Hawaii is home to some of the most breathtaking beaches in the country – and perhaps even the world. With approximately 750 miles of coastline, the Hawaiian Islands are home to countless incredible beaches, but not all beaches are created equal, especially when it comes to swimming. From Oahu’s north shore to unprotected Maui bays, these 13 beaches all have one thing in common: they are best experienced in the summer months when ocean conditions are more favorable. You’ll love snorkeling, sunbathing, and swimming at these 13 Hawaiian beaches tailor-made for summer.
1. Secret Beach, Kauai
Nestled on Kauai’s northern coast between Kilauea Lighthouse and Kalihiwai Valley is Kauapea Beach, a striking slice of paradise known for its size, seclusion, and surreal beauty. Often referred to as Secret Beach to locals and tourists alike, this stunning stretch of sand is undoubtedly hard to access, but that’s what makes it amazing.
2. Shark's Cove, Oahu
Sharks Cove is known for its crystalline water, impressive sea life, positively enchanting tide pools, and epic snorkeling. Despite its name, you won’t find dangerous sharks in this protected cove: the picturesque snorkeling spot received its name from a popular story that says the outline of the reef outside the cove looks like the silhouette of a shark from above. However, the area surrounding the cove is home to white-tipped reef sharks.
3. Ho'okipa Beach, Maui
Boasting some of the best windsurfing waves along the Maui Coast, Ho’okipa is a mecca for water sports. Luckily, if you’re not so adventurous, there is plenty of sand to simply lay out and enjoy the views.
4. Kua Bay, Hawaii Island
Manini’owali, or Kua Bay as it is often called by the locals, is a secluded and small white sand beach located near the Kona airport. The beach is a popular spot for bodysurfing or just catching a signature Hawaiian sunset.
5. Polihale Beach, Kauai
This remote, wild beach on Kauai’s western coast is located at the end of a long dirt road off Kuamuali’i Highway. The beach is the largest stretch of sand in Hawaii and is often overlooked for more accessible beaches despite the fact that it is one of the most idyllic camping spots in all of
6. Waimea Bay, Oahu
The famous Waimea Bay is a popular spot for boogie boarding and cliff jumping in the summer, as well as a haven for surfers of all skill levels during the winter months. The iconic bay even plays host to the famous Quicksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational, perhaps the most prestigious event in surfing, that is only held when ocean conditions are perfect.
7. Hamoa Beach, Maui
Located on the famous Hana Highway, this crescent-shaped beach was once the lip of a small volcano and is easily one of Hawaii’s best beaches. Approximately 1,000 feet long, 100 feet wide, and surrounded by striking cliffs, Hamoa Beach is the perfect summer hangout.
8. Hapuna Beach, Hawaii Island
Located on the Big Island’s Kohala Coast, Hapuna beach is a half-mile crescent of stunning powder-soft sand and crystalline water. The beach is a popular spot for swimming, snorkeling and bodysurfing, especially during the summer months.
9. Tunnels Beach, Kauai
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.
10. Sunset Beach, Oahu
With gnarly waves in the winter months and calmer surf in the summer, Sunset Beach is located on Oahu’s north shore and is aptly named — the sunsets from this popular beach are second to none.
11. Honolua Bay, Maui
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.
12. Waialea Bay, Hawaii Island
On the western coast of Hawaii Island, the beach is free from development and protected by shade trees. When the water is calm, you will find that this striking bay is home to excellent snorkeling.
13. Ke'e Beach, Kauai
Located in Haena State Park, Ke'e Beach marks the end of the Kuhio Highway, the furthest you can drive on Kauai's north shore. A protected reef makes this an idyllic spot for snorkeling and swimming during the summer.
How many of these incredible Hawaii beaches have you visited? Share your favorite summer hangouts in the comments below, and then check out
our ultimate Hawaii beach bucket list!