15 Top Beaches with the Clearest Water in Hawaii

Are you ready to trade in your office attire for a bathing suit and soak up the sunshine on some of Hawaii’s top beaches? If so, it’s time to start planning your dream vacation.

Hawaii isn’t short of stunning beaches, but if you’re looking for the clearest water, we’ve got you covered.

From Maui’s secret coves to Oahu’s iconic surf spots – we’ve rounded up the top beaches with impeccably clear waters that will make your jaw drop.

It’s time to dive into our list of Hawaii’s top beaches with crystal-clear waters!

Lanikai Beach with Mokulua Islands in view oahu
Lanikai Beach with Mokulua Islands in view, Oahu

1. Lanikai Beach, Oahu

Ready to soak up some sun and clear blue waves? Let us introduce you to the breathtaking Lanikai Beach in Oahu. It’s known for its powdery white sand, turquoise blue water, and calm atmosphere.

If you’re into outdoor activities, this beach offers fantastic opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking.

You’ll be wowed by the stunning views of the Mokulua Islands at Lanikai Beach. These islands are actually protected seabird sanctuaries.

Pro tip: Book a kayak tour to get up close with the green sea turtles that inhabit The Mokes!

Accessibility is not an issue at this world-famous beach. Parking can be a bit of a challenge, but it’s worth the effort.

As with any beach, seasonal factors play a role, so be sure to check the weather before heading out for a perfect beach day.

Why You Should Visit:

Lanikai Beach is a haven for lovers of pristine waters, jaw-dropping views, and sea life.

On the flip side, it can get crowded, especially during peak seasons, and parking can be scarce.

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2. Maluaka Beach, Maui

With its pristine sandy shores and chill vibes, it’s no wonder sun-seekers adore Maluaka Beach in Wailea, Maui.

For all nature buffs and water activity lovers, Maluaka Beach is a snorkeling haven. Shade-seekers need not worry, as the south end of the beach has plenty of tree coverage for a comfy nap.

Maluaka Beach is located behind the Makena Golf and Beach Club. Just take the turnoff at Wailea Alanui Road, and you’re on your way!

Why You Should Visit:

Maluaka Beach’s crystal-clear water and adventure-filled atmosphere are calling your name, but it wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t address a few downsides.

Sure, this beach is a tropical wonderland, but it can get a bit crowded during peak season. But there’s always enough sandy space to spread out your beach towel and soak up some sunshine.

And if you’re not keen on swimming, the gentle ebb and flow of the water is perfect for wading and cooling off.

Makua Beach West Oahu
Makua Beach West Oahu

3. Makua Beach, Oahu

Makua Beach is a hidden gem in Hawaii with crystal-clear waters that’ll make you swoon! Nestled along the leeward coast, this beauty boasts a stunning backdrop of Makua Valley and cliffs.

Famous for its superb snorkeling, Makua Beach has one of the finest coral reefs that stretches all the way to the shore. You’ll find reef fish aplenty, and if you’re lucky, maybe even a friendly sea turtle.

Makua Beach is one of Oahu’s most undeveloped beaches. You won’t find hordes of tourists or fancy amenities here. It’s pretty much just you, the sand, and the sea.

Plus, camping is totally a thing here, so why not make it an overnight adventure for kicks?

Why You Should Visit:

The seclusion and untarnished beauty of Makua Beach are definite selling points.

However, keep in mind that it’s a bit off the beaten path, and you might have to put some elbow grease into reaching this spot.

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4. Hanalei Bay, Kauai

With its expansive white sand beach and crystal-clear blue water, Hanalei Bay on Kauai is everything you’d want for a beach day.

When visiting Hanalei Bay, you’ll enjoy incredible views of lush green mountains as a backdrop. The bay offers a variety of activities like swimming, surfing, and stand-up paddleboarding.

There are also several beach parks and recent park extensions nearby, so there’s plenty to do!

Although Hanalei Bay is super popular, it still retains its laid-back, charming atmosphere.

But remember that safety comes first; keep an eye on the water conditions and follow local guidelines.

Why You Should Visit:

At Hanalei Bay, you’ll find spectacular scenery with clear water and white sand. There’s plenty of variety of activities for beachgoers, with laid-back vibes and nearby beach parks.

And the cons? Hanalei Bay can get a bit crowded due to popularity. Plus, you’ll need to keep an eye on safety, as water conditions can vary.

