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Hawaii is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful destinations on Earth. Located miles from any other landmass in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii offers visitors a unique blend of bustling activity and escape. While there are lots of things to do in the state no matter which island you visit (from museums to restaurants to cultural attractions and more), there's one thing that every traveler to Hawaii must do when they visit: go to the beach. Here are the best beaches to visit on a trip to Hawaii.
Waikiki Beach | Oahu
Perhaps the most iconic beach in all of Hawaii, Waikiki Beach is situated in downtown Honolulu on Oahu and is lined with shops, hotels, restaurants and more. Waikiki has calm water, so it's a great place for swimming, and it's also a smart spot for beginners to pick up some surfing skills with a surfing lesson. Waikiki is not the place for snorkeling since there are so many people -- but it's definitely a great beach where you can lay back, kick up your feet and get a suntan.
Big Beach | Maui
Big Beach was aptly named because the shoreline is over half a mile long. One of the best parts of this stunning Maui beach is that it's undeveloped, which makes it feel like a true escape into nature. Big Beach has a strong shore break and rips current -- which can be scary for little kids. But what it results in is awesome boogie boarding -- which you can do yourself, or watch as locals show off their impressive skills.
Sunset Beach | Oahu
Located on Oahu's north shore is Sunset Beach, a stunning beach that attracts locals and travelers alike, since it offers a little something for everyone. During the summer months, the water is crystal clear and warm, so families, snorkelers, and swimmers can enjoy taking a dip. During the winter, however, the water gets rough, which makes it the perfect spot for surfers to catch giant waves. If it's the summer, bury your toes in the pristine sand, and if it's the winter and you're not a surfer, get ready to sit back and be stunned by just how awesome Hawaiian surfers are at navigating giant waves.
Punalu'u Black Sand Beach | Hawaii
What makes Punalu'u Beach so famous is the color of its jet black sand. Punalu'u Beach is located in Hawaii (or The Big Island), and its unforgettable sand color is caused by dried and ground lava from a former volcanic explosion. Go to Punalu'u Beach to examine the black sand, and you may also get the opportunity to see some rare and beautiful wildlife. The beach is the home and nesting grounds of many hawksbills and green sea turtles.
Kahaluu Beach Park | Hawaii
Also located on the Big Island is Kahaluu Beach Park, one of the world's best places for snorkeling. Kahaluu Beach Park is located in a cove, and the shallow, calm water makes for an excellent opportunity to see a huge variety of marine life. One thing that sets Kahaluu Beach Park apart from other Hawaiian snorkeling spots is that the fish here are so friendly; while experts aren't sure why, when you're floating over fish off the shore Kahaluu Beach, they're not going to swim away.