The Hawaiian Islands are home to some of the greatest beaches in the world. While we are happy to visit any of our islands’ incredible beaches, there are some beaches with warm turquoise waters that are a cut above the rest. From Kauai’s north shore and Oahu’s windward coast to Hawaii Island’s Kealakekua Bay, these 15 beaches are home to the clearest, most pristine water in the state.
1. Lanikai Beach
With powder-soft, white sand, magnificent turquoise, clear water, and swaying palm trees, Lanikai Beach is an absolute paradise – if you can catch the beach during a low-traffic period, that is. You should also check out Lanikai's neighbor, Kailua Beach.
2. Pa'ako Cove
Also known as Secret Cove, this small – but gorgeous – stretch of sand is nestled between two homes in a southern Maui neighborhood. The cove is a popular spot for wedding ceremonies, but if you arrive early enough, you might have the stretch of sand to yourself.
3. Hanalei Bay
This near-perfect semi-circle of white sand is located on Kauai’s north shore and is two miles long, 125 feet wide, and surrounded by majestic mountains. The bay is perfect for watersports of all kinds, and the stunning 300-foot long Hanalei Pier is perfect for fishing – or jumping off for a nice swim.
4. Kealakekua Bay
Hawaii Island’s beautiful reef-filled Kealakekua Bay is one of the state’s most historic bays, and a known dolphin hangout. The bay is also home to the famous Captain Cook monument, and crystalline waters.
5. Kahe Point Beach Park
Known as Electric Beach by locals, this stretch of ocean features warm waters from the neighboring power plant, which draws sea life - and snorkelers - to Oahu’s leeward coast.
6. Kaanapali Beach
Once the vacation retreat of choice for Hawaiian royalty, today Kaanapali is one of the island’s most popular expanses of white sands, surrounded by luxury hotels and resorts.
7. Tunnels Beach
With enticing turquoise waters, a plethora a of sea life, and the mountains of the Na Pali coast behind you, there’s no questioning why Tunnel’s is one of the most popular snorkeling destinations on Kauai.
8. Manini'owali Beach
Manini’owali, or Kua Bay as it is often called by the locals, is a secluded and small white sand beach with turquoise water located near the Kona airport. The beach is a popular spot for body surfing, or catching a signature Hawaiian sunset.
9. Ke'e Beach
Located on Kauai’s Na Pali Coast, Ke’e Beach is perhaps one of the most picturesque beaches on this list. It was also ranked as the sixth best beach in America by the Huffington Post.
10. 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 it’s Hollywood fame, the only way to reach the stunning cove is via a rocky and slightly treacherous hike, so it is often pretty secluded.
11. Poipu Beach Park
Approximately 1,000 feet long and 50 feet wide, this popular beach on Kauai’s southern shore is known for the small boulder breakwater that creates a protected pool-like area perfect for small children. Outside this swimming area are ideal wave conditions for surfers and body boarders.
12. Honolua Bay
While Honolua Bay is one of Maui’s most popular snorkeling destinations, the turquoise water in this Marine Life Conservation District also makes for an out of this world kayaking excursion.
13. Hulopoe Beach Park
This picturesque beach, located on Lanai’s southern coast, is the most famous stretch of sand on this small island. This protected beach offers ideal swimming and snorkeling conditions, and, during low tide, the eastern side of the bay is home to several large volcanic rock tide pools full of sea life.
14. Lumahai Beach
With crystalline water, Lumahai beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on Kauai, but is also one of the most dangerous. The steep sand slope creates a strong undertow and powerful waves that break on the sand. The conditions at this picturesque beach are best enjoyed during the summer months.
15. Maluaka Beach
Just south of Wailea at the end of Makena Road is Maluaka, a beach with clear waters and a plethora of honu and other sea life, perfect for snorkelers.