[Hawaiian Beaches] 20 Best Beaches in Hawaii for a Memorable Trip 2023
If Hawaii is known for anything, it is unquestionably its beaches! These are Hawaii’s best beaches, including family-friendly, surfing, and snorkeling spots!
We have listed Hawaiian beaches from all over the state and indicated the island where the beautiful beach can be found in the text.
The three-mile-long Ka’anapali Beach is a world-class resort destination located in beautiful Lahaina, Maui, and is fronted by five hotels, numerous fine restaurants, and high-end shopping sites.
The famous Maui beach is well-known for its daily cliff diving ceremony, in which thrill-seekers jump off the 16-foot Puu Kekaa (Black Rock) in honor of Maui’s last independent king, King Kahekili.
You can also go snorkeling or play golf on two championship golf courses, the Royal Kaanapali and the Kaanapali Kai (keep an eye out for breaching whales while you’re there).
After a long day on the water, go shopping at the open-air Whalers Village Mall, which includes a renowned whaling museum, restaurants, and free entertainment.
Kaaawa Beach is a serene and picturesque spot located on the eastern coast of Oahu. This beach is known for its crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches, and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
Kaaawa Beach is a popular destination for those looking to escape the crowds and enjoy a more secluded beach experience. The water is generally calm, making it an ideal spot for swimming, snorkeling, and even kayaking.
Surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, Kaaawa Beach is a great place for hiking and exploring the natural beauty of the area. You can take a scenic hike up to the nearby Kualoa Ranch and explore the stunning scenery on horseback or ATV.
Just a short drive away from Kaaawa Beach is the Polynesian Cultural Center, where you can immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of Hawaii. The center features traditional performances, arts and crafts demonstrations, and exhibits showcasing the unique heritage of the islands.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet day at the beach or an adventure-filled excursion, Kaaawa Beach is the perfect place to experience the beauty and tranquility of Oahu’s eastern coast.
Waimea Bay is a historic global surf destination on Oahu’s world-famous North Shore. Adrenaline junkies can enjoy a thrilling session of surfing 30-foot high waves that top out Waimea Bay during the winter.
In the summer, the surf is calm, making it ideal for swimming, snorkeling, diving, and even cliff jumping.
Waimea Valley is nearby, where you can escape the sun and explore this botanical garden and cultural center nestled in a lush valley.
A 1.5-mile round-trip hike through Waimea Falls Park will take you to a 45-foot beautiful Oahu waterfall where you can swim beneath the falls. It is one of Hawaii’s best waterfalls!
Puu o Mahaka State Monument, located just above Waimea Bay, houses the best-preserved Waimea heiau ruins.
Kumimi Beach, also known as Murphy’s Beach or 20 Mile Marker Beach, provides some of the best snorkeling opportunities on the underappreciated island of Molokai.
The calm and crystal clear waters are ideal for a refreshing dip and diving; however, keep in mind that the water can become quite rough outside the reef area.
Prepare to be amazed by the diverse Hawaiian sea life when snorkeling at high tide. After swimming, sunbathe on the narrow golden sand beach.
When looking for the best places to fish in Maui, Kumimi Beach has a lot to offer. A small parking area with a lookout point two miles beyond the Beach is ideal for one-of-a-kind photo opportunities.
Add peaceful Oneloa Beach (meaning “long sand”) to your Maui bucket list if you’re looking for a secluded retreat.
Kapalua’s least crowded beach, also known as Ironwood Beach, is tucked away next to the Ritz Carlton and Kapalua Resort.
Snorkeling is possible at both ends of the beach when the water is calm, but diving is best around the rocky point near Makaluapuna Point.
Swimming in high surf can be dangerous, but north swells create ideal conditions for boogie boarding.
There is a golf course at the north end above the beach, so be careful not to get hit by golf balls while swimming. Head to the Kapalua Coastal Trail for a low-key scenic walk with stunning ocean views.
Mauna Kea Beach
Island: Big Island
When one thinks of Hawaii, one thinks of picture-perfect beaches, and Mauna Kea Beach is one of them!
The Big Island beach is also known as Kaunaoa Beach and is located directly across from the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, so expect easy access to a variety of amenities.
The waves may become more powerful in the winter, but in the summer, they flatten and the waters calm, allowing you to explore the coral reefs along the rocky southern end of the beach.The beach concession stand rents boogie boards and snorkeling equipment, and the hotel’s restaurant serves lunch and tropical drinks.
Check out the evening manta ray show, where you can admire the enigmatic sea creature from a “Manta Ray Point” lookout.
Ho’okipa Beach serves as a showcase for windsurfers and big-wave riders.
If you’re driving the Road to Hana, Ho’okipa Beach is a must-stop for beach walking, kite surfing, sunbathing, and picnicking, as well as a front-row seat to the Hookipa Surf Classic, Red Bull King of the Air, and Aloha Classic, among many other world-famous competitions.
In the evenings, marvel at breathtaking sunsets and honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles) that come up to shore to rest.
