10 Best Beaches in Hawai'i

Holopo'e Beach, Lana'i

Spinner dolphins and humpback whales frequent this protected bay, bordered by lava-rock tide pools and the posh Four Seasons resort. Camping at this sparsely populated, picturesque beach is downright dreamy.

Hamoa Beach, Maui

Just past H?na town on Maui, this salt-and-pepper hued sand beach is an idyll worth spending the day at. Gentle waves are perfect for bodysurfing, and coconut palms provide plenty of shade for picnicking.

Punalu'u Beach, Hawai'i

A cheery sign welcomes beachgoers to Punalu'u, a stretch of black volcanic sand on the Big Island’s southeast coast. Green sea turtles regularly bask on the beach, oblivious of umbrellas and sunbathers.

Hapuna Beach, Hawai'i

This dazzling South Kohala beach on the Big Island is large enough for everyone who wants to plunk down a towel and dive into the azure water. Swimming is safest in summer; winter waves can be strong.

Hanalei Bay, Kaua'i

Hanalei's iconic fishing pier on Kauai's north shore reaches out into the picturesque bay. The panorama includes jewel-green jagged mountain peaks, surfers riding the gently tumbling waves, and a wide, inviting crescent of sand.

Lanikai Beach, Oahu

This quiet neighborhood beach around the bend from Kailua is so beautiful it almost hurts to look at. The turquoise water glows like an opal’s fire, and red-tailed tropicbirds dart above the twin islets on the horizon.

Ka'a Beach, Kaua'i

The dramatic peaks of the N? Pali coast border this stunning beach at the end of the road on Kaua’i’s north shore. The lagoon looks calm, but the currents run strong. Sunsets are magical here.

Kailua Beach, O'ahu

At the base of the Ko'olau Mountains on O'ahu, this beach is the fodder of daydreams: two miles of golden sand fringed with ironwood trees and coconut palms, and an endless stretch of azure water dotted with sails.

Makena State Beach, Maui

Three entrances lead to this swath of deep, soft sand on Maui that seems to never end. On one end is a Pu'u ?la'i, a steep cinder cone, on the other is stark lava plain. Spinner dolphins often swim by and skimboarders catch air in the slamming surfbreak.

Papahaku Beach, Moloka'i

This windswept beach is the largest in the state, stretching nearly three miles along Moloka'i's west shore. Strong currents make swimming unsafe here, but it’s fun to hunt for shells in the surf-tossed sand.

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