Hawaii is famous the world over for being one of the best places to vacation. And it really, truly is. From the hustle and bustle of Oahu to the romance of Maui, these islands are pure paradise. But with so many beautiful spots to explore, how to find the best beaches in Hawaii?
Whether you’re here to enjoy world-class surfing, lounge on golden sand or hike through dense jungle to reach a hidden bay, there’s a beach for everyone.
Best Beaches in HawaiiHow do these rankings work?
1. Kalalau Beach – Kauai
The trail leading to this secluded beach is one of the most difficult in the Hawaiian Islands, making it an unspoilt piece of paradise for those adventurous and skillful enough to make it. The breathtaking views of rugged coastline and lush greenery from the shore make it worthwhile.
2. Ka’anapali Beach – Maui
This three-mile stretch of beach has been named as one of the best beaches on Maui, and even one of the best beaches in the world.
One of Kaanapali Beach’s most famous attractions is the daily cliff diving ceremony off Puu Kekaa, or Black Rock. Held every evening at sunset, a cliff diver lights the torches along the cliff, and soars into the water.
3. Tunnels Beach – Kauai
Tunnels Beach (Makua) is an ultimate snorkelling spot, with the picturesque backdrop of Mount Makana and lush jungles. Lava tubes form the many underwater caverns here, which gives the beach its name.
The water can get rough during winter, so keep an eye on the tides.
4. Sunset Beach – Oahu
Sunset Beach is known as one of the longest stretches of rideable surf in the world, with a wide, sandy stretch to relax on. In the winter months, you can watch big-wave surfing with swells up to 30 feet tall, along with the world’s premier surfing competitions.
5. Hanauma Bay – Oahu
Hanauma Bay was declared a protected marine life conservation area and underwater park in 1967, and is still an exceptional place for snorkeling and swimming today. As well as a natural sheltered curve for sunbathing on the pristine sand, the water itself is home to 400 species of Hawaiian fishes.
6. Duke Kahanamoku Beach – Oahu
Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Hawaii, with the Duke Kahanamoku Beach section the best. There’s a man-made swimming lagoon that offers a calm setting for floating in the stunning waters. Palm trees and silky sand are an extra bonus.
7. Manini’owali Beach – Kailua-Kona
Just one of Hawaii’s many breathtaking beaches, this beach (tucked into Kua Bay) is located on the Big Island and it is part of the Kai State Park. The water in the bay is crystal clear, and it’s more difficult to reach than other nearby beaches, making it nice and secluded.