September 18, 2021

Hawaii Beaches Part Two

Kaanapali Beach offers three miles of sandy beach with swimming, snorkeling and an array of resort facilities.


Maui is ringed with golden beaches, its most famous being Ka‘anapali Beach. This three-mile-long beach offers good swimming, snorkeling and other watersports. A beach walk connects the numerous hotel resorts and runs past Whalers Village, where day trippers can enjoy the beachfront bars and bistros. Smaller, quieter beaches can be found north of Ka‘anapali. These include D.T. Fleming Beach Park (popular with locals and visitors) and at Napili Bay where the scalloped shoreline embraces Kapalua Beach and Napili Beach, both sheltered form surf and ideal for swimming and snorkeling.

The lovely beach at Kamakahonu Lagoon in Kailua-Kona is a short stroll from the tender pier.


The Big Island of Hawai‘i is known for its dark beaches of black volcanic sand, but the west side of this island is lined with beautiful white sand beaches. One of the prettiest is right in the town of Kailua-Kona, where the Kona Boys’ Beach Shack rents watersports equipment. This crescent of white sand overlooks a turquoise lagoon and a point of land containing the heiau (thatched roof temple) of Hawaii’s great warrior king, Kamehameha. Other splendid beaches on the Big Island are located a short drive north or south of the town, including Kaunaoa Beach overlooked by the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, a legendary resort built by Laurance Rockefeller.

Haena Beach is one of Kauai’s beautiful North Shore beaches.


Kaua‘i is known for its volcanic mountains and verdant valleys, but it also has stunning beaches. Some of the best are located on the island’s rugged north shore. Here the coastal highway weaves past scenic look-outs and breathtaking beaches, passing along the way famous places such as Hanalei Bay – where George Clooney is seen jogging in the movie The Descendants – and Lumaha‘i Beach, which was immortalized in the movie musical South Pacific when Mitzi Gaynor tried to wash that man right out of her hair.

A few miles past Lumahai‘i is my favourite beach on Kaua‘i. Ha‘ena Beach, beautifully situated at the base of lushly treed slopes, is where expert suffers come in winter to ride the waves. The seas settle down in summer, when families come to swim under the watchful eyes of a lifeguard and enjoy the facilities at Ha‘ena Beach Park, including picnic tables, rest rooms and showers. At the far end of the bay inside Ha‘ena Point, is Makua Beach, which the locals call ‘Tunnels’ because of the sand-filled alleys that run through the shallow part of the reef, providing excellent snorkeling.

It’s easy to find beautiful beaches on the Hawaiian islands. The hard part is making a selection, but an island-hopping cruise is one way to sample a few of them.

About Anne Vipond

Anne Vipond is the author of several guidebooks to cruising destinations around the world. She draws on an extensive sailing background to impart her enthusiasm for cruise travel. From her home port of Vancouver, she travels by cruise ship to a wide range of destinations to keep her books current and useful for her cruise readers. Her cruising articles have been published in magazines and newspapers throughout North America and over seas.