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The Best 12 Beaches In Hawaii - #6 Oahu Is My Favorite

TravelOpel Admin Best Beaches In Hawaii The Best 12 Beaches In Hawaii

The Hawaiian archipelago is an amazing natural collection of jewel islands, elegantly curves as the half shape of a pearl chain. Speaking of Hawaii, it is common to almost immediately think of images of wreaths wearing aboriginal girls welcoming visitors with bright smiles and hula dances, colorful and delicious cocktails of tropical fruit flavors, and of course, those alluringly long sunny shine beaches with lines of iconic palm trees. In the following, I would like to introduce you to the top beautiful beaches in Hawaii and the best things to do in these charming beaches.

Waipi'o Valley, Big Island, Hawaii

Waipi'o Valley, Big Island, Hawaii

There are 137 islands in the Hawaiian archipelago, but the four top tourist-attracting islands are Big Island, Maui, Oahu, and Kauai. Each island has its own featured beautiful beaches.

Top beaches in Big Island, Hawaii Top Beaches in Maui, Hawaii
Top beaches in Oahu, Hawaii Top beaches in Kauai, Hawaii

Top beaches in Big Island, Hawaii

green tree on brown field during daytime photo

View from the Big Island in Hawaii

Big Island is the biggest island in Hawaii and has five volcanoes in its landmass. Therefore, Big Island owns many beaches with different sceneries.

Hapuna Beach State Park

Often ranked in the top list of USA beaches by the famous Conde Nast Traveler Magazine, Hapuna is one of the most attractive beaches for both visitors and locals. It is also the largest white sand beach in Hawaii, with a half-mile line of pristine golden sand and crystal blue water. There is a green rim of lush trees surrounding up to 200 feet wide of sand beach, while within the beach, lava cliffs and rocks at many sizes are exposed.

 Hapuna Beach State Park

Hapuna Beach State Park 

Visitors could definitely feel the hot and vibrant atmosphere of Hawaii in Hapuna Beach State Park due to a variety of activities. Hapuna Beach provides nice conditions for sunbathing, swimming, surfing, boarding, snorkeling, and picnic,- or camping as well. Hapuna Beach is absolutely one of the must-to-go spots when visiting Hawaii.

Isaac Hale Park - Pohoiki Beach

Pohoiki Bay was nearly filled with lava due to the lava flow of Kilauea in 2018, however, it is great luck to have survived and recreated a new Pohoiki black sand beach. 230 feet wide of black sand in contrast with the deep blue water and white bubble waves make Pohoiki a unique beach and a new experience for visitors.

Isaac Hale Park - Pohoiki Beach

Isaac Hale Park - Pohoiki Beach, Hawaii

In opposition to Hapuna beach, Pohoiki is a pristine and wild beach with a lack of vibrant activities. Unless you are an experienced surfers or swimmers, water sports are extremely challenging since the new black sand is still uncertain. Anyway, Pohoiki Beach in Isaac Hale Park is a great destination for a new and unfamiliar sight.

Papakolea Green Sand Beach

Papakolea is another unique and even sole beach in Hawaii as well as all around the globe for its green sand. The green tint color comes from the presence of a greenish, semi-precious stone named olivine, which is also the source of Papakolea's name. The crystal blue water and the green cliffs surrounding the beach have painted Papakolea beach into a majestic picture of nature!

people on beach during daytime photo

 Green Sand Beach, Big Island, Hawaii, USA

There is not much to do in Papakolea beach because of the tough and risky waves as well as to preserve the natural beauty of the green sand beach. Accessing the beach is not very easy, but the beautiful trail and the splendid scene of Papakolea are absolutely worth it.

Top Beaches in Maui, Hawaii

mountain ranges photo

Maui is the second-largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, with a diverse climate in different parts of the island, so unsimilar beaches are expected.

Wai'anapanapa State Park

Wai'anapanapa Beach has become one of the most famous attractions of Hawaii tourism. The natural charm of the extremely translucent blue water, the black lava sand, and the bubble white waves on the sea arch is top-notch among Hawaii beaches. In addition, a wide collection of sculpted lava rocks, lava caves and tubes, wind twisted foliage, and especially a blowhole in the lava rocks near the shoreline also contribute to Wai'anapanapa beach’s beauty so that numerous travelers are attracted to this place.

Wai'anapanapa State Park

Wai'anapanapa State Park, by Christine Rondeau

Besides various water activities, camping is also allowed at Wai'anapanapa, it is often in the top list of camping beaches in the USA. Visitors could stay at Wai'anapanapa State Park many days to explore the place via hiking through the tropical forest, lava caves, or sailing on the amazing sea.

Ka’anapali Beach

Ka’anapali is considered to be one of the most typically beautiful beaches in Hawaii. There are those alluring features that one is looking for in a Hawaiian beach: the blue clear water, the golden sand, and lines of coconuts and palms. Weather conditions (the winds, the sun, and temperature) are also so nice that any sea-related interests are all able to take place.

Ka’anapali Beach

Ka'anapali Beach, Maui, Hawai'i, by Rick Obst

In the areas, there are abundant hotels and resorts at a wide range of budgets backing up the beach offering good views. Additionally, Black Rock is also a hit spot for a wonderful panorama of Ka’anapali. Overall, the Ka’anapali beach area is a great choice for visitors to stay and enjoy when traveling to Maui island.

