James Michener called it “a beach so perfectly formed that I wonder at its comparative obscurity.” This half-moon-shape, gray-sand beach (a mix of coral and lava) in a truly tropical setting is a favorite of sunbathers seeking rest and refuge. The Travaasa Hana resort maintains the beach and acts as though it’s private, which it isn’t—so just march down the lava-rock steps and grab a spot on the sand. The wide beach is three football fields long and sits below 30-foot black-lava sea cliffs. Surf on this unprotected beach breaks offshore and rolls in, making it a popular surfing and bodysurfing area. Hamoa is often swept by powerful rip currents, so be careful. The calm left side is best for snorkeling in summer. The hotel has numerous facilities for guests plus outdoor showers and restrooms for non-guests. Parking is limited.