Discovering The 20 Secret Beaches in Hawaii for Romantic Getaways
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Are you searching for secret beaches in Hawaii for romantic getaways? Or you are dreaming of a Hawaiian getaway without the crowds and the noise? Do you crave the serene beauty of unspoiled white sands, turquoise waters, and lush vegetation? Look no further than Hawaii’s secluded beaches, where you can escape the tourist hot spots and soak up the natural beauty of the Aloha State. From the pristine Makalawena Beach on the Big Island to Palauea Beach on Maui, Hawaii’s off-the-beaten-path beaches offer a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of tourist hotspots.
We love Waikiki as much as the next person, but its crowded, resort-studded shore isn’t exactly what you’d call tranquil. If it’s serenity and solitude you’re after, head to one of Hawaii’s many secret, off-the-beaten-path beaches. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a quiet spot to unwind, these beaches have something for everyone. One of the many reasons we love Hawaii — aside from incredible mai tais, fresh seafood, and laid-back surf culture — is that it can easily lay claim to having the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Why is that? For starters, they come in every size, shape, and color: wide, calm expanses that are perfect for families and little ones who just want to dip their toes in the Pacific; tiny, secluded coves where honeymooning couples can get away from the crowds; that provide the ultimate photo-op for Instagram – a secret beaches in Hawaii for romantic getaways. Better still, you’re not limited to experiencing these beaches on just one island. Like many travelers, you can visit Hawaii on a multi-island itinerary and spend each day of your sun-filled vacation hitting up a different shoreline.
Hawaii is the ideal paradise for a couple’s getaway. For visitors wanting to mix romance and repose with adrenaline and adventure, the island boasts a diverse landscape offering unique opportunities to reconnect with your beloved in an exquisite setting. Whether it’s strolling hand-in-hand along a glittery green sand beach, night time swimming with massive manta rays or watching the sunset aboard a helicopter or catamaran, there are countless, incredibly romantic places to visit and activities to enjoy with your partner, making it a perfect secret beaches in Hawaii for romantic getaways.
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Here are our list of the secret beaches in Hawaii for romantic getaways:
1. Makalawena Beach, Big Island
Discover one of the best-kept secret beaches in Hawaii for romantic getaways nestled within the 175-mile-long Kekaha Kai State Park on the Big Island. This secluded beach is a hidden gem that can only be accessed on foot or by 4-wheel drive, making it a tranquil oasis with minimal foot traffic.
You can relish uninterrupted access to the sand dunes, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and fascinating marine life, including octopuses and white-spotted puffers. Snorkelers can prepare to be amazed by the underwater wonders. When you want to take a break from the sun and sand, venture to the ancient Opae’ula freshwater pond. It’s one of the Big Island’s bird sanctuaries and serves as a home to the endangered Hawaiian stilt.
2. Kawaikui Beach, Oahu
Kawaikui Beach is an idyllic and serene location on the southeastern side of Oahu that can easily be missed if you blink. Situated right off Kalanianaole Highway, just before Hawaii Kai, this beach provides a peaceful oasis. The area is abundant with grassy spaces equipped with tables and natural shade from the towering palm trees, creating the perfect spot for a picnic.
Although the shore is relatively narrow, the magnificent views of the distant Koko Kai Beach and Kuilei Cliffs are what make Kawaikui Beach a must-visit destination. While the water is too shallow for swimming, the beach is a wonderful spot for kayaking, windsurfing, and fishing (further from shore).
3. Waikiki Beach, Oahu
If you’re searching for secret beaches in Hawaii for romantic getaways, you might be interested in this serene and secluded crescent-shaped beach on Oahu’s coast. Since Hawaii was first discovered by tourists in the early 1900s, this golden beach has attracted many visitors who arrived by steamship.
Although the scene is now a bit more crowded, it still offers a fun experience. While enjoying the beautiful view of Diamond Head, you can sip on a refreshing mai tai at the iconic Royal Hawaiian hotel, which was constructed in 1927. Observing the locals and island visitors mingle together is an added bonus.
4. Ko Olina Beach, Oahu
For families with kids, this serene beach located on the western coast of Oahu is a must-visit destination. The crystal-clear blue waters are shallow enough for young children to enjoy splashing around in. Plus, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is situated just above the lagoon, providing a great opportunity for family fun. Don’t forget to check out the nearby luxurious five-star Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina. It’s easy to see why this is one of the top-rated beaches in Hawaii for families.
5. Waimea Bay Beach Park, Oahu
Located on the rugged and undeveloped North Shore of Oahu, Waimea Bay is renowned for being one of the most notable big-wave surfing beaches on the island. From November to February, during the winter months, the waves reach towering heights, drawing professional surfers to brave the impressive swells.
Some of Hawaii’s most prestigious surfing contests, including the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, are held at Waimea, Sunset Beach, and Ehukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline). For those who want to be at the heart of the surfing excitement, the nearby Turtle Bay Resort is an excellent accommodation option.
