Hawaii’s collection of islands have some of the most spectacular beaches in the world. Many of the most popular beaches offer a range of sports and activities so that you can maximize the use of the wonderful rolling pacific. However, this also means that there are a lot of lesser known beaches that do not attract nearly as many tourists as the better known ones, and some days you may even have an entire beach to yourself!
Waikiki Beach, Oahu
A list of the best beaches in Hawaii would be incomplete without Waikiki Beach. As one of the best known beaches of Hawaii, you will find white sand, beautifully clear blue water on the back drop of a thriving city, with all shops, bars and restaurants nearby. You can also take surfing lessons to perfect your skill or rent a jet ski to take advantage of the water. This is a beach you could spend a whole day at.
Kaunaoa Beach, The Big Island
Kauna Beach differs itself from other beaches of Hawaii with a size limit! The maximum amount of people allowed on Kauna Beach at any given time is 25 (so best to get in early). The reason? Conservation. But it also gives the beach a uniquely tight knit feeling, and offers an escape from the crowds and a great opportunity to relax.
Punalu’u Beach, The Big Island
Black sand, turtles and snorkeling? An odd combination, but it definitely works. Punalu’u Beach is unlike any other in the world, and offers a rare chance to spot the endangered green sea turtles of Hawaii. This beach is a unique one to say the least. Wikipedia has some great information on why this beach is so unique.
Lahaina Beach, Maui
Tradition is here to stay at Lahaina Beach, where you will find Hula Dancers and native cuisine. This beach is the perfect spot to forget the city and absorb yourself into the local culture, and also makes for a perfect romantic getaway.
Honaunau Beach, The Big Island
Can you see a theme? We believe the best beaches of Hawaii are located on The Big Island. Honaunau differs in that its main offering is under the water! This is a fantastic spot to snorkel and explore one of the Hawaii’s best underwater reefs, a truly eye opening experience.
North Shore, Oahu
North Shore may be perfectly laid-back, but it also boasts some of Hawaii’s most perfect and strongest waves. Not to mention the most difficult and treacherous waves — no wonder, this is the mecca of most of the world’s best surfers and a prestigious surfing competition is held every year. It is also the home of Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau, the oldest ancient religious site in Oahu.
Like North Shore, Lanikai is also located in Oahu. But in complete contrast to North Shore’s big and gnarly waves, Lanikai’s turquoise waters is calm and tranquil. The sands are soft and pristine and the palm trees are swaying by the gentle breeze. “Lanikai” is a Hawaiian word for “heavenly sea” — perhaps Lanikai is really a heaven on earth.
Poipu Beach, Kauai
Poipu Beach is one of ideal beaches for the family, as it has the mix of calm and shallow waters (perfect for children and beginner swimmers) and some rougher ones (for adults and more experienced swimmers). This picturesque beach, located in southern Kauai, is mostly serene though.
Wailea Beach. Maui
Wailea Beach is one of Hawaii’s most popular destinations and consistently rated as one of the world’s best beaches. Wide beaches, great sand, gentle slopes (perfect for families and children) and waters fairly calm with some small waves — great for surfing and bodyboarding for beginners. The biggest downside though is that it tends to be overcrowded, so if you are looking for a peaceful and secluded beach holiday, Wailea Beach won’t be it.
Hanalei Beach, located on northern shores of Kauai, is a beautiful crescent-shaped beach which is situated between the blue Pacific Ocean on one side and the green-draped mountains on the other. It stretches for about two miles long. The iconic pier is a perfect place to take pictures of the beach and is also an ideal starting point for neophyte surfers and bodyboarders.