in breathtaking surroundings, creating memories to last a lifetime. So, pack your swimsuit, sunscreen, and a sense of adventure as you embark on an unforgettable journey through Hawaiʻi's coastal wonders.


   Written by: Makana Rivera


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