Discover a blend of popular Hawaii beaches and secret beaches in Hawaii that our team of locals hand selected. Each Island offers something for everyone and our team has created a comprehensive guide to the best beaches in Hawaii based on the following criteria:

  • Seclusion
  • Water Conditions
  • Accessibility
  • Amenities
  • Activities

Best Beaches on Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu is best known for the massive surf on the North Shore and touristy streets of Waikiki on the South Shore. Depending on the style vacation you are looking for, there is a beach town on Oahu that will fit the vibe.

Waikiki Beach – Best for Accessibility & Amenities

There might not be anywhere else on this planet where you have high-end retail stores that back up to beaches with incredible surfing. Combine this rare pairing with luxury hotels and you have a vacation destination like no where else.

Years of overdevelopment have nestled hotels as close to the high-tide line as possible, causing the sand to get flushed away during big surf. To combat this problem, the Waikiki Beach Special Improvement District Association has dredged and pumped 20,000 cubic yards of sand from off shore Waikiki to bring back the sand to Waikiki Beach.

This dredged sand is filled with chunks of coral and rocks which don’t make for the best beach day experience. Nevertheless, Waikiki beach is the most accessible and offers the most amenities than any other beach on Oahu.

Tracks Beach Park – Best for Water Conditions

Located on the West Side of Oahu just before Nanakuli and just after Hawaiian Electric Beach, Tracks is a hidden gem that many visitors to Oahu don’t know about. The location of the beach keeps it protected from the wind most of the year. The perfectly textured sand beach is level with the water, making it easy to get in and out of the ocean. There is not usually any surf at Tracks beach, making it a great spot for snorkeling and bringing the family.

tracks beach oahu
Tracks Beach, Oahu, HI

Many locals use this beach all the time with their families. And, most important of all, be respectful to others around you.

Turtle Bay – Best for Seclusion

The Turtle Bay Resort is past the craziness of the core North Shore surf breaks. Situated on a private point, the beaches at Turtle Bay rarely have people on them aside from a handful of other residents at The Resort. With miles of beach in each direction of the resort, it is easy to find a private area.

Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu, Hawaii
Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu, Hawaii

During the summer months, when there is no surf, the snorkeling around Turtle bay is second to none. Adding to the resort experience, there is a beachside cafe on the beach next to the resort. The beaches around Turtle Bay Resort are a great place to spend an afternoon – or the whole day.

Best Beaches on Maui, Hawaii

The variety of beaches on Maui makes for unforgettable vacations. From secluded beaches in Hana to Kanapali beach, there are endless options for amazing beach day experiences.

Ho’okipa Beach – Best Year-round Surfing beach and Turtle viewing beach

Surfing at Ho’okipa is best during the winter. It’s unique angle, however, also captures some south swell wrap in the summer, making it a fun year-round spot. Definitively not a good location for first time surfers, the beach at Ho’okipa is still a great place to hang out. The lively beach scene at Ho’okipa makes it a popular hang out for teenage locals.

Ho'opika Beach Park, Maui
Ho’opika Beach Park, Maui

Home to Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles, Ho’okipa Beach Park attracts visitors eager to see turtles up close. The line of people in the photo above are blocked off from getting too close to the turtles. Year-round environmentalists volunteer to inform visitors about the Hawaiian turtles and ensure that the turtles have enough space to relax.

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Ahihi KinauDumps” Beach – Best Snorkeling

While the name may not get you excited, Dumps is the best snorkeling spot on Maui. The writers at Paradise Found in Maui describe Dumps as, “…kind of eerie, but totally awesome…” Maybe it is the feeling of isolation from not buildings being anywhere in sight. Or maybe its the rough volcanic landscape. There is something spooky about Ahihi Kinau beach that excites you to take a risk and plunge into the water.

snorkeling in Hawaii
Hawaiian Reef

MakenaBig Beach” – Best All Around Beach

Located close to the luxury resorts at Wailea, Makena (Big Beach as locals call it) has a huge sandy beach with fun shore break. During the summer, the shore break can get extremely dangerous so check with lifeguards before going out.

So long as there isn’t too much swell, Big Beach is one of the best swimming beaches in Hawaii. Big Beach has something for everyone and serves up spectacular sunset views.

Makena "Big Beach" Maui
Makena “Big Beach” Maui

Editor Notes: Makena is one of my favorite beaches to spend the day at with friends. Filling up the cooler with cold drinks and fresh poke is a must before spending the day here. Laslty, as a general FYI, just north over a small hill, is “Little Beach” which is a predominately nude beach.

Ka’ana’pali Beach – Best Resort Beach

Black Rock at the Sheraton Ka’ana’pali is the landmark beach of Maui. The evening tiki torch lighting- followed by cliff jump from Black Rock- is a staple attraction at the beach. Stunning views of Molokai, luxury resorts lining the beach, and crystal clear water make Ka’ana’pali the most popular vacation destination on Maui.

Black Rock at Ka'ana'pali Beach Maui
Black Rock at Ka’ana’pali Beach Maui

The snorkeling around black rock is beginner friendly. However, just like with any water activity in Hawaii, ask a lifeguard before going out. Conditions can change rapidly.

Editor Notes: I’ve spend countless days at Black Rock beach and have never had a bad day. The snorkeling around the point is epic, just be sure to always go with a friend.

