Which are the best beaches in Hawaii? TripAdvisor answers that question for 2021 based on reader input. Let us know if you agree. TripAdvisor looked at the top 25 beaches in the United States, and here’s what they found. This year, six Hawaii beaches made the cut. Four are on Maui, followed by Oahu and Kauai, with one on each island. Sorry Big Island, this was not your year which we say is a miss.
Our question to you: Would any of these be at the top of your list of best beaches in Hawaii?
Kaanapali Beach, Lahaina Maui (#2)
Moving up from #3 last year, you can stretch out on an amazing three miles of beautiful sand and the turquoise ocean on what was and has remained a most popular vacation refuge. A concrete path runs its entire length. There are five free parking lots. The north end is best near Black Rock, and the south end has a reef that can be uncomfortable on your feet.
This is a great spot to see humpback whales in season. Enjoy the iconic cliff divers at Black Rock (Puu Kekaa) every sunset. You can stay nearby at one of the many hotels and condos that now line Kaanapali, which was Hawaii’s very first planned resort community. Also on hand is great shopping and dining and a plethora of activities. In normal times you’ll find yourself in a crowd of frolickers, that’s for sure.
Wailea Beach, Maui (#4)
Moving up from #14 last year and the lead photo at the top. Calm waters and excellent swimming are highlights of this crescent sand beach fronting the Grand Wailea. Great for snorkeling when calm and during morning hours. Excellent boogie boarding at the far south side.
Wailea has grown tremendously over the years to become the most popular destination on Maui, in part due to the natural beauty, as well as great accommodations, shopping, and dining.
Napili Beach, Maui (#6)
Up from #10 in 2020, this great and generally uncrowded beach on West Maui, perfect for whale watching in season and beautiful views stretching to Molokai. Swimming, snorkeling, and boarding are dependent on conditions, and it is always a perfect sunning beach. Always enjoyable, from sunrise to sunset. It does not get much afternoon wind, and the offshore waters are sandy. Access via Hui Drive and Napili Place.
Wai’anapanapa State Park, Maui (#8)
Beat of Hawaii says, “Nice stop on the Hana Highway near the town, and the state park cabins here are a good albeit rustic deal.” This is along a remote volcanic coastline. Black sand is one of the unforgettable things here, where you’ll also find great picnicking and the ancient Hawaiian coastal trail to Hana. Seabirds abound.
Kailua Beach, Oahu (#10)
A favorite of ours features unforgettably blue water and a broad, silky sand beach. Considered by many in your comments as one of the best beaches on Oahu. It’s a favorite for local families and visitors alike, especially on weekends. Typically calm water and tree-shaded. with a large park including pavilions for picnics. A popular kiteboarding and windsurfing location.
Poipu Beach, Kauai (#22)
Nearby Beat of Hawaii HQ, the iconic South Shore Kauai beach offers sunbathing, picnicking, swimming, surfing, fishing, snorkeling, bodyboarding, and more. This quintessentially popular crescent beach offers clear blue water and frequent Hawaiian monk seals, and green sea turtles. There’s a rock-lined wading pool for the Keiki and shade under trees to keep cool. This a spot where humpback whale-watching off-shore is possible in winter.
Your Turn – What Beaches Were Missed on Your List?