Can there be a place whose name conjures up more images of the ultimate paradise better than Hawaii? These American Pacific islands deserve their reputation as the home of some of the very best beaches in the world too. It does not matter if you like better white or black sand, Hawaii’s beaches deliver big time for stunning and pristine appearance, and best of all, they are all public. Coming in every size and shape, some of the beaches are even less well known. Read on to discover the 10 prettiest beaches in Hawaii!
Table of Contents
Hapuna Beach – Hawaii the Big Island
Hapuna Beach is a stunning place and the biggest white sandy beach found on Hawaii the Big Island. This is a flatter beach that lacks the crowds of other stretches of sand. The environment is ideal for families too. Activities available here include great swimming, snorkeling, and boogie boarding. A bonus is the beach south end’s interesting lava tube and shade trees. It makes a great place to visit while on a Hawaii beach vacation.
Poipu Beach – Kauai
Kauai is often referred to as the “Garden Island” of Hawaii with good reason. It turns out that this island also numbers some of the prettiest beaches in Hawaii. Poipu Beach is three immaculate white stretches of sand that are often considered the finest beaches of the state.
It boasts a knockout combination of surf, scenery, and restricted development (though Sheraton lies to the west and nearby Ko’a Kea and Grand Hyatt resorts can be seen from the sand). The beach not only has the seal of approval from guys and girls, but also monk seals and sea turtles who love to frequent the sands here.
Poipu Beach’s current varies wildly from choppy to calm. Adjacent Poipu Beach Park offers shallower waters that are more peaceful along with a full-time manned lifeguard station so that it is safer for kids. While here, visitors can also go see the close-by biggest limestone caverns in Hawaii called Makauwahi Cave.
Punalu’u Black Sand Beach – Big Island Hawaii
On the Big Island of Hawaii, there is the imposing Hawaii Volcanoes National Park which is a not-to-miss-out attraction when visiting the island. After studying the volcanic lava flows and eerie deathly landscape, visitors should make time to check out the Punalu’u Black Sand Beach. The wonderful landscape alone makes it worth stopping here. Those who come also get to take in the green sea turtles laying in the sun along the beach, blissfully careless around any human observers.
This beach at Punalu’u Bay is also unique in the presence of its underwater freshwater springs. Thanks to the fact that the salty seawater has a greater density than does the freshcolorewater from the springs, you can experience the unusual sensation of swimming within two different temperatures at once.
Hulopoe Beach – Lanai
Lanai is an interesting island destination that not everyone gets over to visit. It was originally the home base for the infamous Dole Company pineapple plantations. Hulopoe Beach today is a peaceful and remote home for the ultra-luxurious Four Seasons Manele Bay. It is a lesser-known gem among the prettiest beaches in Hawaii, therefore you can expect to have privacy here.
Spinner dolphins and humpback whales also call this beach’s waters their personal playground. The tidal pools here are warm and contained by the lava rock. Visitors are able to see up close hermit crabs, sea stars, and tropical fish in these one of a kind tide pools.
Wailea Beach – Maui
The home to fully five individual crescent-like beaches is Wailea Beach, another main contender among the prettiest beaches in Hawaii. These stretches of sand are made up of golden white-colored sand. The water is gentle, making it ideal for families with small children. Its near proximity to many of the main resorts in Maui also helps to make it an appealing destination for families.
The beaches here are similarly a hot spot for body surfers, boogie boarders, and even stand up paddle-boarders. You can rent any of this gear that you need to participate from several local outfitters found here too. Visitors in the know return at evening to take in one of the best sunsets in the Hawaiian Islands, an experience never to be missed.
Lanikai Beach – Oahu
The name Lanikai Beach refers to a “heavenly sea.” This jaw-dropping one-mile stretching reach of sand that lies on the eastern side of Oahu has been continuously named among the best beaches on earth, and it is no surprise that it is rated as the prettiest beach in Hawaii. There are two incredible looking offshore islets that emerge from the turquoise waters. The islets are called Na Mokulua meaning “the Mokes.”
Lanikai is one of the calmest beaches of Oahu, therefore the waters are ideal for snorkeling and swimming. The lack of a lifeguard means that families with small children have to keep a close eye on the kids though. It is a small price to pay for the potentially most beautiful beach in the world.
Makena Beach – Maui
Maui does not disappoint if it comes to the prettiest beaches in Hawaii. Makena Beach is affectionately referred to as the “Big Beach.” This almost one-and-a-half-mile stretch of sand provides the privacy that incredibly popular beaches Lahaina and Kaanapali can only dream about.
Thanks to its huge shore break, the water is often rougher. This is what makes it ideal for body surfing and skimboarding however. Once visitors have a noble appetite after the exercise, they can fill up with the fantastic mahi mahi stuffed tacos at Jawz’s food truck here.
Kiahuna Beach – Kauai
Kiahuna Beach lies along the island of Kauai’s South Shore, not so far from the already mentioned Poipu Beach. This tends to be more of an adults-only beach because the waters are usually rough and unsuitable for children, thanks to the offshore reefs. It is ideal for snorkelers and strong swimmers though. Experienced surfers will love the breaks found close to the Sheraton resort.
Beginning snorkelers and bodyboarders adore this favorite of Hawaii beaches. It is an ideal spot if you want to watch individuals taking their first lessons in these sports. Inside the reef, the water is calm and clear enough for great swimming and snorkeling. Beyond the reef, the surfers rule the choppy waves.
SeaSpiration Tip: Best beaches for swimming in Kauai!
Hanalei Bay – Kauai
Fronting mountains to one side and the Pacific Ocean from the other, Hanalei Bay does not disappoint and it is certainly among the best beaches in Hawaii. Kauai’s north shore offers this incredible two-mile-long crescent-shaped stretch of sand with an unrivaled backdrop and encircled by verdant green mountains.
Three beaches make up the bay. The finest of these hands down is Black Pot Beach lying at the Hanalei River mouth. There is even a classical fishing pier that breaks up the shoreline. The waters are sufficiently calm for good swimming during the summer months, but in winter months, only surfers dare the impressive and intimidating waves. You can even camp here if you get a permit first.
Waimea Bay – Oahu
Oahu is the main island of Hawaii as far as the majority of the population and the capital city of Honolulu are concerned. Skip the overcrowded and hyped Waikiki Beach in favor of Waimea Bay Beach. This locale is beloved for its enormous waves. It explains why international surfing competitions frequent Waimea Bay each year.
During the summer, the waves disappear completely, creating an ideal environment for swimming even with smaller children. These are the months when this becomes the most popular and frequented beach on the Nkiahunorth Shore of Oahu, particularly with families. In winter, it belongs to the surfing set exclusively, thanks to the monster waves.
Inspired? Pin it!
When it comes a beach vacation, Vic is the person who certainly has tips on where to go and what to do no matter it is a luxury tropical holiday, peaceful seaside getaway or a family trip to the ocean. She enjoys exploring new places, trying out various water sports and most of all, loves sharing her tips with those seek out their next adventure.