Beaches & Islands - 12 min read

12 Best Family Beaches in Hawaii (Fun Water Activities & Great Scenery)

Town and Tourist

Town and Tourist, Updated October 17, 2022

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Hawaii is a beautiful state made up of 8 different main islands. It is home to many beaches and tropical getaway destinations. Families from all over the world travel here to soak in the sun and escape away to paradise.

Families looking for a fun day of surfing will love visiting Waimea Bay Beach. Those with younger children wanting a more monitored beach to enjoy should visit Baldwin Beach Park. Families looking to experience some unique scenery should visit the famous black sand at Punalu’u Beach. Animal lovers hoping to spot some ocean wildlife should check out Hulopoe Beach.

Looking to stay in an area full of different attractions and amenities? Ka’anapali Beach in Maui is the perfect place to go! Families searching for a fun and relaxing getaway will love visiting any of the many family-friendly beaches that Hawaii has to offer.

1. Hapuna Beach

Hapuna Beach is a beautiful beach with fantastic scenery. Children can enjoy building sandcastles in the white sand or splashing around the clear blue water. Lay out your towel and soak in the rays of the beautiful Hawaiian sunshine.

Families love having a big lunch and using any of the numerous barbeque sections and picnic tables throughout the beach. Snorkeling, surfing, and even whale watching are frequent activities that visitors partake in each year.

Not feeling the water? Enjoy watching the beautiful sunrise and taking in the amazing view. Hapuna Beach is an excellent place for families to unwind and spend time in nature.

2. Waimea Bay Beach

Waimea Bay Beach is located in the beautiful Haleiwa, Hawaii, on the North Shore of Oahu, and is a favorite amongst the locals. Surfing families will love surfing the waves at Waimea Bay Beach.

The waves in Waimea are known to reach as high as 30 feet during the colder months. Surfers from all over the world come here to experience it for themselves. If surfing is not your thing, do not worry! The water tends to be much calmer during the summer months, perfect for younger children.

Families with nature lovers and adrenaline junkies will have a field day at this stunning beach. Visitors are often spotted participating in various water activities, including boogie boarding, snorkeling, and more. Lifeguards are present and watch over swimmers, easing the minds of parents.

Hungry? Bring some sandwiches and enjoy a family picnic at one of the many picnic tables! The view at Waimea Bay Beach is incredible, with thick green forestry lining the sand and clear blue sparkling water. Adventure lovers will adore Waimea Bay Beach!

Related Read: How Much Does A Trip To Hawaii Cost?

3. Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach is a top-rated beach located on the south shore of Honolulu. Catering to a variety of different ages, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Children are often seen running along the shore and digging in the sand. Older kids and parents can enjoy surfing and other various water activities. Snorkeling is extremely popular here and is enjoyed by beachgoers regularly.

This busy beach is right near the city and is lined by gorgeous palm trees. At Waikiki Beach, visitors are just a short drive away from various restaurants, lodging options, and other activities to enjoy. Definitely check out Waikiki Beach next time you’re in Hawaii!

4. Baldwin Beach Park

Baldwin Beach Park is located on the beautiful island of Maui. Known for its white shining sand and stunning blue water, this beach is nothing short of gorgeous. Baldwin Beach Park is a favorite for families looking to get away with their children.

Fitness lovers are often spotted running on the shore or enjoying a morning walk. Families can enjoy a nice barbeque and picnic under the pavilion. Children can swim safely in the shallow water areas thanks to lifeguards always being present and thoroughly watching the sea.

Though parts of the beach may have rougher water conditions, boogie boarders love boarding along the shore. Younger children can enjoy swimming in calm, closed-off pools of water safe from the waves and current.

Everyone will enjoy Baldwin Beach Park, no matter what your swimming experience or what activities you like.

5. Lanikai Beach

Lanikai Beach is on the great island of Oahu. This stunning beach features bright, clean sand and clear blue water. When people think of Hawaiian beaches, a beach like Lankikai comes to mind.

This beach is on the smaller side and is excellent if you are looking for a more laid-back family day in the sun. With there being no lifeguards or bathrooms, it truly is the perfect escape to nature. Younger children can enjoy walking the shore and playing in the sand while older children swim and explore.

People are often seen tanning in the sand while reading a book or flipping through a magazine. This serene and almost remote-like beach is perfect for families looking for a quiet place to unwind. Visit early in the morning to watch the most beautiful sunrise of your life, or stop by in the evening to view the sun setting over the ocean.

The fun does not stop when the sun goes down. Visitors love visiting the beach at night to lay under the stars and gaze at the sky. Enjoying a late-night snack under the stars in Hawaii is a memory that every family will love to have.

Lanikai Beach is truly one of a kind and will allow you to unwind and reconnect with nature. Everyone will find something peaceful about Lanikai Beach, no matter how big your family is.

6. Onekahakaha Beach Park

Onekahakaha Beach Park is a beautiful beach that is a family favorite in Hawaii. Located on the big island, this beach is enjoyed by families of all ages and is a must-see for tourists.

With lifeguards always on duty, children enjoy swimming in shallow waters and snorkeling along the shore with lifeguards always on duty. People are often spotted body surfing and boogie boarding in the bright blue water. With a rock wall dividing up parts of the ocean from the shore, there are plenty of areas for younger kids to splash around in.

Looking to get out of the sun? Plenty of shady spots are available under the trees to set up your towels and chairs. Enjoy spotting sea turtles and exploring some of the large rocky surfaces surrounding areas of the shore.

Hungry? Enjoy a pre-packed lunch at one of the many picnic areas. Bathrooms and showers are also available for beachgoers’ convenience. Families looking for a fun-filled day of water activities should definitely check out Onekahakaha Beach Park.

