Hawaii is known for its beautiful beaches, it has 750 miles of spotless coastline dotted with volcanoes, its laid-back lifestyle, its ancient culture that includes icons like the hula dance and lūʻaus, and its rich cuisine. From traditional Hawaiian dishes like poi and laulau to modern favorites like poke and Kalua pig, you are in for a treat after exploring the mountains or surfing the waves.
Hawaii, like Alaska, does not border any other U.S. state. It is the only U.S. state that is not geographically located in North America, the only state completely surrounded by water and that is entirely an archipelago, and the only state in which coffee is commercially cultivable.
Six Major Islands of Hawaii
When in Hawaii or planning to visit, there is an absolute need to know more of this beautiful state.
There are six major islands to visit in Hawaii these are Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and the island of Hawaii. Each has its own distinct personality, adventures, activities and sights.
Kauai is Hawaii’s fourth largest island and is sometimes called the “Garden Island,”. The oldest and northernmost island in the Hawaiian chain is draped in emerald valleys, sharp mountain spires and jagged cliffs aged by time and the elements. Centuries of growth have formed tropical rainforests, forking rivers and cascading waterfalls.
Oahu the third largest Hawaiian island and sometimes called “The Gathering Place,” is home to the majority of Hawaii’s diverse population, a fusion of East and West cultures rooted in the values and traditions of the Native Hawaiian people.
Molokai is Hawaii’s fifth largest island; it is only 38 miles long and 10 miles across at its widest point and is home to the highest sea cliffs in the world and the longest continuous fringing reef. Molokai remains true to its island roots, with a high percentage of its population being of Native Hawaiian ancestry who continue to preserve their rural lifestyle.
The smallest inhabited island travelers may visit in Hawaii, Lanai offers big enticements to its visitors. Only nine miles from Maui yet a world away, Lanai can feel like two places. The first is found in luxurious resorts where visitors can indulge in world-class amenities and championship-level golf. The other is found bouncing along the island’s rugged back roads in a 4-wheel-drive vehicle to explore off-the-beaten-path treasures.
Maui, known also as “The Valley Isle,” is the second largest Hawaiian island. The island beloved for its world-famous beaches, the sacred Iao Valley, views of migrating humpback whales (during winter months), farm-to-table cuisine and the magnificent sunrise and sunset from Haleakala.
The island of Hawaii is the youngest and largest island in the Hawaiian chain. Nearly twice as big as all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined (hence, its nickname, “Big Island”), its sheer size is awe-inspiring. You can travel through all but four of the world’s different climate zones here, ranging from Wet Tropical to Polar Tundra, a result of the shielding effect and elevations of the massive volcanoes Maunakea and Maunaloa.
10 Kid Friendly Beaches in Hawaii
Easylivingmom.com rounded up 10 kid friendly beaches in Hawaii a beautiful tropical island state surrounded by some of the most breathtaking beaches in the entire world.
In Hawaii Island (aka “The Big Island”)
1. Kaunaoa Bay
About a 40-minute drive from Kailua-Kona, Kaunaoa Bay is a crescent beach with clean white sand and calm turquoise waters. The bay is largely sand-bottomed and not very deep, so this is a great spot to get kids out snorkeling.
2. Hapuna Beach
Hapuna Beach is a huge white-sand beach on the Big Island’s Kohala Coast and is a haven for families. It is very wide, especially in summer months, and boasts easy access, plenty of parking and showers for a rinse-off.
According to the Hawaiian Lifeguard Association, the best spot for small children to play in the water is at the northern end of the beach, where there is a “shallow, protected, sand-bottomed cove.”
Waikiki is king among Hawaii beaches, fondly known as The Gathering Place, this popular beach was once a location for sprouting waters due to the rivers and springs that once budded the area.
4. Sans Souci Beach (also called Kaimana Beach)
Those in the know head to the southeast end, where you’ll find cozy. Sans Souci Beach (also called Kaimana Beach). It’s popular with local families, as a protective reef buffers the wave action. This super soft, clean beach is ideal for catching a sunset.
5. Pupukea Beach Park
Explore the tide pools on the North Shore in Pupukea Beach Park. Kids will love being in Shark’s Cove at low tide. They can wade through the shallow waters, testing out their snorkel masks while feeling like they are inside a real-life aquarium. The beach park has a convenient changing area and outdoor showers where you can rinse off.
6. Hanauma Bay State Park Beach
Hanauma Bay State Park Beach this beach, called The Curved Bay, has clear blue water and is found in a volcanic cone.
Hanauma Bay is the most popular beach outside of Waikiki for snorkeling.
By touring the waters, you get to dip inside the amazing beauty that the bay has to offer, which includes green sea turtles, and much colorful fish like parrotfish.
7. Maluaka Beach
South Maui has consistently splendid weather, and a good bet there for kids is Maluaka Beach. Introduce little kids to a boogie board in the mellow surf here, and for more confident swimmers, take them snorkeling to see the coral, fish and, quite possibly, a green sea turtle, who will be enjoying the ocean alongside you.
8. Kaanapali Beach
Over in West Maui, Kaanapali Beach is a crowd-pleaser that shouldn’t be missed if you’re visiting Hawaii with kids. The community there offers three miles of plush beach and clear waters, a central location and tons of amenities. For stronger swimmers, Black Rock, at the north end of the beach, is a great place to snorkel.
9. Poipu Beach Park
If you have little bitty kids, you will love Poipu Beach Park on Kauai’s southern shore. Protected from big waves by a shore break, the beach has a natural wading pool perfect for toddler-size explorers. Bigger kids can boogie board, and the whole family benefits from lifeguards and restrooms.
This beach is very popular, so arrive early in the day.
10. Kalapaki Beach
Kalapaki Beach near Lihue, is also protected by a break wall and offers excellent conditions for swimming and stand-up paddleboarding. The beach is so lovely, it’s named as a top-10 thing to do on Kauai by U.S. News and World Report.
There is no coral reef here, so it’s not a snorkel spot, but there are volleyball nets and a nice paved strolling path in addition to the swimming and beach play.