Take in the island’s breathtaking scenery and epic surf from Ho’okipa Lookout, which also has food stands and portable restrooms.
Nearby, you can dine with a view at Mama’s Fish House and explore Paia town and Twin Falls, both of which are a short distance from Ho’okipa Beach.
Lanikai Beach (“Heavenly Ocean”), one of Oahu’s most beautiful beaches, is a beachgoer’s dream, with miles of fine white sand and calm waters in fifty shades of aquamarine.
Swimming, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding are excellent ways to enjoy Lanikai’s calm waters while seeing the iconic Mokulua Islands from afar.
Although the beach is not well-known for snorkeling, beginners can still get a feel for the water and explore a diverse array of tropical fish and coral.
Try the one-mile Lanikai Pillbox Hike in the early morning for spectacular views of Lanikai Beach, the Koolau coast, and Kailua town.
Hulopoe Bay, named one of America’s best beaches, is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, diving, and surfing.
The bay, which fronts the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, has pearl-white sand and crystal clear waters, as well as barbecue grills, picnic tables, restrooms, and showers.
The bay’s main attraction is its large tide pools carved out of volcanic rock, which are home to sea stars, hermit crabs, opihi (limpet), and a variety of small fish.
Take a 15-20 minute hike along the cliffs just southeast of the tide pools to see the iconic Lanai landmark, the 80-foot Puu Pehe, which has a tragic legend behind it.
Keep an eye out for humpback whales in the winter, and acrobatic spinner dolphins the rest of the year. This is without a doubt one of the best beaches on Lanai!
The crescent-shaped Poip Beach in the Kauai town of Poipu, with its silky golden sand and crystal-clear waters, is the most popular beach on the South Shore, popular with both visitors and locals.
It has two crescents separated by a tombola (Nukumoi Point) with excellent swimming and wading opportunities.
Poip Beach is subject to seasonal high surf, particularly during the summer months, providing ideal conditions for experienced surfers to ride those challenging waves.
In front of Poipu Beach Park, there is a bodyboarding area and a good snorkeling reef. It’s also an excellent choice for a family beach day because it has lifeguards, picnic areas, and showers.
Hawaiian monk seals frequent the Kauai beach, so please be cautious (and respectful) by keeping at least 100 feet away.
Hanauma Bay, formed within a volcanic cone, is a natural preserve with some of the best coral and sea life on Oahu.
This bay is all about snorkeling, with 300 different Hawaiian fish species hiding among the shallow coral reefs.
Book the Hanauma Bay Snorkeling Half-Day tour for top-quality snorkeling activities, which includes a half-day snorkeling adventure at the bay, snorkeling gear, and even pickup and drop-off from select Waikiki hotels.
After a day on the water, take a scenic hike along the Koko Head Crater trail to a viewing platform to admire the Windward side, Diamond Head, or Makapuu Lighthouse trail to a stunning cliffside lighthouse.
Waikk Beach is not only Hawaii’s most famous beach, but also one of the world’s most famous beaches!
The 2-mile stretch of golden sand is divided into eight sections, each with its own vibe and activities in Honolulu.
It was once a playground for Hawaiian royalty, but it is now ideal for swimming, surfing, boogie boarding, snorkeling, sand boarding, and admiring breathtaking Waikk sunsets.
Book sailing and snorkeling tours with Maita’i Catamaran to see the stunning views of the Waikiki skyline and Diamond Head Crater from the water.
By visiting Faith Surf School, you can practice outrigger canoe paddling, Hawaii’s traditional mode of water transportation.
Take a submarine ride with Atlantis Submarine Discovery Dive to explore the vibrant life beneath the waves for an unforgettable experience.
Island: Big Island
Punaluu Beach, located on the island of Kau between the towns of Pahala and Naalehu, is one of Hawaii’s most famous black sand beaches.
Jet black lava sand, coconut palms, and crystal blue water create a stunning contrast for picture-perfect scenery.
This beautiful beach is one of the few places in the world where you can see large honu (green sea turtles) and endangered honu’ea (Hawksbill Turtles), so please respect these protected turtles by not touching or feeding them.
When the water is calm, you can swim and snorkel here, and on a windy day, you can camp on the beach (with a permit).
Because there are many lava rocks all over, the best place to enter the water is from the small boat ramp next to the ruins of the old pier.
This is an excellent stop on the way to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Another beautiful bay on Maui’s southwest coast is known for its golden sand, crystal-clear waters, green sea turtles, abundant coral reefs, and breathtaking sunsets.
Napili Bay is a true Maui treasure that offers a tranquil family getaway. Outer reefs shield the shores from large swells, making swimming, snorkeling, and stand-up paddleboarding ideal. When the big swells arrive, the waves are ideal for boogie boarding.
If you get hungry, head to the nearby Seahouse Restaurant on the bay’s northern edge for beachfront dining.
Book a room at Napili Sunset Beachfront Resort, Napili Kai Beach Resort, or Outrigger Napili Shores Resort, which front this pristine bay and offer a variety of amenities.
