Best Tropical Beaches in Hawaii & Florida

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  • Lanikai Beach // Hawaii

    Lanikai Beach

    Situated on the windward coast of Oahu in Hawaii is Lanikai beach, which translates as "heavenly sea". With its fine white sand and brilliant aqua blue water this name seems quite fitting. Lanikai is fringed with palm trees and with water temperatures rarely dipping below 75° F (24° C) there is no mistaking you are in the tropics. Unlike many of Oahu's other great beaches, Lanikai is not designated a beach park. This means it is short on facilities such as showers and parking, however, this hasn't stopped it being… read more »

  • Tunnels Beach // Hawaii

    Tunnels Beach
    ©Sekar Balasubramanian

    Tunnels beach is set on the north coast of Hawaii's most northerly main island, Kauai. Originally known as Makua beach, the name Tunnels could be from one of two possible sources; most likely is it comes from the maze passages that wind their way through the big coral reef which sits just offshore. Alternately, it could be from the shape of the waves that make it popular with surfers.

    The beach here is a beautiful crescent of pristine golden sand backed by shady ironwood and palm trees behind which dramatic… read more »

  • Ke'e Beach // Hawaii

    Ke'e Beach
    ©Ben K

    Located at the end of the road, Ke’e Beach is the last accessible beach from the north shore of Kauai. This stunningly majestic beach is a prime spot for snorkeling and sightseeing, with spectacular views of the entire coast. 

    The beach connects to the Kalalau Trail, an infamously treacherous route spanning 11 miles along the coastline. The rugged trail is widely acclaimed as one of the most beautiful and dangerous hikes in the world. Even if you are not up for an adventure, the portion of the trail that reaches Ke’e… read more »

  • Honopu Beach // Hawaii

    Honopu Beach

    Honopu Beach is a remote and secluded beach on Kauai's spectacular Na Pali Coast. The only way you can get there is by boat or swimming to it. The incredible beach is backed by 1200-foot high sea cliffs, and they are separated by the Honopu Arch. There is a huge waterfall that comes down the sea cliff and goes through to arch on its way to the ocean.

    The word Honopu means conch shell in Hawaiian, and it is so named because when the winds blow, it makes a sound… read more »

  • Waimea Bay // Hawaii

    Waimea Bay
    ©Anthony Quintano

    Beautiful Waimea Beach is set at the heart of the North Shore and catches all  the rolling swells that attract big wave riders and pro surfers from around the world. Divided by the outflow of the Waimea River which is ideal for tubing, the golden sands are punctuated by rocks at the south end of this pretty cove, including the huge Waimea Rock which is popular for scrambling up and jumping off.

    A part of the Pupukea Marine Life Conservation District, the bay includes an eroded coral reef with… read more »

  • Ehukai Beach Park (Pipeline) // Hawaii

    Ehukai Beach Park (Pipeline)
    ©Aussie Aussalt

    No visit to the North Shore would be complete without checking out Ehukai beach, or Banzai Pipeline as it is known to surfers around the world. Set at the heart of the "7 mile miracle" this is possibly the most famous surf spot on the planet and a veritable Mecca for surfers. However, Pipeline is a wave for the experts only; incredibly powerful and breaking over a shallow coral reef this is also one of the most dangerous surf spots in the world.

    While the name Ehukai comes from the… read more »

  • Poipu Beach // Hawaii

    Poipu Beach
    ©Ellen Smile

    Poipu is the most popular beach on Kauai's South Shore and by all accounts one of the most highly rated in all Hawaii (or at least according to Dr Beach). The island of Kauai itself is the least developed and with its abundantly lush interior is often referred to as the Garden Isle. So, despite the fact Poipu borders a number of resorts it still has plenty of pristine, tropical appeal.

    The beach at Poipu is a series of three golden crescents of sand with the turquoise ocean to the front… read more »

  • Siesta Key Beach // Florida

    Siesta Key Beach
    ©fotomak / 123RF

    Frequently cited as the USA's best beach on account of its brilliant white sand, turquoise waters and laid back feel, Siesta Key is a worthy contender for the title.

