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Discover Hawaii’s top 5 beaches. Hawaiian beaches are world-famous for many reasons. The shores around Hawaii are home to some of the best surfing, snorkeling, and swimming our blue globe has to offer. It’s no wonder that tourists around the world flock to Hawaii for its beautiful beaches and colorful underwater seascapes all year round. Here are our top picks for the best in Hawaii beaches to visit on your next trip.

It was hard to narrow down this list to just five beaches. But we feel these five beaches are well-rounded in discovering the best of Hawaii’s beaches.

  1. Kaanapali Beach, Maui
  2. North Shore, Oahu
  3. Lanikai, Oahu
  4. Punalu’u Beach, The Big Island
  5. Waikiki Beach, Oahu

This list was created from our own personal experiences and from conversations from you guys. However, we realize there are many more incredible beaches in Hawaii.

Get our Top 10 Beaches in Hawaii here

What is your favorite beach? Let us know in the comments below.

To stay up to date on future episodes be sure to hit the subscribe button.




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    Hawaii has some of the most incredible beaches in all the world, so it was really hard to narrow down a list of just five to give you guys. But today, on Hawaii's best, we're going to give you the top five beaches in Hawaii. Aloha. Welcome to Hawaii's best podcasts. Learn the stories behind Hawaii's best experiences. Influencers and businesses discover everything that makes Hawaii the Aloha State and now your host, Brian Murphy.
    Hello and welcome to episode number 22 of Hawaii's best I'm Your House, Bryan Murphy, and I just want to say Thank you so much for joining us today, You know, here on Hawaii's best, we explore Hawaii's best experiences, businesses and influencers, and we get to hear the story from the people behind them and to stay at the date on future episodes. I want to encourage you to hit that subscribe button and drop a review in a reigning below. That helps other people who love Hawaii just like you be able to find this conversation. And like I mentioned today, we're talking all about the top five beaches in Hawaii. But before we dive into that, I want to share more about today's sponsor of this episode, and that is Shaka Guide. You probably heard me talk about Shaka Guide before, but Shaka Guide is an app, and it uses your GPS to guide you to amazing places along your way on Hawaii and Shaka Guide has many different types of guides and tours. It's an automatic kind of turn by turn direction, and and it means to get you to your destination. And what's cool about it is I've got to experience shock a guy first town on the West side of Maui. It was really rad just driving around being on a place that you have before. But here's some of the history behind some of the locations like in Lahaina and Kaanapali, and it was just a cool kind of guided tour. I don't know about you, but I'm not a huge fan of tour guys and get on the bus and having to stop where everybody needs to stop or where you're supposed to stop. I like just going where I want to go and shock a guy. It allows you to do that, and along the way it gives you some really cool history, but it guys you to some of Hawaii's most iconic spots. So as yourself got a tour, it gives you the freedom to explore Hawaiian islands. And you know where to stop in what to do when you stop. So, in talking with Andrew, who runs Shaka Guide, he was generous to give Hawaii's best listeners Ah, free tour. So it's a free tour of the South Side of Oahu, and all you gotta do is go to live Hawaii's best dot com slash shaka, and you'll be able to download the app right there. So go to live Hawaii's best dot com Shaka and download Shaka Guide today and you can get a free tour of Oahu's South Side.
    Well, I could mention today we are talking about Hawaii's top five beaches, and this was super hard to try to narrow down. But I think we did a pretty good job. I want to share with you just right of the top. What those five beaches are, some of you probably heard of, maybe some you haven't in no particular order. We placed in as Kaanapali Beach in Maui, north shore of Oahu. Number two Lana Chi on Oahu. Number three Putin Blue Beach on the Big Island was number four and, of course, number five. Why keep Oahu as number five? So Number one Kaanapali Beach in Maui? Basically, Kaanapali Beach has everything. It's kind of like Waikiki. So if you've been the Waikiki and you kind of know what it's about, you can learn how to surf. You can sign up for sailing, store, clean boat excursions, kayaking, luau, surf lessons, all that stuff, right? What's really cool about kind of Ali is that you can do all that there, but it doesn't have the huge crowds, as Waikiki does now. Kaanapali is kind of a stretch where there's a lot of hotels in and spas, resorts and whatnot, but it's not as crowded as Waikiki. You still have the tourist five and all that stuff in those amenities. But you can also do some of those things that Hawaii is don't for obviously amazing surf, water and the amazing beach when we're hanging out. The Western really cool about Kaanapali is that right across the walkway from the resorts is the beach as compared to like Waikiki. You gotta cross a street in order to get over to the beach. Right on the beach are the resorts. So that's kind of a cool thing. So if you run now, you're definitely gonna want to check out kind of a poly beached on the west side, tons of places to stay there, Definitely a tourist kind of resort location. It also gives you great views of Malli. When you think about Maui, you think about you got Molokai E. And you have Lana he staring out from Kaanapali Beach. And this is also a kn epic place to do some whale watching. So if you're on Mellie, definitely check out. Kind of probably beach on the west side. Number two, North Shore Wahoo. If you're looking for like, world class