The Best Hawaiian Island Beaches
When we get ready to travel to Hawaii, we think about the great Hawaiian Island beaches. It is hard to pick the best Hawaiian beaches because there are just too many. I mean really, if you are in Hawaii with your friends and family on a beach, you are at the best Hawaiian Island beach.
As we started to type this blog post and share with your the best beaches in Hawaii we thought we would cover all the great Hawaiian Island Beaches. The list went from 100 to 200 to 300 really quickly.
It turns out there are just too many great Hawaiian Island beaches that will make you Hawaiian vacation spectacular. Instead of just giving you the standard list of the best Hawaiian Island beaches, we decided to break it into a few categories based on your Hawaiian vacation activity. We know some of you travel to Hawaii to go surfing, some go to relax, and others love to take photos. So, we hope that this post will give you the best Hawaiian beach for your interest.
Enough setup already, right? Let’s dive into the best Hawaiian beaches by Hawaiian activity.
Most Visited Hawaiian Beach – Waikiki Beach, Oahu
I don’t think it is a surprise to see Waikiki Beach as the most visited Hawaiian Island beach. It is estimated that nearly 6 million people visit this beach each year. When you think about traveling to Hawaii, you have to visit this iconic beach. I mean when you visit Waikiki Beach you are greeted by a statue of the legendary Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Statue.
Waikiki Beach is also the center of so much tourism in Hawaii. If you get tired of the beach you can head out to do some shopping or grab a bite to eat. Waikiki Beach has it all. In reality, you could plan your entire Hawaiian vacation around the most visited Hawaiian beach, Waikiki Beach.
Best Hawaiian Beach for Surfing – Ehukai Beach/Banzai Pipeline, Oahu
The ancient Hawaiians looked at surfing as a way of life. Today, it is just a really cool thing to do. There is really nothing better than grabbing your board and shredding for the day. Surfing has taught us so many life lessons, so we had to pick the best Hawaiian beach for surfing.
Picking the best Hawaiian beach for surfing was no easy task. I mean again, it is like whatever beach you are on with your board and some friends become the best Hawaiian beach for surfing.
However, there is one Hawaiian beach like no other. The legendary Banzai Pipeline on Ehikai Beach is known for the most amazing waves on the planet. This is why thousands of people visit this beach every year for the Billabong Pipe Master. The Banzai Pipeline is known for its hollow and surfable tubes of breaking water. This makes it one of the most dangerous surf locations out there. The beach Ehukai Beach is a great place to watch surfers from around the world shred those epics waves.
Best Hawaiian Beach for Relaxing – Papaohaku Beach, Molokai
I am not going to lie. I don’t think there is a wrong answer here. Any beach on the Hawaiian Islands is going to be a great place to open your umbrella, grab a drink, and take in the rays. Again, finding the best Hawaiian beach for relaxing was no easy task.
There is one beach on the Hawaiian Islands that stands out for relaxation. The Hawaiian Island of Molokai receives far fewer visitors than the more popular Hawaiian Islands like Maui and Oahu. Fewer visitors means more relaxation. So, this gives the edge to Papaohaku Beach on the Hawaiian Island of Molokai. The chances of having a slice of this Hawaiian beach all to yourself make this beach perfect for relaxing and catching some rays. So if you are planning on traveling to Hawaii and need to relax, maybe you want to visit Papaohaku Beach on Molokai.
Best Hawaiian Beach for Photography – Any
I am going to admit that this is kind of an easy way out of answering the best Hawaiian Island beach for taking pictures.
In my opinion, the best Hawaiian beach for photography is the one you are at with your camera. It really depends on what your goals are. Are you an early riser looking to get that super amazing Hawaiian sunrise picture? Are you looking to grab your telephoto lens and catch some epic surfers shredding waves? Or are you looking to get that family photo with a great landscape? Whatever your goal is, if you want to get some great Hawaiian vacation pictures, it really does not matter what beach you visit.
If you are going to be traveling to Hawaii to take photos, you really can’t go wrong.
Best Hawaiian Beach to Watch the Sunset – Yokohama Bay, Oahu
Yokohama Bay or Keawaula Beach is one of the most secluded beaches on Oahu. It is located on the most northern, western tip of Oahu and most Hawaiian tours never make it this far as the road dead ends. If you are looking to catch a great sunset, this beach will not disappoint. If you are ready for a Hawaiian beach with a sunset, Yokohama Bay is your place.