Beach Beaches on Kauai

Maha’ulepu – Best All Around Beach

Maha’ulepu Beaches are one of the best places to visit on Kauai’s south side. Not only will you get to enjoy some of the best beaches in the area, but you’ll also get a chance to experience some of Kauai’s best-kept secrets. From sandstone sea cliffs, to calmer spots where milder waves crash onto the shoreline, there’s something for everyone at Maha’ulepu Beaches.

Maha'ulepu, Kauai
Maha’ulepu, Kauai

The water is constantly changing color depending on the time of day or season, and there are plenty of opportunities for fishing, swimming, kayaking or simply taking in the beauty from afar. For those looking for some adventure, further exploration along nearby trails will lead you to even more breathtaking panoramas and unforgettable encounters with nature’s wonders. A trip to Maha’ulepu Beaches should be top-of-list for anyone looking for a truly magical Hawaiian experience.

Poipou Beach Park – Best Resort Beach

Poipu Beach Park is one of the best beaches in Kauai, located along the southern shore. It’s known for its calm, clear waters and white sand shores, making it a popular spot for swimming and snorkeling.

Along the western side of Poipu Beach Park is a limestone rock shelter protector which serves to keep the beach sheltered from wind and rain. This unique feature also provides a subtle barrier which keeps large ocean swell away from the beach, creating an ideal area for surfing, bodyboarding, and various other water sports.

Poipou Beach Park
Poipou Beach, Kauai

Aside from being an amazing spot for activities in the water, Poipu Beach Park also offers several excellent amenities including restrooms and outdoor showers as well as picnic areas with barbeque grills, perfect for an outdoor lunch or dinner with friends and family.

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If you’re looking for a beach destination with something fun for everyone to do then Poipu Beach Park is definitely worth considering! Packed full of stunning sights and versatile activities, this beautiful beach promises hours of entertainment that will leave you wishing you could stay here forever.

Editor Notes: If you can book a room at the Sheraton Poipu, do it!

Kekaha Beach Park – Best Water Conditions

Kekaha Beach is one of the best beaches in Kauai. Located on the west side of the island and backed by green hills, this picturesque beach is an ideal spot for both sun seekers and adventurers alike.

Whether you’re looking to take a relaxing stroll along the shoreline, or explore dramatic cliffside views, Kekaha has something for everyone. During the summer months, conditions are usually ideal for swimming and snorkeling. The sea life around the area is full of vibrant colors, with plenty of coral reefs to discover just offshore.

Kekaha Beach Park
Kekaha Beach Park, Kauai

When night falls, blankets of stars blanket the sky as far as you can see. This is the perfect way to cap off an unforgettable day of exploration. Stunning views and charming atmosphere, it’s no surprise that Kekaha Beach has been listed among the best beaches in Kauai. In other words, if you’re looking to escape from crowded tourist destinations while still having access to Hawaii’s unique ocean paradise – look no further than Kekaha Beach.

ʻAnini Beach Park – Best For Watersports

ʻAnini Beach Park
ʻAnini Beach, Kauai

A beloved spot on the north shore of Kauaʻi, ʻAnini Beach Park is located 2 miles east of Kīlauea town. The park boasts breathtaking views of the ocean, white sandy beaches, and lush green foliage.

A perfect beach for windsurfing and kite boarding due to its consistent wind speeds. Visitors can also join in on one of the beach park’s weekly yoga classes. There is also restrooms, showers, and a large pavilion is available.

Beach Beaches on Big Island

Beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii offer something for everyone. From tranquil coves and breathtaking sunsets to plenty of activities like snorkeling, surfing, and paddle boarding.

The Big Island is one of the best places in the world for seeing some of nature’s most beautiful sights. With its abundance of best beaches and boundless opportunities for exploration, the Big Island ensures that any trip here will be unforgettable.

Hapuna Beach – Best For Spending The Entire Day

​When it comes to the best beaches in Hawaii, Hapuna Beach certainly deserves mention. Hapuna Beach is situated on the Big Island of Hawaii, one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places on earth. With a long white sand beach, azure waves endlessly lapping at the shoreline, and rugged mountains as a stunning backdrop, this beach has something for everyone.

Hapuna Beach, Big Island Hawaii
Hapuna Beach, Big Island Hawaii

Every time you visit, you’re almost guaranteed to have an unforgettable experience and create spectacular memories. Whether looking for a tranquil escape from everyday life or an adventurous holiday with family and friends – Hapuna Beach is simply unmissable.

There’s no better way to soak up all that glorious sunshine than spending an afternoon here beneath a palm tree or exploring all that nature has to offer. Feel the warmth of the sand between your toes as you wander along this paradise-like coastline – Hapuna Beach will capture your heart forever.

Manini’owali Beach (Kua Bay) – Where the locals go

Manini'owali Beach
Manini’owali Beach, Big Island Hawaii

Kua, as it’s known to the locals, offers the best of both worlds. It’s close enough to the highway for anyone to access and far enough away that visitors can find some peace and quiet. It is one of the best beaches on the island, with glistening white sand stretching out towards a crystal-clear sea.

There are plenty of amenities, including lifeguards on duty, outdoor showers, picnic benches, and toilets. Manini’owali Beach is an idyllic spot that gives visitors that sense of escaping from it all.

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