waves, North Shore of Oahu is a place to go. So it's it's it's a seven mile beach that hosts some amazing wave competitions during the wintertime. So they're really see the North Shore in all his glory. Huge waves and the surf competition's really is gonna happen between the months of November and February are the best times to catch some of the big wave surfing. Now, these ways could be massive like up to 30 feet or more, and it's even dangerous for experienced surfers. So it kind of goes without saying if it looks crazy, if it looks gnarly, don't go out and just kind of a rule of thumb. L reference this later on in the episode. Just kind of some tips when going to the beaches in Why you? Because they are definitely different than probably some of the beaches that you may be used used to always go to a beach that has a lifeguard posted, and another tip is to never turn your back on the ocean, the ocean and the waves and why e. R. A bit unpredictable and a wave could just sneak up on you and just kind of face plant you into the sand so this be always cautious and have fun. But just be safe as well. What's really cool about the North Shore is that from like May to September, the waves have subsided, and what was an incredible like surf paradise of these huge waves turns into this tranquil atmosphere of you could still serve, but it's also a bit more safer to go out and swim, So no show in a while who is about an hour drive from Waikiki. It's a beautiful drive. You go up the, Ah, the windward side that the east side of the island or through the middle of the island especially be going up H three. That drive is incredible. There a couple of ways to get up to the North Shore from Waikiki, and along the way you're gonna find some really cool spots to to stop in local spots to, ah, to get a bite. But I really love about the vibe of the North Shore on Oahu is the vibe in the pace of it all, especially when you're coming out of Waikiki, Honolulu. It feels like L. A in Paradise, and it's kind of it's kind of this Jack's position, which is pretty interesting. But when you get to the North Shore, it feels like, Ah, this is Hawaii. This is what people talk about. So you got experience, especially if you're staying on a while, who make sure you check out the North Shore for its beaches, but also just for its incredible atmosphere and vibe up there. So maybe if you're going up the east side of Oahu, you're gonna want to stop at Atlantic I and Atlantic. How you've probably seen if you follow Hawaii's best on instagram Hawaii's DOT Best, you probably see, is posting a lot of shots of these two islets, these two little islands of this beach and the beach Islamic I. It is probably one of the most pristine beaches. Turquoise water, pristine sands, calm waves, you know, tropical plants and coconut trees. The whole thing, like when you think about Hawaii in a beach Atlantic, I is pretty much the poster card version of Ah, Hawaiian Beach. It's no coincidence that is called an acai because Lana Kai translates to Heavenly Ocean is such a fitting name for such a beautiful place. Those islands that are off the shore, there's two islands. They're called Ooh mocha Lou Islands And you can actually go on a kayak tour to those islands. And that's epic. I haven't done it, but I know my wife has, and it's such a awesome journey. Just take it out there and to give back. But it's totally doable, and it's, um, it's super fun. So traveling over to the big island of Hawaii, this is the probably most famous black sand beach is called Honolulu Beach, and it also is home for endangered green sea turtles. The speech is one of the few areas that the turtles choose to lay their eggs. So if you happen to come across a turtle, you have to keep your distance and let them be. But to take in the beauty of this nature and this incredible creature, it's something that is pretty rare because sea turtles almost never hang out on the beach. And only there's only several species of green sea turtles that do this. And this happens to be one of the few locations really on entire globe. And like you mentioned, you come across a sea turtle. Just a few tips never touch. Hey, Turtle, that probably goes without saying I never feed the turtles and is recommended that you stay at least 10 feet from the sea turtles, if not more. Keeping safety in mind and moving away from the animal is super important, but most importantly, enjoy these beautiful creatures because seeing these incredible sea turtles out on the beach is probably like a once in a lifetime opportunity. So enjoy that moment. If he happened to come across it so kind of back to the beach. Polio is a black sand beach, and it's an expansive and easily accessible beach is a great place to go for a swim, snorkel or hike camping. You have to have a permit, though, if you're gonna camp there or to stop for a picnic. Now, one thing to keep in mind. If you do go for a swim, you're gonna want to be careful because there can be strong currents at times. So always bring water shoes, especially on a black sand beach, because it can get hot pretty quickly. I mean, because it is small fragments of lava so it can get hot. It could also be painful to walk on. Having some water shoes is definitely a good way to still enjoy the beach, but also to not hurt yourself at the same time. So win win. Now back over to Oahu, number five to wrap up this list, and you can also go to the show notes. And I've also linked blocos where you can see even more of Hawaii's best beaches because again there's just so many and it's hard to choose five, but number five is going to be a Waikiki beach, and that's on the island of Wahoo is home to lose most popular beach. You probably heard of Waikiki. It was once kind of a playground for Hawaiian royalty. And when you step on Waikiki, you can see why. I mean this the white sand beach you have Diamond Head Crater in the background is that iconic Hawaii pitcher, white sand