11 Best Beaches in HAWAII ISLANDS to Visit in 2023

best beaches hawaii islands

Water and tropical weather are perfect for relaxation and island hopping. With world-class beautiful beaches, surf spots, active volcanoes, and lovely people, it can be hard to decide which places are worth visiting.

So, if you want to pack your bags and head out to Hawaii, here’s all about the 11 best beaches in Hawaii you can visit. These are the places that didn’t just make it on our list of “must-see beach spots” but spots that were also chosen based on their beauty, convenience, and popularity.

Best beaches on Oahu Island, Hawaii
Best beaches on Maui Island, Hawaii
Best beaches on Big Island of Hawaii

Being in Hawaii is a truly unique experience. However, if you want to experience the best of what Hawaii has to offer, these are the places you will want to visit:

  • The Kepuhi Beach in Kauai – A Hidden Gem of Hawaii
  • Kaihalulu Beach – A Distinctive Beach with Dark-Red Sand
  • The Wailua Beach in Maui – A Beach Beyond Compare
  • Waikiki Beach in Oahu – The Most Popular Beach in Hawaii
  • The Hanapepe Beach in Kauai – A Perfect Choice for Surfers
  • The Poipu Beach in Kauai – One of the Best Beaches in Hawaii
  • The Waianapanapa Beach in Maui – Better Known as Black Sand Beach
  • The Hapuna Beach in Hawaii – Perfect for Snorkeling and Surfing
  • The Kekaha Beach in Kauai – A Truly Unique Beach in Hawaii
  • Waimea Bay Beach Park, Oahu – The Best Beach for Surfing Festivals
  • Kaanapali Beach – Best to Learn Water Sports
  • Kumimi Beach – Perfect for Snorkeling

The Kepuhi Beach in Kauai – A Hidden Gem of Hawaii

Kepuhi Beach in Kauai – A Hidden Gem of Hawaii

Kauai is one of the fascinating islands in Hawaii and has many great features. We love how relaxing it is compared to Oahu or Big Island.

Kepuhi Beach is one of those gems that give you the feeling that you’re on an incredible tropical island but can still be reached in just 30 minutes after landing at the airport.

There are plenty of activities you can engage in at Kepuhi Beach, including snorkeling. However, compared to other locations, snorkeling there is only possible when the ocean is calm.

How to get there

Kepuhi Beach is located on the North Shore of Kauai. You take Highway 50, a scenic road to the north side of Kauai, and then Highway 520, which will lead you right to the beach. You can also get there with a tour if you are not interested in driving on dirt roads.

Kaihalulu Beach – A Distinctive Beach with Dark-Red Sand

Another beach that hasn’t yet been discovered by many tourists is Kaihalulu Beach. It’s set on the east coast of Maui, very near Hana.

It’s cut deep in a lava cinder cone which supplies the coast with the distinctive rust-red sand. The contrast with the blue water is very impressive and definitely worth shooting for your Instagram feed.

No swimwear? No problem! The cliff provides privacy, and so the beach is frequented by nudists, too.

How to get there

You can add Kaihalulu Beach as a stop on your way to Hana. However, it’s not for everybody as you have to hike a steep trail to access it. We recommend you take climbing shoes and walk carefully. Some parts might even be slippery. Also, don’t come after the sun sets, it gets dark there real quick.

The Wailea Beach in Maui – A Beach Beyond Compare

Wailea Beach is a paradise for surfers and snorkeling enthusiasts, though you may also encounter a few other activities nearby like surfing, windsurfing, and scuba diving.

It’s one of the most popular beaches on the island of Maui. Around thirty miles south of Kaanapali, just across the highway from Hana, you will find Wailea Beach.

The beach is very beautiful and has a lot of great snorkeling spots. When we say beach, we refer to the entire stretch with the ocean never-ending around there. You can walk out past the reefs and jump right into the clear blue water.

Most people from other countries have to visit Hawaii’s most popular beach at least once in their lives.

