Hawaii's beaches come in a rainbow of hues and textures – with sand that's white, black, charcoal, green and orange, or scattered with sea glass and boulders, and cratered with lava-rock tide pools.
So where to start? Here are some of the best beaches in Hawaii.
This famous strand of sand is one of the best beaches on Oʻahu, and it moves to a rhythm of Hawaiian music at beachfront high-rises and resorts.
In this jungle of modern hotels and malls, you can, surprisingly, still hear whispers of Hawaii’s past, from the hula troupes at Kuhio Beach to the legacy of Olympic gold medalist Duke Kahanamoku.
For a long day on the beach, it’s hard to beat this 800ft, crescent-shaped strip at the southwestern tip of Kapalua.
Long rocky outcrops at both ends of the bay make it the safest year-round swimming spot on this coast. You’ll find colorful snorkeling on the right side of the beach, with abundant tropical fish.
Crescent-shaped Kaunaʻoa Bay (nicknamed "Mauna Kea Beach" after Rockefeller built his landmark hotel on it) is one of the best beaches on the Big Island.
Blanketed in powdery white sand, the beach lines clear waters that are calm and shallow (generally less than 10ft). Snorkeling is best at the north end along the rocky ledge.
A perfect crescent of golden sand lines the two-mile stretch of beautiful Hanalei Bay. It’s divided into four named sections, though as you walk you can’t tell where one ends and the next begins.
Each offers different conditions for swimming and surfing, so don’t assume it’s safe to enter the ocean anywhere along the continuous strip.