Makena - Big Beach

Makena - or Oneloa as in Hawaiian name - is one of the most popular beaches in Maui. Makena is the biggest beach on Maui island, so it is also known as Big Beach. The beach has the gorgeous golden sand and pristine waters which changes between blue and green during the day and is surrounded by dramatic red cliffs. It is almost the prettiest beach in Maui.

Makena - Big Beach

Makena - Big Beach

From the Makena shoreline, it is able to see Molokini and Kaho'olawe, thus, kayaking or canoeing to sightseeing are favorite activities, along with snorkeling and sunbathing. Also, there is a small trail over the hill and lava connecting Big Beach to Little Beach where nude sunbathing is available!

Top beaches in Oahu, Hawaii

green grass field near body of water under blue and white cloudy sky during daytime

View from Cocohead in Oahu Hawaii

Oahu is home to the state capital of Hawaii, the city of Honolulu. Besides its diverse culinary, entertainment, and art traditions, beaches on Oahu island are also highly recommended!

Waikiki Beach

Waikiki is the heart of international resorts, hotels, restaurants, and other entertainment places with towering high-rises and boutique resorts fringing the coastline. It is the most dynamic venue in Oahu, it is full of energetic beachgoers, aloha shirts wearing people, hula dancers, street musicians, ukulele players, and other performers as well as numerous food trucks. It would be a huge miss if taking vacations in Hawaii without visiting the Waikiki beach areas.

palm tree near body of water during sunset photo

 Sunset at Waikīkī Beach, Honolulu, HI, USA

Of course, the beauty of Waikiki beach is also unquestioning! It owns long white clean sand and turquoise blue water. And due to its calm water condition, surfing is the most popular activity, referred to as an iconic sport of Waikiki. This beach was once the playground of the royal in the 1800s in Waikiki history, and it is still definitely worth visiting today!

Lanikai Beach

Lanikai is the perfect typical Hawaiian beach located on the Windward East side of Oahu island. With incredibly soft white sand, deep azure blue waters, underwater reefs, waving coconut trees, and a wonderful view of two offshore islands, Lanikai the tropical beach is often listed on the top beaches of the world. This place is a top-notch spot for taking your Hawaii vacation photos.

brown sand near body of water photo

 Lanikai Beach, Oahu, United States

Lanikai is a great venue for swimming, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, snorkeling, or just simply strolling in the soft sand to watch the gorgeous sunrise. However, this beach lacks lifeguards and amenities, visitors could use the parking lot, bathroom, and other facilities at the Kailua Beach Park nearby though.

Waimea Bay Beach Park

If you are more into the natural beauty of the beach, Waimea might be a good choice for you. Waimea has the best golden sand and deep emerald blue water, also lava rocks, and cliffs with tropical plants surround the bay, creating a calm and tranquil beach for nature lovers.

aerial photography of seashore

 A perfect day at the beach, Waimea Bay, Hawaii, USA

On the other hand, Waimea is also a well-known spot for bravers who dare to take the 40 feet high wave surfing. Thus, this place is also known as one of the most famous big wave surf sites in the world. All considered Waimea beach is one of the best for pro surfers and nature admirers.

Top beaches in Kauai, Hawaii

people riding aerial vehicle

Above and Beyond!

Kauai is also known as “the Garden Isle”, due to its lush greenery and high rainfall averages, which leads to the growth of rainforests. Thus, Kauai island owns lots of beaches, but some of them are accessible only by trail, others by helicopter, or solely by the sea.

Hanalei Beach Park

This beach owns over two miles of amazing sand along the crescent-shaped bay, surrounded with wonderful views of the verdant mountains rising in the background, creating stunning panoramic views. There are also two large coral reefs at both ends of the bay for those who love snorkeling and marine life.

blue ocean

Hanalei Bay, Hawaii, USA

It is accessible only by the picturesque Hanalei pier, so there are not many locals, the beach is perfectly not crowded. Visitors have plenty of room to comfortably rest on the beach, view the Na Pali Mountains from afar, or swim in the transparent water of Hanalei beach.

Makua “Tunnel” Beach

Like other Kauai beaches, Makua also has the golden sand and the background of the rising mountains. Offshore, there are underwater lava rocks creating some exotic wave shores. And on the beach, ironwood trees provide shades for visitors laying on the white sand.

aerial view of ocean and shore photo

Makua Beach, United States

Especially, Makua Beach is one of the most popular spots in Hawaii for snorkeling with various beautiful reefs in both the shallow waters and offshore. Snorkeling in Makua has usually been reported in many prestigious pages.  However, the parking lot of the beach is often crowded, so plan your trip to visit Makuai earlier in the day!

Polihale Beach

A remote and tough to access the beach, but Polihale is truly a beautiful pristine beach that is worth the effort. The beach stretches out for miles over the horizon, giving you a panoramic view of the deep blue ocean. There are sand dunes in the back of the beach, making a sound when visitors walk through due to the unique texture of the sand pebbles, thus they are also referred to as Barking Sands.

Polihale beach, Hawaii

Polihale Beach, Hawaii, by josh hassebrock

Although Polihale is a great beach for hanging out, even camping and kayaking, it lacks tree shades and facilities, and the road to the beach is long and bad. But if you plan the trip properly, visiting Polihale beach might become your great and unforgettable adventure!


Well, I hope all the above information could be of help to you in planning your next vacation to Hawaii. Don't forget to share if you found the best beaches in Hawaii after reading this post, thank you and enjoy it!

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