Snorkeling Hanauma Bay Oahu Hawaii
Snorkeling Hanauma Bay Oahu Hawaii

5. Hanauma Bay, Oahu

The stunning Hanauma Bay is a snorkeler’s paradise! The crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life make this spot a must-visit on your Hawaiian vacation.

Hanauma Bay is tucked away on Oahu’s southeastern side, where volcanic activity created a sandy crater that protects the reef from large ocean swells.

It’s a snorkeling adventure playground for swimmers of all levels – from beginners to pros.

Go early on weekdays to avoid crowds and score the best spot on the beach. Hanauma Bay is actually a nature preserve, so get ready to learn a thing or two as you swim with the fish!

Why You Should Visit:

Hanauma Bay is a splendid escape from the daily grind, offering clear waters, vibrant marine life, and a casual atmosphere that’s perfect for any beach lover.

Do note, getting to Hanauma Bay can be tricky at times due to limited parking, so public transportation is your friend.

Also, be aware that it’s closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, giving the marine life a break from visitors.

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6. Kaanapali Beach, Maui

If crystal-clear water is your thing, then Maui’s Kaanapali Beach is the spot for you. Step onto the three-mile stretch of sand that was once a Hawaiian royal getaway, and you’ll feel like royalty, too.

This pristine beach is backed by lush green mountains, making it a perfect place to lay out and sip a coconut drink.

But don’t just laze around! Kaanapali Beach is known for its snorkeling and surfing opportunities. Grab a board or some fins, and plunge into the turquoise water.

Got a shopping itch? Whalers Village iis within walking distance from the beach. Pick up a souvenir or indulge in some retail therapy.

Past visitors have praised its beauty, but some have mentioned that it can get crowded during peak season. However, don’t let this deter you; wake up early to secure a prime spot or visit during off-peak hours.

Why You Should Visit:

Kaanapali Beach is an absolute gem with its clear water, fun water sports, and nearby shopping. This beach also highly appealing to both solo adventurers and families alike.

The only downside? Battling a few crowds, but that’s just part of the charm!

Hapuna Beach State Park Hawaii Big Island
Hapuna Beach State Park Hawaii Big Island

7. Hapuna Beach, Big Island

Hapuna Beach is a sparkling gem on the northwest coast of the Big Island and boasts some of the clearest waters in Hawaii. With its powder-white sand and sunny days, you’ll feel like you’ve struck gold.

Hapuna Beach isn’t just a looker – it’s got personality too. Try your hand at snorkeling when the waters are calm.

But nothing’s perfect – not even Hapuna Beach. When the waters get rough or unclear, snorkeling can be slightly challenging. On the flip side, its very seclusion can make it feel like your own private paradise.

Why You Should Visit:

The gentle ocean breeze at Hapuna Beach will transport you to a paradise you never knew existed.

With crystal clear waters that shimmer in the sun and powdery white sands that stretch for miles, this beach is a paradise like no other.

But make sure you time your visit right! This beach is a popular destination and prime sun spots fill up quickly.

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8. Manini’owali Beach, Big Island

If you’re on the hunt for clear waters, you have to check out Manini’owali Beach (Kua Bay) on Hawaii’s Big Island.

This west coast gem is a slice of sunny paradise that’ll have you feeling like you’ve discovered your own secret spot.

At Manini’owali Beach, you’ll find pristine white sand and crystal-clear waters, perfect for a day of fun under the sun.

Though you may be tempted to grab your snorkel gear, keep in mind that currents can be rough and waves might crash hard during the winter, so it’s best to stick to boogie boarding or just chilling on the shore.

This beach is tucked away between mile markers 88 and 89 on Highway 19, so it’s a little more secluded than some other nearby spots.

Amenities include restrooms, a parking lot, showers, and picnic tables, so you’ve got everything you need for a stellar day at the beach.

Manini’owali Beach can get a bit crowded during peak times, so plan accordingly. It’s definitely worth the effort, though!

Why You Should Visit:

At Manini’owali Beach, you’ll find white sand and crystal clear waters that’s great for boogie boarding. There are tons of amenities available on-site and the location is somewhat secluded, meaning more quiet time to yourself.

It can get crowded during peak times and this beach is not suitable for snorkeling in the winter due to rough currents.

