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Top 8 Most Beautiful Hawaiian Beaches to Visit in Your Lifetime

You’ll want to put these Hawaiian beaches on your travel bucket list ASAP!

Enter the enchanting world of Hawaiian beaches, where pristine shores meet sky-blue waters, creating a sanctuary for sun-seekers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Just picture yourself strolling along the delicate sands, feeling the gentle caress of the winds, as each Hawaiian beach beckons with its unique charm.

That’s why Must See Places is embarking on a virtual tour through some of the most breathtaking landscapes that have earned their spots on the coveted list of “MUST-SEE” destinations.

From the iconic Waikiki Beach to the secluded serenity of Hana, each Hawaiian beach has a story to tell, a melody to hum, and a marvel to behold.

So, pack your bags and join us as we uncover the top 8 most beautiful Hawaiian beaches that promise a lifetime of unforgettable memories.

Get ready for an immersive journey into the heart of Hawaiian paradise!

Hawaiian Beach
Photo by Eddy Galeotti at Shutterstock

Kaʻanapali Beach, Maui

Kaʻanapali Beach sprawls over 3 miles on Maui’s bright western coastline and is action-packed. Its turquoise-colored ocean invites surfers, swimmers, and snorkelers to romp in its crystal-clear waters.

If you visit in the wintertime, you can even catch a glimpse of migrating North Pacific humpback whales offshore.

A path curves along the beach, connecting many restaurants, resorts, and stores that are just perfect for you to enjoy a cocktail at a restaurant by the beach or watch the torch-lit cliff diving ceremony at Black Rock, which honors King Kahekili, the final chief of Maui.

Hulopoʻe Beach, Lanaʻi

In front of the luxurious Four Seasons Resort Lanaʻi is Hulopo’e Beach, an immaculate bay overflowing with marine life and one of the best sites on the island for snorkeling. Despite its proximity to the hotel, this Hawaiian beach feels undisturbed and secluded.

While here, you can lounge around on the white sands and pack a lunch to enjoy on one of the picnic tables nearby or take advantage of the barbecue grills.

Children will love the big tide pools located on the eastern side of the bay. They’re well-protected and peaceful enough for exploring. And sometimes, you can get a glimpse of spinner dolphins playing in the bay.

Makena Beach, Maui

Also known as Big Beach, or Oneloa in Hawaiian, and for good reason, Makena Beach spans about two-thirds of a mile long and is 100ft wide in size.

That means lots of space to lay out on this picturesque wildland beach and take advantage of the sun and view of the offshore islet Molokini. Waves here can get big, so use caution when entering the ocean.

The large tides make it a popular spot for bodysurfing and bodyboarding. And be aware that there’s an entry fee to the state-run Makena State Park per person for non-Hawaii residents.

Papohaku Beach, Molokaʻi

You can find one of the longest white-sand beaches in Hawaii on Molokaʻi. Papohaku Beach is on the island’s western end and runs a gloriously uninterrupted 3 miles long.

And since this Hawaiian beach receives the fewest visitors of any other islands, you’ll likely have it, or at least parts of it, all to yourself. In the wintertime, the ocean here can be treacherous for swimming.

So we wouldn’t recommend visiting during this particular time. But the rest of the time, it’s perfect for long strolls or idle picnics. On a clear day, you can even see Oʻahu across the Kaiwi Channel.

Hawaiian Beach
Photo by tomas del amo at Shutterstock

Waikiki Beach, Oʻahu

Waikiki is the ideal Hawaiian beach. It’s got golden sand, sparkling waters, and lots to do around it. In fact, Hawaiian aliʻi, the word for royalty, lived and played here!

The legendary Olympian Duke Kahanamoku rode the incredible waves in Waikiki, and you can even learn how to surf here yourself from a modern-day beach boy or girl. Ride the rolling waves in an outrigger canoe or hop on a catamaran for a stunning sunset sail.

There are a few separate named beaches in Waikiki, from the panoramic Kaimana Beach by the Kapiʻolani Park to the beautiful sands of Duke Kahanamoku Beach, which also has a kid-friendly lagoon next to the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort.

Relax while sipping a mai tai at a beachside bar, or take your afternoon tea at the historic Moana Surfrider. And the best part? Everything, including stores, hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, a zoo, and an aquarium, is within walking distance.

Hanalei Bay, Kauaʻi

Hanalei Bay is what vacation dreams are made of. 4,000 ft emerald mountains serve as a backdrop to this expansive bay. It’s dotted with waterfalls and stretches over 2 miles along Kaua’i’s north shore. During the wintertime, big waves roll into this scenic bay.

And summer brings more peaceful waters perfect for swimming. The white-sand beach opens up its arms, reaching to hug you. No matter where you are on this Hawaiian beach, you’ll have magnificent views of the mountains, ocean, and green valleys.

No wonder it’s been the setting of many Hollywood films like The Descendants and South Pacific. Hanalei Pier, which is nearby, was built in 1892 and is a popular spot for swimming, fishing, and jumping.

Kailua Beach, Oʻahu

On Oʻahu’s windswept side, you’ll find a beach lover’s paradise, with soft sands stretching over 2.5 miles long and the glorious Koʻolau Mountains as the background. Its blue waters are a fantastic playground.

You’ll see people paddling canoes, surfing, bodysurfing, swimming, kiteboarding, and kayaking here. And there’s so much room, you can easily find a spot to yourself. On the eastern side of the beach, there’s a large parking lot with picnic pavilions and restrooms.

It’s also one of the rare beaches on Oʻahu that’s dog-friendly. So you’ll likely see some furry friends running around and playing in the sand. Then, it’s a brief walk from the parking lot to nearby Lanikai Beach.

This gorgeous Hawaiian beach is smaller and often more crowded than Kailua Beach because people flock here to catch the incredible sunrise over the twin Mokulua Islands.

Hapuna Beach, Hawaiʻi the Big Island

This is one of the Big Island’s most expansive and famous beaches, and you can find it along the island’s Kohala Coast. Its aquamarine waters and white sand starkly contrast the lava landscapes and ragged shorelines unique to this location.

The beach is suitable for bodyboarding, swimming, and sunbathing. And the best part is that there’s enough room for everyone to find a quiet spot to lounge and read a book.

The Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area has a small entry fee per person and a $10 parking fee for non-Hawaii residents. Another big draw is that there are many farmers’ markets in the nearby neighborhoods.

On Wednesdays, go to the Waimea Midweek Farmers Market, where you can find dozens of vendors selling hot food, jams, fresh vegetables, coffee, honey, and many other fantastic local products.

And on Saturdays, the Kamuela Farmers Market features local soaps, produce, flowers, baked goods, and hand-crafted jewelry. There’s live music here as well.

Hawaiian Beach
Photo by Ppictures at Shutterstock

3 Important things to remember when visiting a Hawaiian beach:

Ocean conditions can change quickly and unexpectedly. So check with lifeguards and look at ocean and weather forecasts.

  • Use reef-safe sunscreen. Others can cause coral bleaching and kill the reef.
  • It’s illegal to drink alcohol or smoke at any Hawaiian beach…and at state parks, too.
  • Respect the wildlife. It’s a felony under state law to harass, touch, harm, or kill any endangered or threatened species, including Hawaiian green sea turtles and Hawaiian monk seals. Penalties can be up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Be sure to let us know in the comments which Hawaiian beach was YOUR favorite. And if you’re looking for some more ideas on where to go for your next getaway, Must See Places has just the thing!

Check out: 9 Incredible Shoulder Season Travel Destinations in the US for Your Bucket List

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