If you’re into shopping and hanging out by the ocean, then have no doubts that this is the place for you. The sand and sea are bright white, making it feel like you’re swimming in snow or something!

It’s safe to say that Waikiki is one of the Hawaiian Islands’ most popular tourist attractions, and rightfully so! We also recommend visiting Honolulu’s Chinatown while in the area as well.

How to get there

If coming from Honolulu, take the Ala Moana Boulevard toward Kaka’ako and turn right onto Kalakaua Avenue. Then turn left onto Waikiki Road. Turn right at Kalakaua Avenue and then at Ala Moana Boulevard and drive north up to Waikiki Drive. From there, the beach is only a couple of blocks away.

Check out: Best Hostels in Hawaii for Budget Travelers

The Hanapepe Beach in Kauai – A Perfect Choice for Surfers

There is no better place to surf than Hanapepe on the south shore of Kauai. This beach breaks on N-S swell pretty much all year round, and you can find many surf shops and rental places to take your board there.

But surfing is just one activity you can engage in at the beach; if you’re interested in windsurfing or scuba diving, there are plenty of places as well. There’s a nice parking area with bathrooms and picnic tables nearby.

Hanapepe Beach is a destination for surfers, but you don’t have to be one to enjoy the beach. It’s particularly nice in the morning, when it’s less crowded, and you can lay a towel out and relax on the sand under a palm tree.

How to get there

Drive Highway 50 from Wailua toward Lihue and turn at Hanapepe Road. Turn left onto Waikomo Stream Road toward the market, then turn right onto Hoolaulea Street. Parking is available across the street from Dukes’ Restaurant.

The Poipu Beach in Kauai – One of the Best Beaches in Hawaii

Poipu b’Beach is a great spot for snorkeling. It’s just one of those places you can go on vacation and never want to leave.

The beach is gorgeous, and there are plenty of things to do, including bar crawling, eating, shopping, and swimming. This beach is not too crowded so you can find some peace and relaxation here by yourself or with your loved ones.

It’s close enough to the capital city of Kauai, which is Lihue, and it features a rather relaxing atmosphere.

How to get there

Drive South on Koloa Road and make a left at Poipu Road. Drive toward the ocean, make a left onto Kauhale St., and you are there!

The Waianapanapa Beach in Maui – Better Known as Black Sand Beach

Waianapanapa Beach is a unique beach for many reasons. Firstly, it’s one of the ten black sand beaches on the Hawaiian islands.

Secondly, it’s located at the end of a dead-end road leading down Hana. Most people will make it to Waianapanapa after visiting the scenic Hana Highway.

If you’re looking for something a bit different from the hustle and bustle of Wailea and Kaanapali but still want to hang out on Maui’s beautiful beaches, this may be the perfect place for you.

How to get there

Drive toward Hana along Route 36 until you reach the end of the road at Wai’anapanapa State Park.

The Hapuna Beach in Hawaii – Perfect for Snorkeling and Surfing

This is the most popular beach on the Big Island. Hapuna is a truly spectacular white sand beach with crystal clear turquoise waters. It’s safe to say that it’s a winner among visitors to Hawaii Island, though you wouldn’t know it from the few people you can spot there.

Hapuna Beach offers a great range of snorkeling spots and the best spot to catch some waves if you’re into surfing.

Another thing that makes this beach special is its long stretch of white sand backed by green mountains. Hapuna Beach is simply the perfect spot to spend a day or two while visiting Hawaii Island.

How to get there

Drive toward Kawaihae on Highway 19, then turn onto Highway 270. The beach will be on your right as you approach Kauna’oa Bay along the coast at Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area.

The Kekaha Beach in Kauai – A Truly Unique Beach in Hawaii

Kekaha Beach, also known as Coconut Beach, is truly one of the most beautiful beaches not just on Kauai but also in all of Hawaii.

Whether you’re into surfing or snorkeling, then this is a beach for you. The shade from the trees and palms makes it feel more like a jungle in some ways. There’s also an incredible view of Oahu from Kekaha Beach.

