Hawaii usually paints a sunny picture of bright skies and glorious sunshine, soft, sandy beaches and beautiful blue ocean waves. Spread over 137 islands, the state of Hawaii brings its visitors the best of natural beauty and landscapes, a unique culture and history that blends into everyday life and the adventure-driven experiences that aim to push boundaries and create memories. The beautiful beaches of Hawaii can provide all of this and more. Take in our recommendations of the most scenic beaches in the state as your guide for lounging and relaxing, engaging in water sports and activities as well as a means of experiencing local cultures and cuisines. Read on to find out about the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii, USA.
1. Hapuna Beach, Big Island
Hāpuna beach is a sunny, scenic beach with calm waters and plenty of shaded spots for those looking for a reprise from the heat. Ideal for swimming and snorkeling, Hāpuna beach is family-friendly and attracts everyone from large families with children to groups of friends looking to relax. Experts recommend to snorkel around the small cliff to the north of the beach or around the rocky point on the South of the beach or perhaps use the beach as part of your hiking journey on the Ala Kahakai coastal trail, which follows the coastline in the Big Island.
Hapuna Beach, Big Island
Address: Old Puako Rd, Waimea, HI 96743, United States
Website: Hapuna Beach, Big Island
Opening hours: 7am - 8pm (daily)
2. Wailea Beach, Wailea-Makena
With clear, calm waters, soft sand between your toes and the sunshine pouring down on you, Wailea Beach is consistently as rated one of the best beaches in the world. The secret, unfortunately, is not well-kept, and it should be on your list to get to the beach early and situate yourself amongst the beach chairs and cabanas that line the shores. Go swimming, snorkeling, bodysurfing and board surfing here, as well as enjoy access to public showers, restrooms and plenty of food and beverage offerings in the area.
Wailea Beach, Wailea-Makena
Address: Kihei, HI 96753, United States
Website: Wailea Beach, Wailea-Makena
Opening hours: 7am - 8pm (daily)
3. Punalu‘u Beach
Although black sand beaches can be found across Hawaii, Punalu‘u Beach is arguably a natural wonder and the most famed black sandy shores of the state. Easily accessible, great to swim, surf, snorkel and even see Hawaii’s turtles wandering around, Punaluʻu Beach should be on your itinerary of the Big Island. Spend your day relaxing on the unique black sand shores that were created by lava flows from the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, that passed into the ocean, causing an explosion as it reached the ocean and cooled.
Address: Highway 11, Pahala, Island of Hawaii, HI 96777
Opening hours: 6am - 11pm (daily)
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4. Hāmoa Beach, Maui
The ideal beach for surfing and taking those scenic Instagram shots, Hāmoa Beach is surrounded my clifftops and the enclosed beach and bay make for one of Maui’s (and all of Hawaii’s) best beaches. A family-friendly space, the beach has several facilities you might need during your day out including the ability to rent beach chairs or nearby restaurants for your lunch break. Be sure to watch out for the strong currents in the sea if you are taking on the waves on your surfing or bodyboarding adventures.
Hāmoa Beach, Maui
Address: Hāmoa Beach, Hawaii 96713, USA
Website: Hāmoa Beach
5. Lanikai Beach, Kailua
Finding this beach through residential areas may prove a challenge, but the gem that is hidden on the other side makes it all the more worthwhile. One of the most serene beaches in Hawaii, Lanikai Beach has the softest white sand and leads to vast, crystal clear blue oceans. Spend your day dipping in and out of the waters, go kayaking to nearby islands or watch the seals swimming with the tide. You may not want to share the details of this beach with anyone after your perfect beach day here.
Lanikai Beach, Kailua
Address: Aalapapa Drive, Kailua, HI 96734, United States
Website: Lanikai Beach
6. Kauapea Beach, Kalihiwai
Officially Kauapea Beach, but unofficially named “Secret Beach”, this is one of the world’s hidden gems. First, a drive on a dirt road followed by a short hike through some cliffs and then you will be met by the most spectacular views that are sure to take your breath away. Start your day here and take advantage of the secluded beach, hidden away from the tourist traps and crowded spaces. Take in Hawaii’s natural beauty and explore the tidal pools and small waterfalls that you will find along the shore.
Kauapea Beach, Kalihiwai
Address: off Kalihiwai Road, Kalihiwai
Website: Kauapea Beach
7. Makena Beach, Kihei
Warm ocean waters combined with a wide-open sandy beach and a food truck serving tacos combine forces and meet at Makena Beach in Kihei. Go snorkeling and swimming, ride the waves on a boogie board or just relax on the sandy shores and enjoy the scenery- you will enjoy the perfect beach day here. Use the first parking area if you intend to just lounge on the beach but if snorkeling is what you’re after, park at the second lot so that you cut down on your walking time.
Makena Beach, Kihei
Address: 6600 Makena Alanui, Kihei, HI 96753, United States
Website: Makena Beach
Opening hours: 7am - 8pm (daily)
8. Kaunaʻoa Beach (Mauna Kea), Waimea
Kaunaʻoa Beach is the postcard picture of a Hawaiian beach, from its backdrop of cliffs, spacious white sandy beaches, clear blue waters and the sun shining across the whole landscape. Located on the Big Island along the Kohala Coast, Kaunaʻoa (Mauna Kea) Beach is ideal for swimming, enjoying some water sports or just relaxing on the soft sands. The famed Westin Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is located here too and it provides its guests, and some early-birds, public access to its plush facilities on the beach.
Kaunaʻoa Beach, Waimea
Address: 62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Dr, Waimea, HI 96743, United States
9. Kaihalulu Beach, Hana
The Red Sand Beach, also known as Kaihalulu Beach in Hana, brings bright color to the shores of Maui. The short hike to get in and out of the beach means you should wear closed shoes to protect your feet from the steep cliffs and sometimes slippery pathways, but once you reach the bay, you are rewarded with beautiful waters hidden between rock pools and the crashing waves. The beach gets its name from the Hawaiian words “kai halulu” which translates to “roaring sea”.
Kaihalulu Beach, Hana
Address: Intersection of Hauoli Road with Uakea Road
10. Ka’anapali Beach, Kaanapali
The long stretch of Ka’anapali Beach in Maui is located from Black Rock to Canoe Beach. A busy and popular area that is filled with high-end resorts, retail shops and boutiques, restaurants and cafes, there is never a shortage of activity along Ka’anapali Beach. Soak up the sunshine along the soft sand and have a swim in the beautiful waters of the ocean or get even more active with surfing and a variety of water sports available as options here. Walk along the boardwalk to explore the shops and eateries but not forgetting to stay for the glorious sunset that waves you goodbye at the end of each day.
Kaanapali Beach, Kaanapali
Address: All along Ka’anapali Pkwy.
Go beach hopping
Hawaii is known for its beaches, wild landscapes and epic sceneries. Work your way through our list of Hawaii’s best beaches, from the quiet and secluded to the most popular spots around, these are your options for consideration when you next visit Hawaii, USA.
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