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6. Polihale State Park, Kauai
If you’re looking for secret beaches in Hawaii for romantic getaways, you might want to consider visiting the remote 17-mile stretch located on the windswept western shore of Kauai. Although it requires some effort to reach this secluded destination, including driving a bumpy road and sand dunes with a four-wheel-drive, the experience is definitely worth it.
The quiet and almost otherworldly ambiance allows you to admire the stunning Na Pali cliffs, which technically begin at the northern end of Polihale, and even catch a glimpse of Hawaii’s forbidden island, Ni’ihau. It’s important to remember to pack sunscreen and water, as there is limited shade available.
7. Hanalei Bay, Kauai
Discover one of the best secret beaches in Hawaii for romantic getaways at Hanalei, an awe-inspiring bay nestled along Kauai’s northern shore, boasting a breathtaking two-mile stretch of beach parks backed by emerald mountains that tower over 4,000 feet. In the winter, the waves are perfect for surfing, attracting surf enthusiasts, while in the summer, the waters calm down and offer a more serene atmosphere suitable for swimming.
8. Po’ipu Beach Park, Kauai
One of the best beaches in Hawaii is located in the epicenter of Kauai’s constantly sunny south shore, comprised of three stunning crescents that combine to form a beautiful beach area. Po’ipu, as it is known, is a popular choice for families as the waters are generally calm, making it perfect for beginner swimmers.
A lifeguard is on duty seven days a week for added safety. The beach offers a wide range of activities, including surfing, snorkeling, swimming, and simply splashing around. For accommodation, you can opt for top-notch properties such as the Ko’a Kea Resort on Po’ipu Beach or the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa, located nearby.
9. Kalapaki Beach, Kauai
Kalapaki Beach is a charming harbor located on the eastern coast of Kauai that offers an enjoyable experience for visitors of all ages and interests, making it one of the best secret beaches in Hawaii for romantic getaways. Kids can have a blast boogie boarding and surfing, while adults can try sailing or canoeing.
Locals frequent the beach for a game of beach volleyball, with courts often set up in the sand. Along the bay, you’ll find Marriott’s Kauai Beach Club and a handful of seaside restaurants that offer delicious lunch options while enjoying the picturesque scenery.
10. Kalihiwai Beach, Kauai
A little-known gem of a beach, Kalihiwai, is a locals’ favorite that lies beyond Kapa’a en route to Princeville, making it one of the best secret beaches in Hawaii. Two stunning cliffs flank the tiny cove, and the waves here are perfect for body surfing, providing an unforgettable experience.
Additionally, there’s a shallow freshwater lagoon that kids will surely enjoy. Be sure to pack a picnic and cooler, though, as there are no concession stands. But you can relax and enjoy your refreshments on the benches available at the beach.
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11. Hulopoe Beach, Lanai
If you’re looking for secret beaches in Hawaii for romantic getaways, the Four Seasons Resort Lanai offers exclusive access to a breathtaking golden crescent beach, which is considered one of the best in Hawaii for swimming and snorkeling. You can also enjoy the company of friendly spinner dolphins and humpback whales during the cooler winter months. Additionally, on the beach’s eastern side, you can find numerous large tide pools to explore.
12. Polihua Beach, Lanai
Along the northeastern shore of Lanai, which is situated across from Molokai, there is a two-mile stretch where strong currents make swimming unadvisable. However, if you’re looking for a serene and secluded place for a long walk, this is the perfect spot. Moreover, visitors can often witness the magnificent sight of humpback whales during the winter season, and green sea turtles (honu) all year round.
13. Makena Beach, Maui
If you’re searching for secret beaches in Hawaii for romantic getaways, Makena, also known as “Big Beach,” in Maui, is a must-visit destination. This nearly two-thirds of a mile long and 100 feet wide beach is a favorite among both locals and tourists alike. Bring along some towels and sunscreen, find a spot on the sand, and soak in the stunning views of the tiny island of Molokini.
To add to the experience, you can indulge in some delicious food from Jawz Fish Tacos, one of Maui’s most popular food trucks, which is conveniently parked on the side of the road near Makena and open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Try some fresh mahi-mahi, shrimp, or chicken tacos as you watch the waves.
14. Wailea Beach, Maui
Wailea is considered one of the best beaches in Hawaii and is home to some of Maui’s most impressive resorts, such as the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, and the Grand Wailea. The cobalt waters at Wailea are gentle enough for kids to play in, making it an ideal destination for families. As Wailea is known for its luxurious accommodations, it’s not uncommon to spot a celebrity or two in the area. In fact, everyone from Kate Bosworth to Jennifer Aniston has visited this stunning beach.
15. Hamoa Beach, Maui
For couples seeking secluded and romantic getaways, there are some hidden beaches in Hawaii that offer a perfect setting. One such spot is a stunning cove located near Hana, a charming town located on Maui’s far eastern shore. To get there, you’ll need to brave the twists and turns of the famous Road to Hana, a popular tourist destination that winds past breathtaking cliffs and waterfalls. Before embarking on this adventure, make sure to stop in Paia to refuel and pack your swimsuits and a spirit of adventure.