Kailua Beach Oahu
Kailua Beach Oahu

9. Kailua Beach, Oahu

Kailua Beach, a lovely spot over on Oahu, has got it going on. The beach is famous for its clear turquoise waters and powdery sand, making it look like something straight out of a postcard.

One thing that sets this beach apart is the picture-perfect setting with lush trees and the Mokulua Islands visible offshore.

Planning to explore more? There are exciting outdoor activities like kayaking, windsurfing, and kitesurfing to keep you busy. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some green sea turtles around The Mokes.

Did you know that Kailua Beach is a favorite among locals as well as tourists? The friendly atmosphere, charming nearby town, and ease of access make this an all-around winner.

The popularity does mean it can get quite crowded, especially during peak season.

Why You Should Visit:

Kailua Beach offers a stunning mix of beauty and adventure that’ll make you want to go back for more. Perfect for families, adventure seekers, and beach lovers alike – this is one experience you don’t want to miss!

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10. Makaha Beach, Oahu

If you’re searching for a piece of paradise with crystal-clear waters in Hawaii, let’s talk about the amazing Makaha Beach on Oahu’s west coast. This stellar spot is waiting for you with open arms and warm sands.

Makaha Beach is not just about its dazzling beauty; it’s also known for some of the best surfing in the area.

Did we mention this is where big wave surfing was pioneered? That’s right! You’ll be able to ride the same waves as legends once did.

But don’t worry, there are calm waters for you to just chill, swim, and soak up the sun too. Aside from surfing and swimming, this beach is well-equipped to make your experience nothing short of fantastic.

With parking, restrooms across the street, showers, and lifeguards, you’ll have everything you need for a hassle-free day. It’s like your very own slice of heaven, tucked away on the Leeward Coast of Oahu.

Makaha Beach is best enjoyed during summer when the waters are famously clear. Time it right, and you might even catch a glimpse of some sea turtles!

Keep in mind that the currents can be strong at times, so always pay attention to the ocean conditions and listen to lifeguards.

Why You Should Visit:

If you love basking in less-crowded spots with stunning waters and great surfing options, Makaha Beach is calling your name.

While the beach itself is a stunner, some might find it a wee bit off the beaten path. However, that could be a plus for those seeking a peaceful escape.

Ke'e Beach Kauai
Ke’e Beach Kauai

11. Ke’e Beach, Kauai

The magical Ke’e Beach in Kauai is where crystal clear waters meet Hawaii’s lush greenery; this spot is truly heaven on earth for beach lovers.

At Ke’e Beach, snorkeling is a must! One step into the ocean, and you’ll feel like you’re swimming in a natural aquarium. You’ll have to see the mesmerizing marine life for yourself.

Just be cautious and avoid the reef channel on the west end – it’s known for its strong currents.

The stunning Na Pali cliffs won’t leave you hanging either; they provide an epic backdrop for your tropical adventure.

Just keep in mind that winter brings some unexpected guests – heavy surf that can wash over the reef. Just remember to stay safe, respect nature, and leave only footprints behind.

Why You Should Visit:

Ke’e Beach, with its breathtaking beauty and adventurous spirit, is truly a remarkable place to visit. The majestic Na Pali cliffs, azure waters, and bustling marine life will be your ultimate reward!

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12. Poipu Beach, Kauai

Poipu Beach is one of those magical spots in Hawaii where you can’t help but smile as the sun kisses your skin.

Situated in Kauai, this beach offers two sections: Brennecke Beach and Poipu Beach itself. You’ll find calm waters, colorful fish, and a family-friendly vibe that just screams aloha.

Poipu Beach is your golden ticket to outdoor adventures of all sorts. Think snorkeling, boogie-boarding, and simply chilling out on the picture-perfect sand.

Worried about accessibility? Don’t sweat it! Poipu Beach has got you covered with plenty of parking, restrooms, and even a playground for the little ones.

Though the beach may get crowded at times, you’ll love the nearby attractions like the Makawehi Lithified Cliffs and Baby Beach in Koloa. They are definitely worth a short ride.

Keep in mind, though, that while the beach offers plenty of aquatic fun, there could be strong currents at times, so play it safe.

Why You Should Visit:

Poipu Beach is the place to be for families, water enthusiasts, and those seeking a memorable Hawaiian beach experience.

