The Best Hawaiian Beaches For Every Type Of Traveler

published on November 23, 2022 by

Any Hawaiian vacation is going to revolve around the beach. The destination is virtually synonymous with stunning stretches of sand (and RedWeek’s vast inventory of by-owner Hawaiian vacation rentals can get you within steps of some of the best). But the array of options when it comes to Hawaii beaches can be paralyzing. Which beach is right for you? We’ve tried to narrow it down. 

For Families With Younger Kids: Ala Moana Beach Park

If you’re traveling with kids, you can’t go wrong with Ala Moana Beach Park. This Oahu beach boasts calm and gentle waters that your younger ones will love splashing around in, as well as plenty of shady spots and picnic tables. When you need a break from the sun and sand, walk across the street to the Ala Moana Center, the world’s largest open-air shopping center. 

For Sunset Spotters: Hanalei Bay

Located where the Hanalei River meets the sea, Hanalei Bay in Kauai is beautiful all day long. But it’s especially beautiful when the sun starts to dip into the Pacific. In the evening, find a place on the Hanalei Pier and enjoy a natural fireworks show. 

For Anyone In Need Of A Little Joy: Ko Olina Beach

“Ko Olina” translates to “place of joy” — and joy is what you’ll feel when you lay eyes on Ko Olina Beach. This pristine spot consists of four lovely lagoons, all connected by serene seaside pathways, ideal for a romantic afternoon stroll. A few hours spent on Ko Olina Beach will restore your soul and spirit. Good to know: there are no lifeguards on duty here, so swim at your own risk! Also good to know: when you stay at Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club, this beautiful beach will always be within reach. 

For The Underwater Explorer: Poipu Beach Park

Hawaii has no shortage of fantastic places to see what’s happening beneath the waves. But if you had to single out the best snorkeling beach in the destination, Poipu Beach Park in Kauai would be a safe bet. The crystal-clear waters here are great for viewing all kinds of dazzling marine life, from sea turtles to parrot fish. 

For The Person Who Wants Their Own Private Paradise: Waipio Valley Beach

Want to get away from it all? Waipio Valley Beach on the north shore of the Big Island will do the trick. Be forewarned, it’s a bit of a hike — three miles down a steep cliffside to be exact. But once you’re there, you’ll be rewarded with an evocative black-sand beach with very few crowds. There are no amenities here, but that’s not what you’re after, right? 

For The Social Butterfly: Lanikai Beach

On the other end of the spectrum, perhaps you’re the extrovert-type who’s always making new friends on vacation. Lanikai Beach in Kailua is a place that regularly tops those “best beaches in the world” lists — and with its gorgeous blue waters and fine white sand, it’s easy to see why. As a result, Lanikai is, of course, extremely popular. But if a daylong beach party is what you’re after, it can’t be beat. 

For The Wannabe Surfer: Waikiki Beach

Located on the south shore of Honolulu, Waikiki Beach is where iconic Hawaiian surfer Duke Kahanamoku caught his first waves — and he was instrumental in bringing the sport to the world. Fittingly, Waikiki Beach is the perfect place to begin your surfing adventures, with gentle waves and plenty of outfitters offering beginner-friendly lessons. 

For The Serious Surfer: Waimea Beach Park

Maybe you’ve ridden your fair share of waves in the past. But you can’t truly call yourself a serious surfer if you haven’t made it to Waimea Beach Park. This is where the pros gather during the winter months to enjoy some of the greatest swells in the world — big-wave surfing at its best. 

Start planning your Hawaiian beach vacation with RedWeek now.

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