10 Most Beautiful Beaches in Hawaii

Last Updated on August 07, 2023 by Nikki Jain

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.

Most Beautiful Beaches in Hawaii

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1: Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach
Located on the south shore of the island of O’ahu, Waikiki Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the world. These white sand beaches were once for the Hawaiian Royalty. Now, high rise hotels line the shore making Waikiki a popular place to come and stay at. Walk down along the beach and watch surfers ride the waves. At night, water side bars come to life making Waikiki Beach a great destination for night life.

Address: Kalakaua Avenuue, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815

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2: Lanikai Beach

Lanikai Beach

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.

Address: Kailua, Oahu, HI 96734

3: Poipu Beach

Poipu Beach
Flickr/megan g.

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.

Address: Hoona Rd, Poipu, Kauai, HI 96756

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4: Kaanapali Beach

Kaanapali Beach

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.

Address: Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761

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5: Punalu'u Black Sand Beach

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach
Flickr/Melissa McMasters

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.

Address: Highway 11, Pahala, Island of Hawaii, HI 96777

Also Read: Best Tropical Destinations in the US

6: Kaunaʻoa (Mauna Kea) Beach

Kaunaʻoa (Mauna Kea) Beach
Flickr/Scott Wright

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.

Address: 62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Dr, Waimea, HI 96743

7: Hulopo'e Beach

Hulopo'e Beach
Flickr/Kirk K
On the southern shore of the Lanai island is Hulopoe Beach. This beach offers brilliant white sand and crystal blue water. Hang out for the day and bring food to picnic and grill out at the charcoal grills provided. In the bay you can see spinner dolphins playing in the water. During low tide, the volcanic rock has been carved out to form large tied pools. These tied pools are home to small organisms while the tide is out. Here you can find hermit crabs, sea stars, small fish and other small organisms that make the changing tide their home.

Address: Hi-440, Lanai, HI 96763

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8: Wailea Beach

Wailea Beach
Flickr/Thomas Hawk
Wailea Beach is on the western shore of Maui. This is a popular resort beach visited by many big-name people. Flanked on either side by two resorts, it’s best to show up early to grab a good hang out spot. With gently sloped wide beach between the resorts and the ocean, this beach is perfect for those who like to hang out on the beach all day. In Hawaiian, Wailea means “the water of Lea” who was the goddess of canoe making.

Address: Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea, Maui, HI 96753

9: Hapuna Beach State Park

Hapuna Beach State Park
Flickr/Zoli Juhasz
Located on the northwestern shore of the Big Island is Hapuna Beach State Park. This is an easy beach to visit since lots of parking is offered for visitors. There is however a $5 fee to park your car. Hapuna Beach has typically consistent conditions for swimming, bodyboarding, sunbathing and snorkeling. For those hanging out on the beach all day there are food vendors, picnic areas and showers available.

Address: Old Puako Rd, Puako, Island of Hawaii, HI 96743

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10: Makena Beach State Park

Makena Beach State Park
Flickr/Kirt Edblom
On the south shore of Maui is Makena Beach State Park. This state park beach offers an alternative to the more popular, crowded beaches on Maui. Because of its location in the State Park, Makena Beach is one of the largest undeveloped beaches on Maui. The park consists of two beaches, big beach and little beach. Big beach is fairly protected from winds due to two large volcanic rock outcrops on either side. Little beach is secluded and tucked away making it a popular nude beach.

Address: 4670 Makena Alanui, Kihei, HI 96753

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