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Exploring Hawaii's Hidden Beaches

Jasmine Bell May 31, 2024


When people think of Hawaii, they often picture bustling Waikiki Beach or the dramatic shores of Maui's Kaanapali. But beyond these well-known spots, Hawaii is home to countless hidden beaches, each offering its own unique slice of paradise. This summer, escape the crowds and discover some of Hawaii’s best-kept secrets. From secluded stretches of sand to tranquil coves, here’s your ultimate guide to exploring Hawaii’s hidden beaches.

1. Polihale Beach, Kauai

Tucked away on Kauai’s west side, Polihale Beach is a remote gem that promises solitude and stunning beauty. This vast expanse of golden sand stretches for 17 miles, framed by the majestic cliffs of the Na Pali Coast. To get there, you’ll need a four-wheel-drive vehicle to navigate the rugged dirt road, but the effort is well worth it. Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by panoramic views, pristine waters, and a sense of peace that’s hard to find elsewhere.

Best Time to Visit: Early morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat. What to Bring: Plenty of water, sun protection, and a picnic, as there are no facilities nearby.

2. Papohaku Beach, Molokai

Molokai, often referred to as the "Friendly Isle," is home to Papohaku Beach, one of Hawaii’s longest and widest white sand beaches. Spanning nearly three miles, Papohaku offers a serene escape with its untouched sands and gentle waves. It’s the perfect spot for a quiet beach day, far from the tourist crowds. Whether you’re looking to swim, sunbathe, or simply take a long walk along the shore, Papohaku Beach is an idyllic retreat.

Unique Features: Vast stretches of sand and minimal development. Activities: Swimming, beachcombing, and picnicking.

3. Makalawena Beach, Big Island

For those seeking adventure, Makalawena Beach on the Big Island is a must-visit. Accessed via a scenic hike through lava fields, this hidden beach rewards visitors with its powdery white sands and crystal-clear waters. The journey itself is an adventure, but once you reach Makalawena, you’ll be captivated by the beach’s beauty and tranquility. Snorkeling here is exceptional, with vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life just offshore.

How to Get There: Park at Kekaha Kai State Park and hike approximately 1.5 miles. Best Time to Visit: Early morning to avoid the midday heat and ensure a quieter experience.

4. Honopu Beach, Kauai

Accessible only by water, Honopu Beach is one of Kauai’s most secluded and dramatic beaches. Nestled within the Na Pali Coast, this beach features towering cliffs, a natural arch, and a sense of untouched wilderness. Adventurous visitors can reach Honopu Beach by swimming from neighboring Kalalau Beach or by kayak. The effort to get there is significant, but the reward is an unparalleled sense of isolation and natural beauty.

What to Bring: Strong swimming skills, a waterproof bag for essentials, and snorkeling gear. Unique Features: Dramatic landscape, natural arch, and absolute solitude.

5. Green Sand Beach (Papakōlea), Big Island

One of only four green sand beaches in the world, Papakōlea Beach on the Big Island offers a truly unique experience. The beach gets its distinctive green hue from olivine crystals found in the surrounding volcanic rock. To reach this hidden gem, you’ll need to hike approximately 2.5 miles from the parking area. The striking contrast between the green sand and turquoise waters makes for a breathtaking sight and an unforgettable adventure.

How to Get There: Hike from the trailhead near South Point. Best Time to Visit: Early morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat and enjoy the stunning views.


Hawaii’s hidden beaches offer a chance to escape the ordinary and immerse yourself in the islands’ natural beauty. Whether you’re seeking solitude, adventure, or simply a new place to explore, these secret shores provide the perfect summer getaway. Pack your bags, lace up your hiking shoes, and get ready to discover the best of Hawaii’s hidden beach paradises.

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We have 10 years of professional real estate experience. We love to help families, veterans and first time home buyers buy and sell. We both relocated to Oahu with our fur babies, to follow our dreams and live the Hawaii livestyle. Both of our families have deep roots in real estate, providing us strong real estate foundations.

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