The island state of Hawaii is known for its volcanoes and beautiful beaches. Why else would you visit this chain of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean if you didn’t want to explore all the beaches it has to offer.
Hawaiian beaches range from soft white sands to jet black volcanic sands, and calm bays to rough surf. Since everyone’s ideal beach day is different, Hawaii offers such a range of beaches you’re sure to find one you love.
Whether you’re trying to ride the surf and hit the bars after or spend a relaxing day with your family, you’re sure to find something for you.
If you’re planning your next beach getaway, consider visiting these 10 most beautiful beaches in Hawaii.
Lanikai beach is a tranquil paradise located on the eastern side of O’ahu. Here you can enjoy the beautiful turquoise water and calm waves. This is perfect for those who like to swim but don’t enjoy getting roughed by the surf. In Hawaiian Lanikai translates to “heavenly ocean.”
Since the beach faces east, start your day early and enjoy a sunrise on Lanikai Beach. The calm water makes swimming and boating much easier. Explore the water from a guided kayak tour.
If you’re looking for a beach for the whole family, Poipu Beach on the south side of Kauai Island is a great place to visit. The beach is made up of golden sand crescents along the shore making the water shallow and calm. Snorkeling is a lot of fun in the little pockets of reef along the shore. Lifeguards are also on duty here, making it good for families with unconfident swimmers. Along the shore there are also beaches with good waves for bodyboarding and surfing.
Occasionally you may see a Hawaiian monk seal at the beach. The best time to see them are early or late in the day. Remember to be respectful and keep your distance since Hawaiian monk seals are an endangered species.
Located on the west side of the island of Maui is Kaanapali Beach. Lined with hotels, spas and luxury resorts this is a popular destination for tourists. Although this is a popular beach for tourists to visit, the three miles of beach allow everyone to spread out and seem less crowded.
This is a popular beach for cliff jumping and snorkeling. Enjoy the sunset sinking down into the ocean to end your day. If you’re patient, you may even be able to see a whale blow off the shore.
If you have never seen a black sand beach before, be sure to check out Punalu’u Beach on the southern end of the Big Island, Hawaii. This jet-black sand is formed by volcanic activity on the island. Once the volcanic rock (also known as basalt) cools, the surf erodes the black rock and turns it into sand.
Although swimming is not ideal here, Punalu’u Beach is a great place to stop for lunch and explore. If you are lucky you may see a green sea turtle along the beach. Please be respectful and keep your distance from the turtles as they are endangered.
On the north west side of the Big Island is Kauna ‘oa Beach. This is one of the prettiest white sand beaches in the state. The beach is an ideal place to hang out and sunbathe on the gently sloping white sands. Palm trees provide some shade along the inland edge of the beach. At night, be sure to check out the manta rays that come to feed on the plankton along the shore.
Although Kauna ‘oa is a public beach and free to use, to access this beach you must pass though the Mauna Kea Beach hotel. Unless you are staying at the hotel, public parking fills up quickly. Be sure to get there before 9 am, otherwise the parking lot is already full.