The water is deep blue, and the sand is all white, making it ideal for swimming with great coast views. We believe Kekaha Beach is a must-see on your visit to Kauai.

How to get there

Follow Highway 50 toward Poipu and leave Kekaha Road at the fork. Drive along this road until you see a public parking area on your right across from the beach. From there, you can enter and enjoy it for free.

Waimea Bay Beach Park, Oahu

Waimea Bay Beach Park

Waimea is known for its 30-foot waves and is a popular destination for some of the world’s greatest and boldest surfers. In summer, the water calms considerably, making it an ideal place for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.

Some of the most important surfing events in Hawaii, like the Vans Triple Crown, take place in Waimea, Sunset Beach, and Ehukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline). If you want to be close to the action, you can stay at Turtle Bay Resort.

How to get to Waimea

Waimea Bay is located about 4.5 miles northeast of Haleiwa on Kamehameha Highway. Honolulu is 34 miles (45 minutes without traffic) away.

You can also take the #19 bus to Hickam/Airport and get off at the Alakea St + Nimitz Hwy stop. Take the #60 bus to Kaneohe/Haleiwa and get off at the Kamehameha Hwy + Opp Waimea Valley Rd stop (Kamehameha Hwy + Opp Waimea Valley Rd).

Then just walk a short distance down the road to the beach park. The bus ride takes about 2.5 hours.

Kaanapali Beach

Kaanapali Beach

BeachUSA named this beach “Best American Beach in 2016” for its three miles of white sand surrounded by gentle waters.

This beach is home to the city’s most luxurious hotels. In addition, the beach offers a variety of activities such as hiking, sailing, swimming, and sunbathing, making it one of the best beaches in Hawaii.

Black Rock runs across the beach and is a popular place for snorkelers and divers to get certified. Other water sports include paragliding, windsurfing, and jet skiing.

The daily cliff diving ceremony from the northernmost cliffs of the beach, known as Puu Kekaa or Black Rock, is one of Kaanapali Beach’s most famous attractions. Every evening at dusk, a cliff diver lights the torches along the cliff before plunging off the Black Rock in a re-enactment of the performance of Maui’s legendary King Kahekili.

Kumimi Beach – Perfect for snorkeling

snorkeling hawaii

Kumimi Beach, also known as 20 Mile Marker Beach, offers some of the best snorkeling conditions on Molokai and is easily accessible. The golden sand and calm ocean make it an ideal place to relax on the beach. There are no toilets here and the water can be dangerous in heavy surf, so use caution.

Kumimi Beach also offers some of the best snorkeling on the underappreciated island of Molokai.

The calm and clean waters are ideal for a refreshing swim and scuba diving.

Be prepared to observe the variety of Hawaiian marine life while snorkeling at high tide. After swimming, spend some time relaxing on the limited stretch of golden-sand beach.

If you are looking for the best spots in Maui, fishing enthusiasts will find them at Kumimi Beach. A small parking lot with a vantage point ideal for Instagram photos is located two miles past the beach.


What is the best beach in Hawaii?

The best beach in Hawaii is, hands down, Waikiki Beach! It’s in the heart of Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii. Waikiki Beach is famous for its white sand and clear turquoise water.

What’s the best time to visit Hawaii?

The best time to visit Hawaii is all year round, although June and July are the best months to go. If you go in March or later you’ll have a better chance to get lower prices.

How much does it cost to visit Hawaii?

The prices vary from place to place and from season to season. Some spots will charge per person, while others may be cheaper for two people if you’re traveling as a couple. However, Hawaii is generally a very expensive location.


In summary, many beautiful, secluded beaches in Hawaii aren’t expensive to visit, and some of them you may have never heard of. If you’re on a tight budget, these beaches will surely help you save some money and help make your trip even more affordable.

If you do get a chance to visit them, we’d love to hear about your experience at one of the top beaches in Hawaii.