10 Best Beaches in Hawaii
Hawaii has some breathtaking coastlines and it is difficult to rank them because they all offer something different. This is list of beautiful Hawaiian beaches that you need to visit if you are traveling to the island. Below you will find our top 10 best beaches in Hawaii.
The Best Hawaiian Beaches
Hawaii is consistently ranked as one of the top holiday destinations in the world for all types of travelers. With its pristine beaches, amazing hikes, laid-back way of life, scrumptious local food, and the aloha spirit, this group of islands on the Pacific is almost always on everyone’s bucket list.
Below are just a few of the most beautiful and best beaches in Hawaii. They all have several things in common: clear, turquoise waters, beautiful sand, dramatic landscapes, and a playground for magnificent ocean creatures.
Top 10 Best Beaches in Hawaii
Here is our list of the top beaches in Hawaii:
1. North Shore, O’ahu
To kick of our top 10 best beaches in Hawaii, let’s start with the North Shore in O’ahu, which is a 17-mile stretch of kid-friendly beaches about 45 minutes from Waikiki by car. Among the famous beaches recognized for great, big waves for surfers and surfer enthusiasts alike are Sunset Beach, Banzai Pipeline, and Waimea.
Not too far from there is Shark’s Cove, which is a great snorkeling spot to enjoy swimming with colorful fishes and big turtles. For a more thrill-seeking adventure, head over to La’ie point for cliff -jumping or Haleiwa for shark cage diving.
Grab a bite to eat and a chocolate haupia pie at Ted’s Bakery or one of the garlic shrimp trucks and watch the sunset at Sunset Beach.
2. Mālaekahana Beach and Goat Island
Located in the North Shore of O’ahu, Mālaekahana Beach and Goat Island deserve their own spot primarily for the seclusion and tranquility they offer. Mālaekahana is quiet and serene with unbelievably great waves perfect for bodysurfing and boogie boarding.
This place is great for every member of the family, big and small. Remember to bring water shoes to make it easier to wade out to Goat Island, which is a bird sanctuary. Kayaking or paddling over on a surfboard are also great options. Be aware of tide changes when doing so and keep an eye out in the water for turtles swimming by.
3. Punalu’u Beach
Punalu’u Beachis located on the Big Island’s southeast shore is number 3 on our best beaches of Hawaii hit list. It is the most popular black sand beach of Hawaii and truly exceptional. The jet-black sand is comprised of fragments of ground lava that can get very hot on a summer day.
What makes this beach magnificent is the large endangered Hawksbill turtles basking in the sun on the black sand. And with the row of green coconut trees as the backdrop, what else can one ask for a great photo opportunity.
Though at this Hawaiian beach, swimming may be a bit tricky especially for children with the occasional strong currents and its rocky nature, it’s not inadvisable. There’s a spot called Ninole Cove where snorkeling can be enjoyed.
Kailua boasts two of the best beaches in the world Lanikai beach and Kailua Beach. These are in the windward side of O’ahu where some of the most awe-inspiring coastal views leave a lasting imprint on visitors.
The waters are clear, tranquil, and aqua blue. No need to use a photo filter at these beaches! Truly two perfect spots to enjoy serenity and to decompress from the stresses of the world.
Bring a kayak and paddle out to the larger island of the Mokulua islands, which are seabird sanctuaries. Between these two kid-friendly beaches, Kailua is more well-known than its neighbor Lanikai most likely because of its amenities such as concessions, lifeguards, beach showers, restrooms, and picnic tables.
5. Tunnels Beach
Tunnels Beach on the northern shore of Kauai is a tried and true classic beach on this beautiful island. This picturesque Hawaiian beach is a prime snorkeling and dive haven with its enormous coral reef. Its moniker results from the underwater caverns formed from lava tubes.
The sand is golden and fine and with the lush green mountains as backdrop, it has everything necessary and more for a picture-perfect beach.
This beach is great for families with children. Bring some local food and eat on one of the picnic tables while awaiting the sunset.
6. Baldwin Beach Park, Maui
Baldwin Beach Parkin Maui is incredibly stunning and one of the most sought-after beaches in the North Shore. Highly regarded as one of the best beaches in Hawaii to bodysurf and bodyboard, this gorgeous beach is also great for swimming, a scenic walk, or even a run.
Though a popular beach in Hawaii, the crowd is sparse and there’s plenty of fine, what sand to throw a towel down and relax. An ideal location for family gatherings, Baldwin Beach offers a handful of amenities such as picnic tables, BBQ grills, shaded pavilions, beach showers, lifeguard stations, and a baseball diamond.
7. Ho’okipa Beach, Maui
Ho’okipa Beach isn’t recognized as a swimming beach in Maui, but this beach is definitely known for an action-packed experience with surfing, windsurfing, and kite-surfing. It’s a pretty cool place to hang out with the family and watch surfers conquer the waves. Not to mention in the evening, a guaranteed front row seat to the great Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles that swim up to shore to relish the sunset alongside visitors.
8. Honaunau Bay
Honaunau Bay on the Big Island has been named as one of “America’s Best Beaches” in 2004 by the Travel Channel. It is a terrific spot for snorkeling with its easy entry, calm waters, and excellent visibility.
The reef is healthy and abundant with an extraordinary variety of colorful fish. This beach is great for both children and adults, as well as beginner and expert divers. Though it’s quite unpredictable the timing, head out to this beach for an awe-inspiring experience as dolphins quite often tend to swim and stay in these waters.
9. Makena State Park, Maui
Makena State Parkis one of the largest beaches in Maui comprising of two beaches: Makena or Oneloa Beach, also referred to as “Big Beach” and Pu’u Olai Beach, also known as “Little Beach.” These two Hawaiian beaches are divided by the tip of the dormant volcanic cinder cone Pu’u Olai and only about a five-minute hike from each other. This place has a beauty like none other with the scenic cliff landscape and crystal, blue water. A great place for friends and families to bond over skimboarding, bodyboarding, and body surfing.
10. Kauna’oa Beach
The last of our top 10 best beaches of Hawaii is Kauna’oa Beach on The Big Island, also known as Mauna Kea Beach. It boasts one of the finest white sand beaches in Hawaii.
With its nearby facilities, fun water activities such as snorkeling and boogie boarding, and typically calm waters, this beach is a prime location for families. In the evening, manta rays come for their dinner of plankton. Grab your snorkeling gear or simply watch from the observation deck located ocean side near the resort’s restaurant.
This Hawaiian beach, though public, is located in the Mauna Kea Beach Resort, so just head over and acquire beach access.
Visiting Beaches of Hawaii
When visiting these Hawaiian beaches, please keep in mind to be respectful and to help preserve these locations or any other beaches in Hawaii.
Refrain from removing the sand as it is illegal and so is touching the turtles. Remember to clean up your rubbish and properly dispose them. Should you find rubbish on the beach, kindly pick those up too so no aquatic animals will get hurt by it.
Most importantly, never turn your back on the ocean. Generally, the beaches in Hawaii have calm waves in the summer, and big, even rough waves in the winter. The tides and currents change too, so just be aware and be careful.
Have you been to any of our top Hawaiian beaches?
This is our list of the top 10 best beaches in Hawaii, let us know if you have visited a beautiful Hawaiian beach that you love that isn’t on our list!
Related: Things to do in Maui