Best beaches on Hawaii's Kauai, Big Island, Lanai and Molokai islands
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(swimming, snorkelling, bodyboarding, surfing, body surfing, windsurfing
Hanalei Bay on the north shore is a large circular bay, with more
than 2 miles of clean white sandy beach backed by mountains, said
to be the most scenic setting in the Hawaii islands. It is also
one of the best recreation beaches in the island. Loads of ocean
activities include kayaking and sailing. There are 3 beach parks
with facilities in this bay, Black Pot Beach Park, Hanalei Pavilion
Beach Park, and Waiolli Beach Park. The beach is exposed to high
surf during the winter. Beware strong currents. Photo.
The tropical-looking Kee Beach, located at the western end of Na
Pali Coast State Park on the North shore of Kauai, is the best snorkeling
spot in the island. Its shallow lagoon offers great swimming, especially
for families with children. The beach can have high surf during
the winter, sometimes summer as well. Beware strong currents. Photo.
(swimming, snorkelling, bodyboarding, surfing)
Kauai island is loaded with unspoiled beaches, some secluded and
only accessible by boat (such as Honopu Beach or Kipu Kai Beach).
Poipu Beach Park is not only one of the great Hawaii beaches, but
it is also packed with things to do and places to see. It is known
for its unique shape and excellent swimming beach, especially for
families with small children, because the lava borders create a
sheltered pool with still, shallow water. A few blocks from Poipu
Plantation is good for snorkelling due to the calm, clear waters
and plenty of colourful fish . Because of its popularity, this coral
beach can be crowded. Beware high surf during summer. A more isolated
place, a couple of miles east is Mahalepu Beach with a wild beauty.
Swimming is not quite as easy as Poipu Beach, but the views are
Secret Beach, Kauapea, is absolutely gorgeous but quite tricky to get to (15 minutes walk down a dirt road off 'one' (south or east!) of the Kalihiwai Roads, near Kilauea town) and the surf/sea is VERY powerful and unsafe. (Photo at top of page).
Big Island (Hawai'i)
Hapuna Beach, Big Island
Beach State Recreation Area
(swimming, snorkelling, body surfing, surfing)
Hapuna Beach is one of the longest, widest (200 feet) sandy beaches
and the most popular beach on the island, especially with bodysurfers
and bodyboarders. Excellent public facilities and lifeguards on
duty every day. The high surf period is winter months. It is along
Queen Kaahumanu Highway (No. 19).
Waikoloa beach, Anaeho'omalu
Bay (swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, windsurfing, scuba diving)
Waikoloa in Anaeho'omalu Bay is one of the best
recreational beaches on Big Island, excellent for swimming, snorkeling,
diving and windsurfing. Even during the high surf of winter, unlike
many places in Hawaii the beach stays calm because it is protected
by a reef, and does not endanger swimmers near the shore. Offshore
is quite challenging for expert windsurfers.
There is a more secluded beach, Kapalaoa, on the south of the bay.
Take Waikoloa Beach Drive off from Queen Kaahumanu Highway.
(swimming, snorkelling, surfing, scuba diving)
Lana'i used to be Hawaii's sleepy little island for nature lovers
and hikers, but in the last decade it has become an exclusive resort
for the rich, especially golfers. This crescent-shaped white sandy
beach is not just the only beach on the south coast and easily accessible,
but also the best swimming beach on the island.
It's popular with local bodysurfers and surfers.
Hulope Beach takes 15 minutes by car from Lana'i City and there's no public transport on the island. Other Lanai beaches
are more than an hour's drive, and in some case require 4WD.
Beach Park, Molokai
(with care, in season - swimming, body surfing, surfing)
Papohaku Beach a wonderful, massive, natural beach backed by lush greenery. It is wide, three miles long and sees very few visitors, probably because it's also remote, offers little shade and no facilities. The beach has no reef so there is high surf
most of the time, but it may be OK for swimming and snorkelling in
calm summer months.
Flights: domestic flights operate frequently between Honolulu (Oahu)
and Lihue (Kauai), Kahului (Maui), Kona and Hilo (Big Island).
Ferries: there are also inter-island ferries between Lahaina (Maui)
and Manele (Lanai), and Lahaina and Kaunakakai (Molokai).
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