- Lanikai Beach (Oahu): Too gorgeous to be real, this stretch along the Windward Coast is one of Hawaii’s postcard-perfect beaches—a mile of golden sand as soft as powdered sugar bordering translucent turquoise waters. The waters are calm year-round and excellent for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. Two tiny offshore islands complete the picture, functioning both as scenic backdrops and bird sanctuaries.
- Hapuna Beach (Big Island): A half-mile of tawny sand, as wide as a football field, gently slopes down to crystalline waters that in summer are usually excellent for swimming, snorkeling, and bodysurfing; in winter, the thundering waves should be admired from the shore, where the picnicking and state camping facilities are first rate.
- Waianapanapa State Park (Maui): Maui has many terrific beaches to choose from, but this one is extra special: On the dramatic Hana coast, jet-black sand is pummeled by the azure surf, sea arches and caves dot the shoreline, and a cliffside trail leads through an ancient hala forest. Plan to picnic or camp here.
- Papohaku Beach Park (Molokai): The currents are too strong for swimming here, but the light-blond strand of sand, nearly 300 feet wide and stretching for some 3 miles—one of Hawaii’s longest beaches—is great for picnicking, walking, and watching sunsets, with Oahu shimmering in the distance.
- Hulopoe Beach (Lanai): This large sprawl of soft golden sand is one of the prettiest in the state. Bordered by the regal Four Seasons resort on one side and lava-rock tide pools on the other, this protected marine preserve offers prime swimming, snorkeling, tide-pool exploring, picnicking, camping, and the chance to spy on resident spinner dolphins.
Poipu Beach (Kauai): This popular beach on the sunny South Shore has something for everyone: protected swimming, snorkeling, bodyboarding, surfing, and plenty of sand for basking—with a rare Hawaiian monk seal joining sunbathers every so often.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.