The islands of Hawaii are lined up with coastlines full of beautiful beaches, and it’s a challenge to pick the ones suitable to enter the top list among them as they are all world-class in their own way. So we’ve picked up the best beaches in each of the islands and put them in our top 5 list in your Hawaii tours.
1. Poipu Beach Park, Kauai
Located on the Kauai south shore, Poipu Beach is a series of sand crescents, with narrow sand spits and shallow sand bar, which is the favorite napping spot of the endangered Hawaiian monk seals. The beach is a favorite destination for beginner surfing and bodyboarding, and has great spots for snorkeling as well. With peaceful waters in an area protected from the tide, Poipu Beach Park is considered to be among the safest beaches in Hawaii, not to mention the lifeguards available and on duty seven days a week, which makes it a perfect place for family outings and activities.
2. Kaanapali Beach, Maui
Situated in the dry west side of Maui, Kaanapali is a three-mile stretch of white sand and popular resort areas, known to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Once a retreat for the Hawaiian royalty, its beach is fronted by luxurious hotels and resorts, a world-class shopping complex, and varieties of fine shops and restaurants. Nothing gets better than this if you’re looking for a world-class beach and resort getaway experience, as one can say that Kaanapali beach itself was made perfection. It’s also famous for its daily torch lighting and cliff diving ceremony off of Black Rock every evening at sunset.
3. Waikiki Beach, Oahu
One of the most popular beaches not just in Hawaii, but in the whole planet, this two mile coastline of white sand and turquoise clear waters, fronted by towering high-rise hotels and resorts, welcomes millions of visitors from around the world each year, giving proof that Oahu is “The Gathering Place” and making it the most visited and one of the busiest spots in Luau Oahu, where guests are offered varieties of activities all day and night. With the beach’s consistent wave breaks, it is also one of the best surfing spots in Oahu.
4. Hapuna State Beach, The Big Island
Located in the western volcanic coastline of the Kohala Coast, Hapuna Beach is the largest white sand beach on the Big Island of Hawaii. It is one of the best destination for swimming, body boarding and snorkeling, and has been consistently rated to be on Hawaii’s top ten lists of best beaches. It’s a half-mile crescent of fine white sand, which is rare in the Big Island where most beaches have black sand and lava rocks due to its volcanic origin, and is lined with trees and a beautifully landscaped state park. At sunset, the shoreline is filled with onlookers hoping to witness the legendary green flash of the Hawaiian sunset.
5. Hulopoe Bay Beach, Lanai
Considered to be Lanai’s most popular beach, visitors will be welcomed by its pristine white sand and beautiful blue waters. Located in the island’s south coast, it is a protected marine preserve, and with its crystal clear waters, it’s a perfect spot for snorkeling. You’ll get to see Hawaiian spinner dolphins frolicking in the bay, and during the winter seasons, humpback whales can be seen breaching at the distance. Along the east side, there are fascinating tidal pools abundant of sea critters, and just a short hike away is Puu Pehe, or the Sweetheart Rock, which is famous not just of its picturesque rock formation, but for its tragic legend of two lovers.
As mentioned, it was a challenge to pick the best among the so-many beaches deserving to be on the top list. So we’ve added some more as our honorable mentions.
Wailea Beach, Maui
Located in the sunny south coast of Maui, it is also consistently rated as one of the world’s best beaches. Known for its five beautiful crescent beaches, luxurious resort community, and world-renowned golf courses.
Lanikai Beach, Oahu
Literally means “Heavenly Ocean”, a fitting name for such paradise situated in the windward side of Oahu, and ranked to be America’s number one beach for several years. Calm, crystal blue waters and a magnificent ocean view greet visitors to this dreamlike place. Don’t forget to take the quick Pillbox hike to get a better panoramic view of the beach and its neighboring twin islands.
Hanalei Bay Beach, Kauai
The largest bay on Kauai and one of the most spectacular beaches on the Garden Isle, its name translates to “crescent bay”, a fitting description for its half-moon shaped two-mile long shoreline. Its beauty inspired the Japanese writer Haruki Murakami to create a short story “Hanalei Bay”, which has already been made into a film of the same title.