With approximately 750 miles of coastline, one might be surprised to learn that Hawaii is fourth in terms of states with the longest coastlines – behind Alaska, Florida and California. But where we lack in terms of coastal miles, we more than make up for with a plethora of stunning, secret spots along the coast. From tide pools and beautiful beaches to geological formations carved from ancient lava flows, here are 15 of our favorite secrets of the Hawaiian coast.
1. Halona Cove
Situated between Halona Point and the Halona Blowhole, this small rocky cove is perfectly picturesque, and has been featured in films like Pirates of the Caribbean and 50 First Dates. Despite its Hollywood fame, the only way to reach the stunning cove is via a rocky and slightly treacherous hike.
2. Kapalua Coastal Trail
Walk along the ocean’s edge from Kapalua Bay Beach, across Oneloa Bay’s sand dunes, through the Ritz-Carlton resort, and end at the popular D.R. Fleming Beach Park on this gorgeous Maui coastal trail.
3. Kauai's Secret Beach + Lava Pools
Watch the whales and professional surfers in the winter, and snorkel in the lava pools during the calmer summer months. Oh, and be sure to continue your journey around the rock cliff to rinse off in the nearby waterfall.
4. Kamehame Beach
Situated on Hawaii Island's southeastern coast, Kamehame Beach is one of the country's foremost nesting sites for the Hawksbill turtle and honu. The beach is an official turtle-breeding site, so the only guaranteed access is through volunteering with a turtle-monitoring program.
5. Laie Point State Wayside
Off the beaten path, on Oahu’s northeastern tip, is Laie Point State Wayside, a small point that juts into the Pacific Ocean and offers up an incredible vista of the Ko’olau mountain range.
6. Maui’s Dragon Teeth
These volcanic formations are found on the edge of the Ritz’s golf course. The jagged, gray rocks were formed hundreds of years ago when wind gusts from the ocean forced lava to harden towards the sky. This intriguing scenery looks like something out of a science fiction or fantasy novel, does it not?
7. Kalihiwai Beach
This ironwood-lined crescent shaped bay located on Kauai's northern shore is simply stunning. Don’t forget to check out the brackish pools located behind the beach near the stream.
8. Ahalanui Hot Pond
Within this Big Island park is a spring-fed volcanic hot spring that maintains a balmy 90 degrees year-round. This is a popular spot amongst locals, but it often goes unnoticed by visitors.
9. Kauai’s Glass Beach
Located in Hanapepe, near Port Allen Harbor, is this incredible beach covered with millions of sea glass pebbles in brilliant hues of aqua, blue and brown. The glass found at this beach was mainly from broken bottles and auto glass that was dumped years ago, and then smoothed by time and ocean tides. The beach is pretty difficult to find, but it is heaven for lovers of sea glass.
10. Oahu's Heart Rock
Located on Oahu’s leeward shore is this beautiful heart carved into the rock. We can’t tell you exactly where it is, but if you explore the rocky coastline near Kaena Point State Park, you might just be lucky enough to find this coastal gem.
11. Wailua Falls
Located on the Hana Highway between mile markers 44 and 45, you will find the enchanting Wailua Falls. Viewable from the bridge, Wailua Falls flows from the Hanawai Stream and into the ocean below.
12. Mokuleia Beach
Located on the remote northwestern shore of Oahu, just past Haleiwa, is this secluded beach – the nearest store and restrooms are more than ten miles away. The bright blue water is almost always choppy, and green sea turtles tend to hang out on the shore during the summer. In fact, this beach is so secluded that it was used in filming the first season of Lost.
13. Molokai’s Sea Cliffs
Towering at more than 3,500 feet on Molokai's north shore are these impressive sea cliffs inaccessible via land. Viewable via boat or helicopter tour, these are among the tallest sea cliffs in the world.
14. Nakalele Blowhole
Located on Maui’s northeastern coast is the Nakalele Point Blowhole, a stunning display of water shooting nearly 100 feet in the air. Due to its geyser-like attributes and unpredictable conditions based on the tides, standing too close to the blowhole could be deadly.
15. Spitting Caves
Located on Oahu’s southeastern shore are these picturesque Spitting Caves, found below a high cliff where waves crash underneath and shoot into the cave, ejecting the water like a reverse blowhole.
What are your favorite secrets of the Hawaiian coastline? Sound off on our Only In Hawaii Facebook page.