The Beach Guide

Top 25+ Hawaii Beaches

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If Hawaii is known for one thing it is beaches and those familiar with them will tell you they are without doubt the most beautiful in the World. These are the iconic beaches that defined the stereotype of paradise; soft white sand, crystal clear turquoise waters and a stunning backdrop of tropical vegetation clinging to precipitous volcanic mountain sides.

Stretched out over a 1,000 miles in the mid-Pacific the Hawaiian Island chain is made up of 137 islands, although only six of these are inhabited year round. Even on this handful alone there are enough beaches that you could spend a lifetime visiting them all.

Each island has its own character and a nickname to reflect this; Hawaii Island is "The Big Island", for obvious reasons, and O'ahu is "The Gathering Place", being by far the most populated. Maui is known as the "Valley Island" as it is formed from two ancient volcanoes joined by lowlands while Kauai with its covering of prehistoric feeling vegetation is "The Garden Isle".

It would be impossible to say which Hawaiian Island has the most beautiful beaches and this is always going to vary from one person to another. The great news is there are beaches in all shapes, sizes and colors (white, black, green and red sand is all available!). So whether you are looking for a wide empty beach with a backdrop straight out of Jurassic World, world class surfing or the perfect family beach, Hawaii has it all.

  • Big Beach // Maui

    Big Beach
    dronepicr

    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… read more »

  • Poipu Beach // Kauai

    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… read more »

  • Hanalei Beach // Kauai

    Hanalei Beach
    © havilandwright

    Set around Hanalei Bay, this is one of the largest beaches on Kauai's north shore at almost two miles long. Surrounded by a stunning backdrop of emerald-green mountains and tumbling waterfalls this is an idyllic tropical location. The combination of the deep blue ocean and the rich green mountains, separated by a crescent of white sand is quite breathtaking.

    When it is calm in the… read more »

  • Honopu Beach // Kauai

    Honopu Beach
    dronepicr

    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… read more »

  • Kamaole Beach Park I // Maui

    Kamaole Beach Park I
    dronepicr
    read more »
  • Kauapea Beach // Kauai

    Kauapea Beach
    dronepicr
    read more »
  • Kauna'oa Beach // Big Island

    Kauna'oa Beach
    Scott Wright

    The beach here is often referred to as Mauna Kea Beach because it is in front of the Mauna Kea Hotel. It features a beautiful crescent of white sandy beach with clear green-blue waters, and the sea is safe for families during the summer months. This is the perfect beach for relaxing or splashing in the waters. In the winter, the surf can be high,… read more »

  • Kāʻanapali Beach // Maui

    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… read more »

  • Ke'e Beach // Kauai

    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… read more »

  • Lanikai Beach // Oahu

    Lanikai Beach
    © Tomasfoto

    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,… read more »

  • Little Beach // Maui

    Little Beach
    dronepicr

    Little Beach is so called, not only because it is fairly small, but because it is next door to the longest beach on Maui's south coast - Big Beach. Both are beautiful stretches of golden sand backed by the near-pristine tropical greenery of Makena State Park, it's just the scale is different... well mostly that.

    Perhaps what Little Beach is most famous for is the… read more »

  • Lydgate Beach // Kauai

    Lydgate Beach
    Grace808
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  • Napili Beach // Maui

    Napili Beach
    CJ Anderson

    The white sloping sands of Napili Bay Beach are often lined with beach blankets and umbrellas, providing tourists the ideal area for tanning and relaxation. It is also one of the top swimming destinations in Maui as the waters are often calm and the perfect temperature for diving right in.

    As you look across the ocean, you may spot the area where the outer reefs protect… read more »

  • Polihale Beach // Kauai

    Polihale Beach
    Jeff
    read more »
  • Secret Beach // Kauai

    Secret Beach
    dronepicr
    read more »