Best Hawaiian Beach for Snorkeling – Maluaka Beach, Maui
Before we dive into the best Hawaiian beach for snorkeling, I want to make the criteria clear. I was looking for the beach where you are going to be able to see underwater wildlife. It is not how easy it is to get there, it is strictly based on what you are going to see underwater.
Maluaka Beach is located on the Hawaiian Island of Maui and in my opinion the best Hawaiian beach for grabbing your snorkel and exploring with the wildlife. This beach also known as Turtle Town is located between Nahuna Point and Black Sand Beach in the southern district of Makena. We are big fans of sea turtles here at Hawaiian Island Clothing, this is why Turtle Town is our pick.
This Hawaiian snorkeling location was formed long ago by underwater lava formations. These lava formations make it a great place for sea turtles to call home. If you are traveling to Maui, make sure to check the location out.
Best Hawaiian Island Beach for Swimming – Salt Pond Beach Park – Kauai
Sometimes you need to relax on a beach that does not have huge waves. Maybe you have small children that just want to play in the ocean and as a parent, you do not want them to be swept away. Understandable. The best Hawaiian beach for swimming in the Salt Pond Beach Park in Kauai.
This Hawaiian beach offers a gorgeous setting with white sand, clear water, and a lagoon created by a rock barrier offshore. This rock barrier provides you with calm waters even when the surf is big at other beaches. This keeps the water calm and perfect for swimming.
Best Hawaiian Beach for Families – Waikiki Beach, Oahu
As a parent, I was looking for a beach that was close to the hotel, restrooms, food, and all the other things needed as a parent. This is why we think Waikiki Beach in Oahu is the best beach for families.
Coming in as the most family-friendly beach in Hawaii is Waikiki. Yes, you can call it over-crowded, too touristy, or too commercialized, but you can not say that it is not easy to get to. If you have a family, you can just about roll out of your hotel room and be on the beach for a fun day in the sun. If the family has had too much sun, then it is easy to go back to your room for a nap. Accessibility really makes Waikiki Beach the most family-friendly.
The Rest of the Best Hawaiian beaches
To make this post complete, I think we need to give some love to the other amazing beaches of Hawaii. Full disclaimer here, we are going to miss a few of the best because there are just too many amazing beaches in Hawaii. I guess this is 10 million people head to this chain of islands every year.
So, in the comments below, if we missed one of your favorites, say aloha and tell why you love your favorite beach.
Waimea Bay Beach Park, Oahu
Waimea Bay Beach Park was really hard to leave off the best Hawaiian Island beach to grab your surfboard. It is Know for big waves this beach also plays host to many surfing competitions, but it is not the Banzi Pipeline. This beach is a bit less developed had some very dramatic views.
Hanalei Bay, Kauai
This beach is known for the historic Hanalei Pier. This pier was used in the past to load and unload sugar and other goods from ships. Hanalei Bay offers a little different perspective as you can launch kayaks from a small boat ramp. It is a little less traveled and should be on the list of best Hawaiian Island beaches.
Makena Beach, Maui
Makena Beach is one of the premier beaches on Maui. It is absolutely gorgeous and offers stunning views. What makes this beach so amazing? Glad you asked, there are two large lave outcroppings on each side. These outcroppings provide protection from the wind and offer you a location like no other.
Punalu’u Black Sand Beach, Hawaii
Okay, this beach might be the best Hawaiian beach runner ups. It is called the black sand beach because it has black sand. There is really nothing like it on the planet. Punalu’u Black Sand Beach is more for hanging out as it is hard to swim, but seeing a beach with black sand is truly amazing.
The Best Hawaiian Beaches
There you have it. The unofficial clothing line of Hawaiian travel’s list of best Hawaiian Beaches. We know that the best Hawaiian beach is the beach that you are with your loved ones celebrating the Hawaiin culture, but we hope this list helps as you plan your next Hawaiian vacation.
Here is the shameless plug. Before you head to the Hawaiian Islands, gab your favorite shirt and make sure to wear it to the airport. As you are getting ready to board your airplane make sure to capture the moment and share it on social media.