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16. Kapalua Bay, Maui
For couples looking for romantic getaways on secret beaches in Hawaii, Kapalua Bay is a must-visit destination. Located near the Montage Kapalua Bay and The Ritz-Carlton, Maui resorts, this beach is renowned for its opportunities for kayaking, boogie boarding, stand-up paddleboarding, and swimming.
Snorkeling enthusiasts can also explore the coral reefs and spot turtles and parrotfish. If you’re in the mood for some exercise, take a jog along the scenic Kapalua Coastal Trail that starts at Kapalua Bay and extends all the way to D.T. Fleming Beach Park.
17. Hapuna Beach State Park, Hawaii Island
One of the impressive white-sand beaches worth visiting on the Big Island of Hawaii is Hapuna Beach State Park, which stretches half a mile along the Kona-Kohala Coast. Locals also love this picturesque beach and often visit for picnics and spending time with friends. Hapuna Beach State Park is considered one of the best beaches in Hawaii for families to enjoy, thanks to the presence of a lifeguard stationed year-round.
18. Kauna’oa (Mauna Kea) Beach, Hawaii Island
During his exploration of the island with Hawaii’s governor in 1960, eco-tourism pioneer Laurance Rockefeller stumbled upon a magnificent beach with sugar-soft sand that immediately captured his attention. Recognizing its potential as a prime location for a hotel, he selected Kauna’oa as the site for his famous resort, which is now known as the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and continues to attract couples and families to Hawaii Island. The beach at Kauna’oa is a breathtaking sight, boasting turquoise waters, calm waves, and a diverse array of marine life such as turtles and occasional manta rays. Its pristine beauty is a sight to behold.
19. Punalu’u Beach, Hawaii Island
Hawaii Island is a diverse wonderland, boasting eight distinct climate zones, four active volcanoes, and numerous awe-inspiring beaches. One such beach that should not be missed is Punalu’u, a striking black-sand beach situated near the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
If you’re staying along the Kona-Kohala Coast, a visit to Punalu’u should be included in your itinerary en route to the park. While the shore can be a bit rocky, you can still enjoy the novelty of the black sand and spot sea turtles basking in the sun. Just be sure to exercise caution while entering the water.
20. Pāpōhaku Beach Park, Molokai
If you’re looking for secret beaches in Hawaii for romantic getaways, consider visiting Molokai. This lesser-known island attracts fewer tourists compared to popular destinations like Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii Island, which means you can enjoy some of the best beaches in Hawaii without the crowds.
One such example is Pāpōhaku Beach Park, also known as three-mile beach, located on Molokai’s western end. This stunning beach boasts one of the state’s largest stretches of white sand, and on clear days, you can even catch a glimpse of Oahu across the channel.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are the secret beaches in Hawaii difficult to access?
It depends on the specific beach, but many of the secret beaches in Hawaii require a bit of effort to access. This can include hiking through trails or traversing rough terrain. However, the effort is often well worth it, as these beaches offer a serene and secluded environment.
Are these secret beaches safe for swimming?
As with any beach, it’s important to exercise caution and pay attention to warning signs. However, many of Hawaii’s secret beaches are safe for swimming, and some even offer excellent snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities.
Can you camp on the secret beaches in Hawaii?
Camping regulations vary depending on the beach and island, but some of Hawaii’s secret beaches do allow camping with a permit. Be sure to check with local authorities and obtain any necessary permits before planning a camping trip.
Are there any amenities available at the secret beaches in Hawaii?
Many of the secret beaches in Hawaii are undeveloped and lack amenities such as restrooms, showers, and lifeguards. It’s important to come prepared with everything you’ll need for a day at the beach, including food, water, and sun protection.
What’s the best time of year to visit Hawaii’s secret beaches?
The best time to visit Hawaii’s secret beaches depends on your preferences and the specific beach you plan to visit. Generally, the summer months offer calm waters and good visibility for snorkeling and diving, while the winter months can bring larger waves and swells that are ideal for surfing.
Can you recommend any specific secret beaches in Hawaii for a romantic getaway?
Hawaii is home to many beautiful and romantic beaches, but some of our favorites include Makalawena Beach on the Big Island, Palauea Beach on Maui, and Kipu Kai Beach on Kauai. These secluded beaches offer breathtaking scenery and a peaceful atmosphere that’s perfect for a romantic getaway.
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Hawaii’s secret beaches are truly a hidden gem that offer a chance to escape the crowds and indulge in the natural beauty of the Aloha State. From the breathtaking Makalawena Beach on the Big Island to the serene Palauea Beach on Maui, these secluded beaches are perfect for a romantic getaway.
Hawaii’s diverse landscape and unique opportunities make it the ultimate paradise for couples seeking both adventure and romance. So, if you’re dreaming of a peaceful and romantic escape, head to one of the top secret beaches in Hawaii for romantic getaways and experience the true beauty of the islands.
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