8 Best Beaches in Hawaii

Experience one of the best beaches in Hawaii when you visit Maui

When you sail with Princess, experience even more of the best beaches in Hawaii – including the black sand beaches of Waipi’o Valley and the crescent-shaped shores of Hamoa Beach. Enjoy ample time to explore with early arrival and late departures from each island. Whether you’re looking to snorkel, surf, sunbathe or soak up the beauty while sightseeing, here are eight of the best beaches on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island.


  1. One of the best beaches in Oahu, Hawaii’s Waikiki Beach, is where city meets surf. Lounge on Honolulu’s bright white sand and revel in the panoramic views of Diamond Head Crater or the famous Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Take to the waves with a stand-up paddle board or surf board, and canoe along the shoreline with your loved ones. Enjoy lunch at one of the beachside hotels before returning to your oceanfront seat to make the most of the Hawaiian sun.
  2. Guests traveling to Hawaii should also consider a visit to another one of the best beaches in Oahu – Hawaii’s Wimea Bay. Located on Oahu’s North Shore, it's known for its 30-foot waves that attract some of the top surfers in the world — including Eddie Aiku and Laird Hamilton. While winter conditions welcome surfing, summertime boasts ideal waters for swimming, snorkeling and diving. Cheer on athletes as they ride the winter waves, or snorkel through the calm summer waters to see a kaleidoscope of vibrant fish and coral.


  1. Makena Beach State Park in Maui, more famously known as Big Beach, is one of the most underdeveloped and best beaches in Hawaii. Located between two black lava outcroppings, Maui’s signature waterfront is divided into two beaches: Big Beach and Little Beach. Take a stroll on the quiet shores of Little Beach, and enjoy a romantic afternoon with your loved one. Or spend time with the whole family at Big Beach, where you can find lifeguards and plenty of amenities at your service. Enjoy nature in its truest form while relaxing on the white sand and playing in the crystal-clear waters.
  2. Head to the famous shopping center of Whaler’s Village and be welcome by another one of the best beaches in Hawaii – Maui’s Ka’anapali Beach. Once a retreat for royalty, Hawaii’s very first resort area retains its tropical charm. Snorkel around Black Rock, and parasail along the water. Or look for humpback whales from your beach chair while relishing in unparalleled view of Molokai and Lanai. When you’re ready for a change of scenery, there are plenty of other shops and restaurants to explore nearby.


  1. With its diverse landscapes and vivid complexion, Tunnels Beach is often referred to as one of the best beaches in Hawaii — and for good reason. With both an inner and outer reef, explore the underwater world that lies just off the coast of Kauai’s North Shore. As one of the most scenic places in the world, this region boasts miles of white-sand beaches, lush rainforests and mountain waterfalls. Snorkel, dive and windsurf along the water, or bask in the in the North Shore’s unique blend of jungle and beach on the shore.
  2. For a dose of adventure, make the journey down to Hideaways Beach – another one of the best beaches in the Hawaii – for true tranquility. Cloaked in warm-toned sands and clear waters, this secluded shore is a true tropical paradise. Dip your toes in the tranquil waters, and relax under the Hawaiian sun just like the sea turtles beside you. Surrounded by steep terrain, Hideaways is the perfect destination for those craving a challenging hike with stunning views along the way.

The Big Island

  1. The Island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island, is teeming with landscapes shaped by volcanic lava. Located just over an hour from the port of Hilo lies one of the best beaches in Kona — Hawaii’s Punalu’u Beach. Created when flowing lava touches ocean water and explodes, this unique black sand beach is one of the island’s most famous. Lined by palm trees and decorated by a rocky coastline, Punalu’u redefines beauty. While its scenery is a popular attraction, many guests flock to this region to see the endangered Hawksbill and green sea turtles relaxing on the shoreline. With designated picnic areas, you can refuel with a quick bite before spending more time relaxing in the sun or venturing to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park nearby. With a lifeguard on duty, Punalu’u is one of the best beaches in Hawaii for families with young children.
  2. Those looking for an out-of-the-box beach experience should also make a stop at Waipi’o Beach. Its lush vegetation and black sand shores make it yet another one of the best beaches in Hawaii. Since the valley road leading to the beach is narrow and steep, we recommend you visit on a tour so you can navigate to the beautiful shoreline with ease.

Whether you’re looking for an active adventure or a lazy day in the sun, the Hawaiian Islands are home to an array of beautiful beaches and unspoiled shores for every type of occasion. Unpack once to visit some of the best beaches in Hawaii, and embark on your next tropical excursion with Princess.