Related Read: Best Time to Visit the Big Island

7. Poipu Beach

Located on the island of Kauai, this beach is perfect for families looking to get away and connect with nature for the day. Poipu Beach is smaller in size compared to many other Hawaiian beaches. Families all over come here to swim, lay out in the sand, and enjoy the beautiful views.

This beach is perfect for families with smaller children as it is not as big and hectic as others may be. The water is also much more shallow and accessible for children to enjoy. Visitors are commonly seen surfing and snorkeling in the clear blue water.

The sand is free of harsh rocks, allowing for the perfect sandcastles to be built by children. Families can also be at ease knowing that their little ones are less likely to cut themselves while playing around. Parents can keep an eye out on their children easily while soaking in the sun and relaxing.

People often host birthday parties, play games on the grass, and have family events at this beach. There is also a playground built on the beach for children to enjoy. Poipu Beach is the perfect little escape from reality!

8. Lydgate Beach Park

Lydgate Beach Park is also located on the beautiful island of Kauai. The locals even consider this to be a favorite spot on the island, and many come to visit each year. Whatever type of beach activities you like, Lydgate Beach Park is sure to have it.

Visitors are often spotted surfing some big waves and swimming along the shore. Does your family like to go fishing? Enjoy some saltwater fishing at this beautiful beach! Indulge in a delicious family lunch at one of the many picnic tables located throughout the beach.

Families with younger kids or weaker swimmers can enjoy swimming here too. A volcanic rock dam protects part of the beach from the rest of the ocean, forming two enclosed pools of water. This helps eliminate big waves from entering the area and helps keep kids safe while swimming.

These water pools are often filled with various tropical fish that find their way through the dam. Snorkeling in this area is extremely popular and offers families the unique opportunity to experience ocean wildlife close up.

There is so much to do and see at Lydgate Beach Park. No matter what your children’s ages are, this Beach has something perfect for everyone to enjoy.

9. Hanalei Bay

Hanalei Bay is located on Hawaii’s fourth-largest island, the island of Kauai. Nature lovers will absolutely fall in love with the gorgeous scenery that lines this beach.

This two-mile collection of beaches allows for plenty of room for families to spread out and soak in the sun. Children can enjoy building sandcastles in the sparkling sand or swimming along the shore. Surfing families can also catch some amazing waves here at various times of the year.

Looking to catch an amazing sunset? Hanalei Bay is the perfect place to go! Photography lovers can enjoy photographing the gorgeous view of the 4,000-foot mountains surrounding the bay.

Kayakers can use the built-in boat launch for easy access to the water. Need to get some energy out? Enjoy a nice walk on the beach while looking for shells and admiring the sea. No matter what time of year you visit this beach, you are sure to be in awe of the wonder of nature.

Related Read: 50 BEST Things To Do In Waikiki

10. Hulopoe Beach

Hulopoe Beach is located on the small island of Lanai and is an excellent place for families looking to get the Hawaiian beach experience. Children love to play in the sand here, and people are always swimming in the clean blue water.

Animal lovers have reported spotting whales and dolphins from the shore. They also enjoy exploring the various tide pools full of ocean wildlife. Want to try snorkeling? This is the perfect place to do so!

Families looking to stay close to a beach will love this location. There is a beautiful Four Seasons Resort right along the beach, allowing for easy access and non-stop fun in the sun! This is perfect for families with smaller children who may need more breaks throughout the day as you are right by your room.

A variety of other amenities are available for beachgoers to use, such as bathrooms, showers, and picnic areas equipped with barbecues to enjoy a family meal. Lanai is a beautiful island with so much to explore. Families will love spending time in nature and getting away from their busy day-to-day life.

11. Punalu’u Beach

Punalu’u Beach is genuinely unlike any other Hawaiian beach on this list. People come from all over the world to experience the beach’s black sand in person.

Visitors enjoy partaking in a variety of different activities here, including swimming and snorkeling. Fitness lovers frequently hike here, and photography lovers take advantage of the unique opportunity to capture photos of the dark shore.

Families can enjoy a nice picnic along the beach while tanning on the black sand and watching the waves crash along the shore. It is common to see various species of turtles soaking in the sun along the shore; just be sure to give them their space!

Want to take your family trip to the next level? Visitors can camp at Punalu’u Beach as long as they have the proper permit with them!

This is a great way to immerse your family more in nature and truly get the most out of the experience. It’s not every day you see black sand beaches!

Stroll the rocky shore, look for turtles, and relax under one of the many palm trees lining the beach. Punalu’u Beach is truly a once-in-a-lifetime type of experience, and you should definitely stop here the next time you visit Hawaii!

Related Read: Best Time to Visit the Big Island

12. Ka’anapali Beach

Ka’anapali Beach is located on the island of Maui, a favorite for tourists to the state. Ka’anapali Beach is three miles long and full of clean, sparkling sand, perfect for digging in and building sand castles. With so much to explore, this beach is a summer hit in Hawaii and is always enjoyed by its visitors.

Families visiting Maui can enjoy staying at one of the five hotels located along the beach. This is perfect for those looking for easy access to the water while still wanting the option to wind down at any time. Families love waking up to the ocean just feet from their balcony and preparing for a day in the sun.

Hungry? Families can enjoy eating at any of the several restaurants located nearby or enjoy a nice picnic on the beach. Adrenaline junkies can try cliff diving off of the iconic 16-foot Black Rock along the shore every day. There are also multiple professional golf courses nearby, along with a wide selection of different stores to shop at.

Families looking for a resort-like getaway with a wide variety of amenities and attractions will love Ka’anapali Beach. There is something for everybody!

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