The Hawaiian Islands are ultimately known for one thing: the phenomenal beaches that stretch on for miles. While we love our Hawaiian beaches as much as the next person, we also love the charming beachside towns that have formed near some of the world’s greatest beaches. From tiny towns with less than 500 residents to booming communities of more than 40,000 residents, here are 10 beautiful beach towns you’ve got to visit – for the pristine beaches, and the lovely towns.
This historic Maui town is full of incredible shops and restaurants, a generous heap of local surf culture, and some killer Bohemian vibes. As the main hub of Maui’s north shore, Paia has undoubtedly experienced waves of change in the last several decades, but it still is overflowing with the energy of its plantation past.
Known as the gateway to Oahu’s north shore, Haleiwa is home to various surf shops, beautiful art galleries, charming boutiques and some of the best restaurants around. The Anahulu River makes Haleiwa an incredible place to try SUP or kayaking, and you can’t miss Matsumoto’s Shave Ice.
Rich in Hawaiian culture and history is Hawaii Island’s Kailua-Kona, a lively seaside town full of boutiques, art galleries, souvenir shops and magnificent restaurants with plenty of outdoors seating. If you have any free time while exploring Kailua-Kona, be sure to check out the nearby Kona Coffee Region.
On Maui’s sunny southwest shore is Kihei, a beautiful little town home to six miles of magnificent beaches. Once a popular destination for vacationing Hawaiian royalty, Kihei is ideal for both lazy days on the beach and bustling nightlife – from karaoke bars and dance clubs to sports bars and restaurants.
Located on Kauai’s north shore is the magnificent Hanalei, made famous for its appearance in the award-winning musical, South Pacific. Overflowing with local history and charm, Hanalei is home to stellar views of Kauai’s taro fields, various art galleries and historic sites, as well as fresh air and the beautiful Hanalei Bay.
Located on Oahu’s windward shore is the breathtaking – and award-winning – Kailua Beach and historic Kailua Town. The beach is a haven for water sports enthusiasts, and an influx of residents and visitors alike have caused real estate prices to skyrocket. But there’s still a sort of charm in this bustling community – and the adjacent beach’s crystal turquoise waters and white sand.
With plenty of plantation-style architecture and historic storefronts, Hilo is much rainier than the Big Island’s Kona Coast, and as a result, you will see more residents than tourists while visiting. While in this charming town, be sure to check out Rainbow Falls, Wailuku River State Park, the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens, Banyan Drive, and if it’s raining, the Pacific Tsunami Museum.
Once the original seat of Hawaiian monarch and King Kamehameha the Great’s royal playground, this beachside oasis is full of history – and natural beauty. For a quintessential day in Lahaina, park on Front Street and explore the town’s surf shops, art galleries, fishing charters, and boat tours – and don’t forget to stay to watch a magical Hawaiian sunset.
Guarded by the “Sleeping Giant,” Kapa’a is one of the most densely populated areas on Kauai. This quaint seaside town is home to beautiful beaches, incredible hiking trails, fun restaurants and bars, and charming art galleries, boutiques and yoga studios.
While Kahului serves as Maui’s retail and business center, it is not devoid of all fun – the city is, in fact, home to countless beautiful beaches, museums, art galleries and eateries. Kahului is located nearby the lush and serene Iao Valley, and is home to Maui’s main airport. Spend a day exploring the area at the beginning or end of your Maui vacation – it will not disappoint!
Tell us, how many of these charming Hawaiian towns have you visited? What other towns are missing from this list?