With beautiful clear water, fun activities, and nearby attractions, it’s a tropical paradise worth exploring. Just remember to pack your sunscreen, and let the good times roll!

Kapalua Bay on Maui
Kapalua Bay on Maui

13. Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui

Let’s talk about Kapalua Bay Beach, one of the best beaches with the clearest water in Hawaii.

Picture yourself on a crescent-shaped, golden sand beach with easy access, enjoying the crystal-clear blue water. Sounds dreamy, right?

Kapalua Bay Beach is a paradise for snorkelers, especially along the rocky reef areas on each side of the bay. You just might spot fish, eels, and sea turtles as they swim amongst the coral.

Worried about amenities? No worries, you’ve got parking, restrooms, and showers available.

Keep your eyes peeled for passing marine life, like a family of turtles that may wander closer to the shoreline.

The calm waters make this beach perfect for taking a dip, but if you’re into boogie boarding or bodysurfing, you might have to venture elsewhere.

Past visitors have raved about Kapalua Bay Beach’s tranquil atmosphere, making it perfect for those looking for a relaxing day under Maui’s warm sun. However, it can get quite popular, so arriving early is highly recommended.

Why You Should Visit:

Kapalua Bay is known for it’s stunning beach with clear water, offering great snorkeling opportunities with adequate amenities.

These perks do come with a few cons though: it can get crowded and there are limited options for extreme water sports.

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14. Anini Beach, Kauai

Anini Beach is a real paradise on Earth. This hidden gem is near the town of Princeville on Kauai’s North Shore, where the waters are calm, shallow, and crystal clear.

It’s the perfect spot for a chill day, swimming, and some snorkeling to meet fishy friends, including Hawaii’s state fish, the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa!

What makes this beach one of the best? Its outstanding fringing reef (one of Hawaii’s largest), turns Anini Beach into an excellent spot for snorkeling and a safe haven for families.

Don’t be surprised if you bump into a lovely green sea turtle (or two) while exploring the vibrant underwater world.

Also, Anini Beach’s beauty isn’t just in the water – the shaded, curving shoreline promises the perfect laid-back atmosphere.

Anini Beach may be a dream come true, but getting there can be a bit of a challenge as it’s tucked away, far from the hustle and bustle. It’s essential to plan your visit well.

Why You Should Visit:

The verdict? If you’re in search of a beach that offers clear waters, a rich underwater ecosystem, and a secluded, serene experience, Anini Beach should be on your Hawaii bucket list.

However, if you’re more into the excitement of busy beach scenes and crave for nearby attractions, you might want to explore other options.

Halona Beach Cove Oahu
Halona Beach Cove Oahu

15. Halona Beach Cove, Oahu

If you’re looking for a tropical paradise in Hawaii with stunningly clear water, you’ve got to visit Halona Beach Cove.

This hidden gem lies below the famous Halona Blowhole, and it’s such a secret that you can’t even see it from the road!

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Here are some cool facts about this amazing beach that’ll make you want to pack your bags right away:

  • The cove features crystal-clear water surrounded by large lava formations, perfect for a chill day of lounging and snapping epic photos.
  • Famed for its role in the 1953 movie “From Here to Eternity,” this beach has been called Eternity Beach. How romantic, right?
  • When the Ka’iwi Channel churns in the winter, you can catch 30-foot geysers shooting up from the lava tubes below!

Why You Should Visit:

Halona Beach Cove is a must-see when you’re exploring the clearest waters in Hawaii. It’s is a gorgeous and secluded spot with clear water, perfect for a relaxing day at the beach.

Plus, you’ll have the bragging rights of visiting a legendary Hollywood filming location!

The beach might be a bit tricky to find, and safety can be a concern when the ocean swells during winter months. Tread carefully and stay beach-savvy!

Final Thoughts

With crystal clear waters and soft sand beaches, it’s no wonder Hawaii is a prime destination for beach-goers.

But don’t take our word for it – pack your bags and head on over to these breathtaking beaches!

But before you do that, how about checking out some of Hawaii’s stunning botanical gardens? Lose yourself in the lush greenery and smell the sweet fragrance of Hawaii’s exotic blooms.

And if you’re wondering which island to visit in Hawaii, we’ve got you covered there too. So keep reading and let us be your guide as we explore everything Hawaii has to offer!