    Located on the eight mile long Gulf Coast barrier island of Siesta Key the beach here is made from some of the finest sand on the planet; 99% quartz, the white sand is apparently unusually cool and soft - good enough in fact to have been named "the whitest and finest sand in the world" at one point.

    Like many of the… read more »

  • Kāʻanapali Beach // Hawaii

    Kāʻanapali Beach
    ©Rob Newton

    If you are a beach connoisseur, then Kāʻanapali Beach on Maui's west coast is definitely one for your bucket list. Dubbed "Black Rock" Beach locally, this stunning three mile stretch of golden-white sand and alluring, azure water is within walking distance of several large resorts, tempting restaurants and many other local attractions.

    No surprise then that this beautiful Hawaiian beach has received many international accolades, including America's Best Beach award. Among its many appealing characteristics, you can opt to snorkel in the clear water - try to spot the… read more »

  • Wailea Beach // Hawaii

    Wailea Beach

    Stretching from Makena to the south and Kihei to the north, Wailea is an affluent area with first-class resorts and a sunny beach.

    With a wide stretch of golden sand and gorgeous scenery in every direction, Wailea Beach is a picture-perfect destination. The sandy beach offers a view to the islets of Kahoolawe and Molokini while the surrounding landscape is draped in verdant foliage. The classy resorts with access to the beach blend into the background, allowing you to imagine yourself away from civilization.

    Spend the day soaking up the sun as… read more »

  • Polihale Beach // Hawaii

    Polihale Beach

    Polihale Beach stands out above the rest due to its gorgeous pristine white sands, natural beauty and remote unspoilt location. Once a hidden gem, it was featured as "The Best Secluded Beach on Earth" by T&L magazine which pretty much negated its title!

    Despite being more popular now, this sandy beach still retains a sense of being at the very end of the earth. Getting to Polihale Beach takes about 30 minutes from Kekaha along HI-50. The last 5 miles is along a rough sugar cane trail which is best… read more »

  • Sunset Beach // Hawaii

    Sunset Beach

    Stunning sunsets and top surfing are some of the highlights that make Sunset Beach in northwest Oahu so popular. It's easy to reach from the Kamehameha Highway which skirts along the edge of the sandy beach providing tempting views.

    In winter, it's a top place to catch big-wave surfers riding the swell, while in summer the flat waters take on a completely different alter ego. It is popular with families during the summer with free parking, restrooms, showers, picnic tables and a lifeguard. At this time, you'll find Sunset Beach… read more »

  • Barefoot Beach // Florida

    Barefoot Beach

    Barefoot Beach is in Bonita Springs on the southwest side of Florida. It is made up of a long white expanse of sand that stretch out along the azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico. These waters are calm and warm, and the beach is set in a preserve surrounded by wildlife and greenery. The Barefoot Beach Preserve is 342 acres of land that is pristine and unspoilt.

    The beach here is a great spot for relaxing in the sun and just admiring the beauty of your surroundings after… read more »

  • Miami South Beach // Florida

    Miami South Beach
    ©sborisov / 123RF

    South Beach is perhaps the ultimate urban beach. It has it all; history, style, quirkiness, class and as much partying as you want, not to mention a vast swathe of white sand beach bordering clear blue ocean. This is where the beautiful and rich come to play in the sunshine before hitting the nightlife of Ocean Drive after dark. South beach is brash, colorful and even a little crazy - but this is part of the attraction. One day it can be a Caribbean carnival, the next there's a polo… read more »

  • Big Beach // Hawaii

    Big Beach

    As the name suggests, Big Beach is in fact the largest beach on the south coast of Maui. There is nearly a mile of golden sand along this section of Makena Beach State Park which unlike neighboring beaches is largely undeveloped.

    Backed by lush tropical forest this Big beach feels a lot more remote than it actually is; in fact it is right next door to the resort of Wailea and has plenty of amenities too. These include a lifeguard service with several towers along the beach, and for… read more »