Hawaii’s top five beaches (you’ve probably never heard of)

Trying to narrow down for clients where they will find the best beaches on their Hawaiian vacation is almost like attempting to pinpoint for them the best patisseries in Paris — there is something spectacular to discover at almost every one.

So instead of creating a list to try and decipher where Hawaii’s five best beaches could possibly be, here are five very special beaches your clients might not know about.

And for good measure we’ve added one more, to create a list naming one beach on each of Hawaii’s six glorious islands.


Hawaii Island: Papakolea Beach (Green Sand Beach).

Yes, you read that right. There are only four green sand beaches in the world and The Big Island is where you’ll find one of them. Papakolea Beach can thank past volcano eruptions (from a now dormant volcano) for its green sand, which gets its colour from olivine crystals. Green Sand Beach is an isolated spot, found at the southern tip of Hawaii Island, and getting there is an adventure all its own. Driving to Papakolea requires some serious off-roading, or another option is to hike the two-and-a-half miles.



Maui: Launiupoko Beach Park.

This one’s a local favourite found just south of Lahaina. What makes this beach great is the presence of a natural pool created by lava rock that is perfect for young children ready to splash in the ocean. This beach also boasts the kind of well-formed break surfers are often after and a killer view of the island of Lanai.


Kauai: Kealia Beach.

Kealia Beach’s long sand bar bottom makes this a beach for travellers ready to hit the waves. In the winter months Kealia Beach gives beach goers the opportunity to do a bit of multi-tasking by getting in some time for whale-watching while soaking up the sun. Located on the East Side of Kauai, not all of Kealia Beach provides ideal swimming waters, which is why swimmers are advised to stick to the north end.


Oahu: Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve.

When your clients staying on the South Shore are ready for some time away from Waikiki Beach, one option that’s sure to please is Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. On top of meeting all the marks on most beach-lovers’ checklists, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is Oahu’s most popular snorkeling destination. This stunning cove has gone through an important restoration project in order to bring its delicate eco-system back into balance. It is the first Marine Life Conservation District in Hawaii and travellers are cautioned to take great care while enjoying the waters and beaches here. Once they have the opportunity to swim out and explore reefs packed with vibrant fish it will be easy to see why protecting this space is so crucial.



Molokai: Papaohaku Beach.

Who knew one of Hawaii’s largest white sand beaches could be found on Maui’s smaller sister island, Molokai? Also known as Three Mile Beach, visitors may be able to enjoy a view of Oahu from Papaohaku but this beach is a far cry from busy Waikiki. Though Papaohaku offers an assortment of amenities, including campsites, indoor and outdoor showers, picnic and restroom facilities, visitors can also really kick-back here and experience the joy of having an 100-yard wide beach (almost) all to themselves.


Lanai: Kaiolohia (Shipwreck Beach).

Let’s face it. With only 18 miles of shoreline and a sprinkle of beaches across the whole island, there isn’t a sandy spot on Lanai that won’t be unheard of to most Canadian travellers. With strong currents and winds, this isn’t a beach for swimming. Getting to Kaiolohia will require an off-road adventure and clients won’t find restroom facilities there, but what they will find is a rusted World War II ship to marvel at off the coast.

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