beach, the blue water and diamond head in the background like you've seen on the post cars. I'm looking at it right now. I have this whole wiII poster in my office, and that's ah, happens to be the pitcher. So back. Let's see a little history lesson here. Back in the 18 eighties, a few small hotels opened up there, and one of the first beach resorts there was called San Souci. I think I'm pronouncing that correctly is French for without worries, really, since the beginning of hotels and homes coming to Waikiki back in the 18 hundreds, those homes in those hotels they were built, you know, way too close to the natural shoreline since then. If you're around Waikiki, you probably see, you know they're seawalls. There's, um, some erosion. You know, even some of the sand gets brought in from other islands like Milwaukee, where some stand actually gets gets shipped over to fill in some of the sand there on Waikiki. Waikiki is one of those places you got to do it. I mean, you have to experience it at least at least once, right? Just to like just to say, I went to Waikiki and I got to experience the beach that everybody talks about. But personally, I can only take Waikiki so much. I mean, it is crowded lot of tourists there, and that's totally fine. Like when I talk to people. And they only stayed around Waikiki Honolulu area, and they're only impression of Hawaii. Was was that, like Hawaii is so much more than Waikiki, Honolulu, Diamondhead. I mean, those are all incredible places, and you got to experience it at least once. But to really explore the islands, you're gonna need to get out there, and you're gonna need to get lost a little bit because Hawaii is meant to be discovered. Hawaii is meant to be enjoyed and treasured, and there's something special about getting out into nature. And there's something special about hiking somewhere in experiencing a view that was earned because of the Heike. You can't get that in Waikiki, but you got experience at least once, right? So I hope this list has helped you. I do want to leave you guys with a few just reminders and tips when it comes to ocean safety, because this stuff is is super important. When it comes to swimming in the beaches of Hawaii. Like you mentioned, always go to a beach that is staffed by lifeguards. If you're from Southern California, the waves and the way the water acts is completely different than in Hawaii. It can get pretty scary pretty quickly. If you're not paying attention like you mentioned, never turn your back to the ocean and always look for posted beach hazard rating size. You know, growing up here in in Southern California, go into a beach like Huntington. You see some of that hazard raising rating signs like, you know, um, blackball whatever, and you kind of roll your eyes a little bit like Okay. Ah, you don't go out. Whatever but the surf and the beaches in Hawaii, you have to heed those warnings and those closures like like 4/3 there for a reason. It's unfortunate hearing some of the stories about how people get in trouble and get stuck during the wintertime. There's always life card rescue, especially on the North Shore of professional experience surfers. So that should tell you something, too. Enjoy it, but always cautiously. He enjoy and be on your toes when you step into the water. And also, I got to say, as a reminder to always pick up your trash. So whatever you bring with you, I know it sounds pretty elementary, but you'd be surprised at how many beach pickups there are and how much trash there is at some of these beaches. I mean, it takes an effort, and it takes organizations to come in and clean up the beaches, and to do our part should be your part. Simply. Just throw your trash away if you enjoy Hawaii and you enjoy vacationing there and you enjoy your experience there to do your part and just simply pick up the trash. And on top of that, if you listen to the episode, um 0 21 with Garrett from Molly Ruin Company. We talked a lot about plastic water bottles, and that's another thing to be mindful of. I know it's tempting to as soon as you land to go ahead and, you know, go to a big box store, get a big pallet of water bottles and use that for your vacation. But maybe next time bring a reusable water bottle. Maybe just get a large jug of water. Is that to refill your water bottles instead of just using a bunch of little plastic water bottles that all need to go somewhere? It is an island. So just to keep that in mind, Hawaii is meant to be enjoyed, explored and discovered. So I hope that this list of the top five beaches really has helped give you an idea of what to expect on your next stay on the island. So if you found any value in this episode, I would just ask you to let us know in the ratings below, leave a review and going in a hit subscribe that helps other people be able to find this conversation all about Hawaii, and everything mentioned in this episode will be on our Show Notes. Paige Go Live Hawaii's best dot com slash episode 0 to 2. It'll be all there for you. And again, Thank you so much for joining us today on Hawaii's best and until next time be well, hello. Thanks for listening to Hawaii's best podcasts. Stay up to date on future episodes. Be sure to hit the subscribe button and find us at livehawaiisbest.com

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Bryan Murphy
Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy, owner of Hawaii’s Best Travel, is a certified Hawaii destination expert from the Hawaii Visitors Bureau. He actively participates in the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau as a member and has a strong educational background focused on local culture and sustainability. As the host of “Hawaii’s Best Travel,” a top-30 US travel podcast, Bryan combines his years of experience with valuable insights. He connects with a broad online community, reaching nearly half a million people, and offers a richer, more responsible way to experience Hawaii.