What are the best “swimming” beaches in Hawaii?
Here are the results, according to Hawaii Magazine beach expert John R.K. Clark. Clark knows more about Hawaii beaches than anyone in the state. He’s walked the shorelines and swum the waters of every stretch of sand in Hawaii—more than 500 beaches in all.
Top swimming beaches in Hawaii (from Hawaii Magazine):
Kapalua Beach Park
(Kapalua, West Maui)
“Kapalua is a nice little pocket of curved white sand beach. During winter, when surf kicks up on Maui’s west side, its two lava-rock points block the surf so the beach stays calm. It’s a great beach for swimming and snorkeling—you’ll see fish and other marine life. The beach is a focal point of the Kapalua Resort. But there’s public parking, restrooms and a right of way to the beach.”
Salt Pond Beach Park
(Hanapepe, West Kauai)
“It’s a beautiful setting—a wide white sand beach, nice and clear water, and a lagoon created by a rock barrier offshore. Even when surf is big outside the barrier, the lagoon inside remains protected and safe for swimming. There are tidal pools with lots of marine life for kids to explore. During the summer, you can watch the caretakers of the beach’s salt ponds make paakai—Hawaiian sea salt.”
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
(Hawaii Kai, East Honolulu)
“This is one of the most beautiful beach settings in all of the Hawaiian Islands. For snorkelers, marine life is plentiful. The bay has a large sand pocket in the middle of the reef, called ‘The Keyhole’ that is perfect for swimming. The horseshoe-shaped bay was created when ocean water broke into the outside wall of a volcanic crater. So when you’re in Hanauma Bay, you’re swimming inside a flooded volcano, a unique setting.”
Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area
(South Kohala Coast)
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