The Best Beaches On The Big Island Of Hawaii

There’s no doubt that Hawaii has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, there’s over 100 beaches throughout the Hawaiian islands, meaning there’s beaches that come in all different sizes, shapes and colors that will cater toward your ideal day out.

The Best Beaches On The Big Island Of Hawaii

These vast expanses of sea and sand cater toward families with little ones who want to build sandcastles and dip their toes in the water, and to couples who want a little bit of privacy in the secluded coves that are away from the crowd. 

You don’t have to visit just one beach on your travels either, if you’re eager to visit a multitude of different beaches, you can travel to the different islands and experience each unique coastline or even to spot the arrays of aquatic life swimming through the Pacific.

The Big Island boasts some of the best white sand beaches across the world, but you’ll also find stunning golden stretches along the island, there’s truly so many to pick from and there’s at least one that will perk up your interest. 

So how do you pick the best one to visit? Like we said you don’t need to just pick one beach to go to, but if you are planning to go to just the one, don’t worry, we’ve compiled a list of the best beaches across the Big Island to make your decision that little bit easier. 

Waimea Bay

If you’re an avid surfer, you’ll love this beach. Situated on the north shore of O’ahu, Waimea Bay is best known for its 30-foot waves in the winter months of November through to February.

The waves can get seriously crazy on this beach; only the best and bravest surfers will dare to ride them, which makes for excellent viewing. 

If that isn’t your cup of tea, then consider going in the calmer and milder months.

During summer the water is considerably tranquil and you’ll find lots of activities to do here, like snorkeling and diving to try and spot the marine life swimming in these waters. 

Waikiki Beach

Located on the south shore of Honolulu, this beach spans two miles but is actually made up of a few different beaches.

There’s the Queen Surf Beach which is a significantly quieter stretch of golden sands, Kuhio Beach, Waikiki Beach and to the west is Fort DeRussy Beach.

It’s one of the most famous beaches in the world, but don’t just take our word for it, ask the four million visitors who come here every year.

The breathtaking views of Leahi (the Diamond Head) make it something to truly marvel at, and this beach should definitely be on your to-do list once you get to Hawaii. 

Kalapaki Beach

This is a stunning harbor found in Kauai and it is partially protected from the open ocean by a large break wall, making the water surprisingly calm, meaning you can test your skills at surfing or canoeing.

This picturesque beach is enclosed by a dramatic stretch of cliffs and boasts crystal clear waters, making it an ideal spot for swimming and sunbathing.

If you’re looking for a beach away from the hustle and bustle and want relaxation and tranquility, make sure Kalapaki Beach is on your itinerary. 

The Best Beaches On The Big Island Of Hawaii

Hanalei Bay

Hanalei Bay is the largest bay on the north shore of Kauai, it’s a two mile stretch of golden sands with a breaktaking backdrop of 4,000-foot mountains.

This beach is a popular spot amongst families due to its camping area, and if you venture to Hanalei Pier it’s a great spot for the kids to swim in because of the calmness of the water. 

In the winter the waves come out which often attracts crowds of eager surfers, but in the summer months the waters are much calmer and more suitable for swimming, or kayaking in the Hanalei River. 

Hulopoe Beach

This beach is truly magnificent, its white sands and crystal clear waters invite you in for a relaxing day at the beach.

Guests of the Four Seasons Resort in Lanai get prime access to this luxurious sandy stretch, making it a highly sought after resort to stay in.

One of the highlights of this beach is its large tide pools found on the east side of the bay.

These are formed out of volcanic rock, they’re well protected and the waters are calm, so feel free to explore these curious tide pools and see if you can spot any small fish or hermit crabs. 

Polihua Beach

It’s a bit harder to get here than it is at the other beaches, you’ll have to take a car and venture about an hour northwest of Lanai City.

But it’s worth it, it’s a super secluded spot, and more often than not you’ll have the whole beach to yourself.

It’s not advised to swim here due to the strong currents and winds, but it’s great for a long walk across the golden sands or sunbathing.

Visitors often report seeing humpback whales in the distance in the winter months, and in the summer months, green sea turtles.  

Makena Beach

This beach situated in Maui is loved by both tourists and locals alike. It’s enclosed between two black-lava outcroppings, giving it protection from the wind.

Its white sands extend almost ⅔ of a mile long making it one of the largest, undeveloped beaches in Maui, and you should also be able to see the islands of Molokini and Kahoolawe.

If you’re looking for a closer connection to nature on your trip then this beach is one that should be on your list. 

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, we’ve only listed a few of the best beaches in Hawaii in this list, but there are so many more beautiful beaches to visit and explore.

If you can, make sure to visit more than one beach whilst you’re here as they’re all so vast and diverse that usually no one is the same! 

Richard Ennis