Hapuna Beach is a postcard snapshot of what a beach can be – it's world famous for a magnificent half-mile sweep of white powder sand and fabulously clear waters. In summer, waves are calm and allow good swimming, snorkeling and diving. When the surf's up in winter, bodyboarding is awesome, thanks to reliable swells from the northwest. In general, Hapuna waters are too choppy for tots or nonswimmers. Waves over 3ft should be left for experts; drownings are not uncommon here.

The restrooms and picnic area at this state recreation area can be crowded and, at worst, grungy. Lifeguards are on duty. For nonresidents, parking costs $5 per vehicle.

To get here, take Hapuna Beach Rd just south of Mile 69. Arrive early to snag a parking space and a good spot. Bring industrial-strength sunscreen because there's virtually no shade.