It should come as no surprise that this island state in the heart of Oceania has some of the world’s most spectacular coastlines. Musement takes a look at 15 of the most gorgeous beaches in Hawaii.
From savoring smoky Kalua pig to watching a mesmerizing sunrise atop the Haleakala volcano to catchy Jawaiia tunes, there are myriad reasons to love Hawaii! However, one of our faves is the beaches.
A contender for the title of home to the world’s most beautiful beaches, Hawaii’s paradisiacal stretches of sand are a “shore bet” for every type of beachgoer, from knee-deep waders to cove-seeking romantics to the surfer. In no particular order, here’s a look at 15.
1. Waikiki Beach, Oahu
Arguably Hawaii’s most famous beach, Waikiki is located in a district of Honolulu, the state capital, on the island of Oahu. Hotels line the coast so Waikiki gets a reputation for being a bit touristy–but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s the first beach on which many travelers get to sip mai tais and dip their toes into Hawaii’s fabled turquoise water.
2. Pa’iloa Beach, Maui
This enchanting black sand beach juxtaposed against verdant leafage and the blue-green water is part of Wai’anapanapa State Park. Stroll along the shore to discover the hidden cove and natural lava arch.
3. Ke‘e Beach, Kauai
Located at the tip of Kauai’s north shore at the end of Highway 560, Ke’e Beach is an aquamarine reef-protected haven and a snorkeler’s dream come true.
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4. Lanikai Beach, Oahu
Located on the east of Oahu, Lanikai Beach is a half-mile stretch of powdery white sand and aquamarine water offset by the distinct Nā Mokulua, or “the Mokes” islets.
5. Makena Beach, Maui
Also known as Big Beach, Makena Beach is a vast half-mile-plus stretch of golden sand that has plenty of space–hence its moniker–on which you can set up shop for the day.
6. Halawa Beach, Molokai
Comprised of two curvy beaches, Kawili and Kama’alaea, Halawa Beach on the eastern part of Molokai is a secluded haven replete with gorgeous nature such as waterfalls and coves.
7. Kaanapali Beach, Maui
Hawaii’s first planned resort, this three-mile white sand beach with crystal water is the perfect place to unwind. Needless to say, there are plenty of activities. However, don’t miss the divers whow jump from Black Rock in the evening.
8. Makua Beach, Oahu
This secluded white-sand beach on Oahu is hidden behind the Waianae Mountains. Tranquil during summer, the water is ideal for surfing from November to April.
9. Punalu‘u Beach, Big Island
A spectacular black sand beach on Big Island, Punalu‘u is simply exquisite. Keep an eye out for the endangered Hawksbill and Green Sea turtles that come to shore.
10. Halona Beach Cove, Oahu
This beyond gorgeous inlet in Oahu is located beside the Halona Blowhole overlook, a natural wonder from which water erupts geyser style. However, that seemingly serene emerald water can get a bit feisty, so be careful!
11. Ko Olina Beach Park, Oahu
Located on Oahu’s west coast, the reef-protected Ko Olina Beach Park features four man-made beaches with calm shallow water. Don’t miss the sunset.
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12. Hulopoe Beach, Lanai
The shallow water is lovely for snorkeling. To skirt the crowds, head to Shark’s Bay nestled into red lava cliffs, located at the end of a trail south of the island. Definitely the beach for romantics or anyone who just wants to get away from it all!
13. Makalawena Beach, Big Island
You can’t reach Makalawena Beach by car…it involves a hike which means you won’t find as many crowds here. The Kohala coast is quintessential Hawaii with calm aquamarine water, powdery white sand and black lava formations on the shore.
14. Poipu Beach, Kauai
Named America’s Best Beach by the Travel Channel, the exceptionally family friendly Poipu is complete with plenty of facilities that include an outdoor playground. Keep an eye out for the Hawaiian monk seals who come to shore and bask in the sun.
15. Kauna’oa Beach
This exquisite, half-mile-long white sand beach is bedecked with palm trees and is surrounded by plenty of hotels, so it’s a smart option if you have the kids in tow.