Kalaupapa National Historical Park and Kalaupapa Beach are located on the isolated Kalaupapa Peninsula on Molokai’s north shore.
This is a preserve and educational destination surrounded by some of the world’s highest sea cliffs, and it is only accessible by mule ride, hiking tour, or airplane from Kalaupapa Airport.
You can learn about the area’s historical significance here, as it was home to 8,000 people infected with Hansen’s Disease in the mid-1800s (leprosy).
Every year, tourists from all over the world visit this mysterious location, which is now a national historical park.
Green sea turtles, humpback whales, monk seals, coral reefs, and a variety of fish can all be found in Molokai’s most remote settlement. This is without a doubt one of Hawaii’s best beaches (and most certainly one of the most remote).
Polihua Beach should be at the top of your Lanai bucket list if you’re looking for a secluded off-the-beaten-path getaway!
To get here, you’ll need a 4-wheel-drive vehicle to navigate 4 miles of unpaved and rough road.
This is Lanai’s longest 1.5-mile pristine gold sand beach along the northwest coastline, about a 30-minute drive from Garden of the Gods.
You will have complete access to this slice of heaven, where you can sunbathe, stroll, beachcomb, and enjoy a picnic.
Just keep in mind that strong currents make this remote beach extremely dangerous for swimming, snorkeling, or even surfing, so you’ll have to settle for admiring its natural beauty and scenic views.
If the weather permits, you can see Molokai across the channel and Diamond Head on Oahu.
If you want a resort vibe and don’t mind crowds, Wailea Beach, one of five beaches in the Wailea resort development, is the place to go if you’re in or around Kihei.
This stunning Kihei beach, which fronts the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa and the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, offers a wide and perfect white sand beach as well as breathtaking ocean views.
In the winter, you can see Kaho’olawe, Molokai, and Lanai in the distance, and if you’re lucky, you might even see breaching humpback whales.
Go snorkeling around the rocky outcroppings when the water is calm, or boogie boarding and body surfing to ride the small waves. Showers, bathrooms, and plenty of free parking are also available at the beach.
Hanalei Bay, located between the Hanalei River to the east and the Wai’oli River to the west, is the largest bay on Kauai’s Garden Isle and a must-see on your itinerary.
This tranquil bay fronts Black Pot Beach Park, a popular local camping spot with the historic Hanalei Pier, which was built in 1892.
Walking along this historic pier is like stepping into a beachy slice of heaven, with the majestic tropical mountains serving as a backdrop for even more hypnotic views.
Summer months are ideal for swimming, sailing, and paddling in calm waters, while winter months are ideal for thrill-seekers looking to ride the massive waves of Kauai beach.
This two-mile crescent-shaped bay has also been used in Hollywood films such as The Descendants and South Pacific.
Discover Hawaii’s hidden gem in the southeastern corner of Oahu (a 45-minute drive from famous Waikiki Beach), which will take your breath away with its breathtaking scenery.
Waimanalo Bay is less frequently visited by tourists due to its location, making it a true undiscovered treasure on this popular island that you can enjoy without as many crowds.
What more do you need for a proper beach vacation than turquoise waters and powdery soft white sand backed by towering ironwood trees (locally known as Sherwood Forest)?
This three-mile-long sandy beach is ideal for sunbathing, strolling, and picnics, and it even has moderate waves for bodyboarding and boogie boarding enthusiasts.
The magnificent Koolau Mountains in the distance add to the bay’s allure. Keep an eye out for Portuguese man of war (a small blue jellyfish), which can sting extremely painfully.
Island: Big Island
Manini’owali Beach, also known as Kua Bay, is part of the Kekaha Kai State Park, which is located just north of Kona. It is often referred to as the best white sand beach on the Big Island.
This beautiful little sand pocket gets crowded on weekends, so if you prefer a more secluded retreat, go during the week.
Swimming and snorkeling are popular activities here during the summer, and a powerful shore break makes this beach an ideal playground for bodyboarders and surfers during the winter.
Restrooms, showers, barbecues, picnic tables, a parking lot, and a lifeguard station are also available.
This beach is also popular for wildlife sightings, so expect to see dolphins and turtles not far from the shore, making it one of the best things to do near Kona!
The last beach on this list is one of the most family-friendly in Hawaii (and specifically on Kauai!). The main attraction at Lydgate Beach is its double-sectioned pool, which is enclosed on both sides and thus protected from ocean swells.
The inner section of the pool is ideal for wading by children, while the outer section is ideal for swimming and snorkeling to see a variety of tropical fish.
On the nearby grass field, you can see locals flying kites, playing frisbee, picnicking, and camping.
Near the pool, you can see the remains of Hikinaakala Heiau, which dates back to 800 A.D., as well as the remains of the sanctuary Hauola for Hawaiians who broke a taboo.
Across the street, the Kalamani Playground has swings, multiple slides, climbing areas, and other amenities for children of all ages.
Topic: [Hawaiian Beaches] 20 Best Beaches in Hawaii for a Memorable Trip 2023
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By: Travel Pixy