Best Hawaii Beach Destinations

Hawaii is made up of over a hundred islands that were formed by volcanic eruptions. It is the 50th state of the United States and is located in the central Pacific Ocean. There are six main islands in Hawaii: Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui and Hawaii (also called the Big Island to distinguish it from the name of the state).

Because Hawaii is made up of islands, there are an infinite number of gorgeous beaches to choose from. Some, like Waikiki, are in more urban areas while others are in more remote and isolated areas. Lush rainforests, rocky lava cliffs, wonderful waterfalls, pristine sandy beaches, incredible marine life and mild weather make the Aloha state a gorgeous year round holiday travel destination.

Honeymooners, golfers, surfers and beach lovers all love Hawaii. No matter how many pictures and tourist brochures you may have seen, the reality is even more beautiful and breathtaking.

In Hawaii accommodation is available for every budget. You can take your pick from condos and basic bed and breakfast places, to hotels, rental cottages and super luxurious resorts.

Almost all the beaches are great for swimming and snorkeling but we have divided the beaches to give you our top picks for the beaches that are the most scenic and are ideal for swimming, those that offer great snorkeling and those that are the favourite with surfers.

Most Picturesque Hawaii Beaches

Lanikai Beach, Oahu

This beach of golden sand stretches for a mile and is dotted with coconut palms. The sand is powder soft and contrasts beautifully against the deep blue water. The beach is protected by an offshore reef so the water is calm and ideal for swimming throughout the year. Many consider this to be Hawaii’s most beautiful beach and should be a must on your holiday travel itinerary.
Off the shore are the Mokulua islands which not only provide a wonderful backdrop but also attract birds. Apart from swimming and sunbathing, you can also go snorkeling and kayaking.

Kee Beach, Kaui

Where the road ends at the end of Kaui’s north shore is a little piece of paradise called Kee Beach. The sand is reddish gold and the shore has lush vegetation of coconut palms, guava and ironwood trees. The water is clear and calm and the reef lagoon also makes this a great snorkeling site with loads of reef fish and turtles. The sunsets here are spectacular so find a good spot and wait for the sun to go down.

Kapalua Beach, Maui

It’s a crescent-shaped beach flanked by two lava-rock outcrops at either ends and a lush coconut grove around its golden sands. The waters here are tranquil, making them ideal for swimming, especially for families with children. Snorkeling and kayaking can also be done on this small but beautiful beach.

Hawaii has loads of wonderful beaches and some others include the Hapuna Beach and Black Rock Beach.

Best Hawaii Snorkeling & Dive Sites

You can snorkel and dive almost anywhere in Hawaii. The best time to dive is in the summer when the water is calm on the north shores. From November to May the winds are a bit rougher but this is when you can spot whale sharks.

Hulopoe Beach, Lanai

This Hawaii beach is incredibly scenic. There’s a Marine Life Conservation District here because of the myriad schools of colourful fish that flourish here along with spinner dolphins. The reefs and calm waters make this place ideal for snorkeling and diving.
The sea life you will see here includes Butterfly fish, Octopus, Moray eels, Sponges and colourful coral.
This beach is great for swimming and the beach facilities are also good. You can have a picnic on the grassy beach park or even camp here.
There are two Cathedral dive sites just southeast of Hulopoe Bay. They are called Cathedral because of the stained glass effect created by the holes in the rocky walls that are backlit through the turquoise blue water. You are likely to see pods of dolphins on your way to the dive sites.

Hanauma Bay, Oahu

This is a very popular spot for snorkeling and the bay is gorgeous. There are over 50 species of fish to be found even in waist deep water. The bay has been formed by a submerged volcanic crater which makes for a natural cove shielded from currents and winds. Diving certification is required if you want to dive below 15 feet. Visitor numbers are restricted so plan ahead.
The sea life here includes large resident eels, Spotted Eagle Rays, Green Sea Turtles, Octopus and Ulua.
Serious divers head to the nearby Witch’s Brew dive site which is quite a turbulent cove.

Molokini Crater, Maui

This is a sunken volcanic crater that is located three miles off the coast of Maui and can be accessed only by boat. The water is exceptionally clear, making it easy to spot fish to a depth of over 100 feet. Over 250 species of fish are found here and you will see Monk Seals, Whale Sharks, Manta Rays, Spotted Eagle Rays and White Tip Sharks which are harmless.
This is also a great diving site.

Best Hawaii beaches for surfing

Hawaii is rated as one of the best surf spots in the world. In summer it is the south shores that are great for surfing while the north shores are for surfing in winter. The waves on the north are generally bigger than the ones on the south shore and for serious surfers.

Banzai Pipeline, Oahu

Oahu’s north shore attracts all the surf buffs during winter. From October to May, 15 to 20 feet high waves crash into the shore. This can lead to dangerous conditions and even experienced surfers have to be careful. The beach is called Pipeline because the curling waves generate a massive tube. Many non-surfers also gather on the beach just to watch surfers take on the massive waves.
The other popular beaches for surfing on Oahu include Sunset Beach and Waimea Bay.
The same beaches in summer are unrecognizable – the water is calm and ideal for swimming and snorkeling.

Waikiki Beach, Oahu

This famous south shore beach is for beginners and offers great surfing all through the year but especially in summer when the north shore beaches become flat. It also has great boogie boarding breaks.
Waikiki has excellent surfing schools and board rentals.

Jaws, Maui

The locals call it ‘Peahi’ and this spot is definitely not for the faint hearted. You have to be an expert and a daredevil to take on its 70-foot waves. Storm swells originating from Alaska create walls of water and surfers have to be literally towed and dropped into the waves. Water conditions can be quite dangerous.
Even if you are not a surfer do watch the amazing waves from the safety of the cliffs.

Hawaii Weather

There’s not too much difference between the summer and winter temperatures but the peak tourist season runs from mid-December to March. Winters are wetter while it can be a bit hot on the beach in summer.
May to October: 29˚C to 19˚C
November to April: 27˚C to 16˚C
Average water temperature: 23˚C

Read more about other wonderful Beach Destinations around the world.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 at 8:27 am and is filed under Hawaii Beach Holiday. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Best Hawaii Beach Destinations”

  1. Tourism Says:

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