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The 6 Most Instagrammable Beaches: Hawaii Edition


We've said it before and we'll say it again: we're obsessed with being on the beach. We know the world's best beaches inside and out, and we're happy to share our knowledge of surf and sand. Whether you’re looking to capture swaying coconut palms, fine white sand or surfers hanging ten, the Aloha State dishes out swoon-inducing Instagram beach scenes like these in spades.

We’ve put together a guide to Hawaii’s six most Insta-worthy beaches—from laid-back Kalapaki on Kauai to jet-black Punalu’u on the Big Island.

1. Waikiki Beach, Oahu: Golden Sands and Action Shots
Waikiki boasts one of the widest stretches of golden sand on Oahu, which is not one beach but actually made up of several. Rent a surfboard, mount your action cam and ride the barrels where Waikiki beach boy Duke Kahanamoku played his part in reviving a sport once restricted to Hawaiian royalty. As the sun starts to descend, wind down with a SUP yoga session, which makes for ideal silhouetted Insta shots.

2. Kalapaki Beach, Kauai: Chill Views and Outriggers
On Kauai, Hawaii’s oldest island, gravitate towards the east end of Kalapaki beach in Lihue. A natural harbor, it’s famed for its calm, crystalline waters. Lay back on a lounger on the grassy strip set back from the sand, and zoom in on outrigger canoes gliding in and out of Nawiliwili Harbor amid gentle waves rolling across a shallow sandbar.

3. Kailua Beach, Oahu: An Iconic Pair of Islets
Sapphire waters and soaring ironwood trees for shade make unspoiled Kailua beach, on Oahu’s windward coast, a firm favorite among locals. Turn up early to make the most of the sunshine, which dips below the Ko'olau Mountains as the day progresses. Jump in a kayak and shoot the picture-perfect twin Mokulua islets, which form part of the Hawaii State Seabird Sanctuary.

4. Makalawena Beach, Island of Hawaii: Paradise Found
A palm-dotted stretch of velvety sand, pale aquamarine waters and hidden coves make up secluded Makalawena beach on the richly biodiverse Island of Hawaii, or the Big Island. Located on the sheltered Kona coast, it involves a 20-minute trek along a lava trail but it’s likely you’ll have this pristine patch of Insta-paradise all to yourself.

5. Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui: Mandatory Sunset Spot
One of America’s best beaches, crescent-shaped Kapalua Bay Beach in west Maui is blessed with gently shelving cobalt seas protected by headlands fashioned by lava flows. Bring your underwater camera to snap butterfly fish and Moray eels. Kapalua looks its best when the sun goes down and a purple-pink sky is mirrored in photogenic tide pools. 

6. Punalu’u Beach, The Island of Hawaii: Black-Sand Beauty
No Hawaii getaway is complete without kicking back on one of its renowned black-sand beaches. The often rough seas off of Punalu’u beach, on the southeast coast of the Big Island, may not make it suitable for swimming but the lava-sand landscape, lined with coconut palms, is jaw-droppingly dramatic. Arrive early to photograph Green Hawaiian Sea Turtles, honu in Hawaiian, eating seaweed and resting on the shore, but make sure to keep your distance. Capture your dream Instagram drone beach photo from above.

Inspired to explore Hawaii's top beaches for yourself? Click here to start planning your dreamy Hawaii beach vacation today.

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  • Home of Hawaiian Music, Kani Ka Pila Grille
  • Renovated modern guest rooms
  • Immersive cultural activities
  • Voyager 47 Club Lounge
  • Hawaii’s first and only craft hotel
  • Home of The Beachcomber Originals
  • Hawaiian Aroma Caffe, Waikiki’s most Instagrammed coffee shop
  • Island’s longest bar at Maui Brewing Co
  • Beachfront location
  • Home of Duke’s Waikiki
  • Hawaii’s best live music venue, Blue Note Hawaii
  • Voyager 47 Club Lounge
  • Intimate retreat for adventure seekers
  • Easy access to Waikiki Beach
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  • Spacious guest rooms and studios
  • Offering connecting rooms and kitchenettes
  • Spacious guest rooms with kitchenettes
  • Ideal for large groups or families
  • Steps to Waikiki Beach and International Market Place
  • Onsite restaurants – Appetito Craft Pizza & Wine Bar and Tanaka of Tokyo
  • Only half a mile from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport
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  • Convenient for business travelJust minutes from Pearl Harbor
  • Only resort condo directly on Waikiki Beach
  • Sweeping panoramic ocean views
  • Family friendly
  • Perfect for extended stays
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  • Intimate, boutique style condo resort
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  • Located on 22,000-acre Kapalua Resort
  • Choose from 3 beaches and 11 restaurants
  • Ocean and golf room views
  • Offering two magnificent golf courses
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  • Located within the world-famous Wailea Resort community
  • A short drive from the Shops at Wailea and beaches
  • Near Wailea’s most renowned restaurants
  • Ocean view of Molokai and Lanai
  • Boasts oceanfront pool
  • Private lanai
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Fronts the fairways of Kaanapali Beach Resort
  • Short walk from Whalers Village
  • Featuring three swimming pools
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Boutique-style condos in heart of Lahaina
  • Two blocks away from Front Street
  • Walking distance to shops and restaurants
  • Offering stunning views of Lanai and Molokai
  • Newly renovated condos
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  • Heated river pool running through two-acre property
  • Features flumed water slides
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  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Oceanfront condos
  • Includes an ocean pool within a natural stone breakwater
  • Adjacent to the Coconut MarketPlace
Watch the majestic manta rays that swim through Keauhou Bay. Or spend your day relaxing at the spa. It all starts here, on Hawaii Island.
  • Guests treated to infinity pool and lava rock whirlpool
  • Surrounded by Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed golf course
  • Selection of on property dining options
  • Five distinct properties to choose from
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  • Close to upscale King’s Shops and Queen’s Market Place
  • Golf at Beach Course
  • Set on 18 oceanfront acres
  • Boasts 3 swimming pools and 2 tennis courts
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  • Set on a lava rock bluff
  • Panoramic views of the Kona coast
  • 5-minute drive to restaurants and shops
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  • Kava ceremony welcomes guests
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  • Beachfront bures
  • Offering Meimei nanny service
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  • Named #1 Family Resort
  • Amazing firewalking ceremony
    • Luxury beachfront suites
    • Mauritian Rum tasting experience
    • Dance to Sega music
    • Relax on private beach
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    • Located beachfront on Lamai Beach
    • 2 swimming pools
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    • 3 meeting rooms
    • Located beachfront on Bangsak Beach
    • Swimming pool
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    • Restaurants and in-room dining
    • 3 meeting rooms
    • Located on Surin Beach
    • Boutique resort
    • 2 swimming pools
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    • Luxury resort in the Maldives
    • Choose from beachfront villas or over-water villas
    • Numerous dining options, including our signature restaurant Moodhu Grill
    • Fully equipped PADI and SSI dive center
    • Famous for Waikiki Beach
    • Hike Diamond Head Crater
    • Take a historical journey at Pearl Harbor
    • Birthplace of legendary surfer Duke Kahanamoku
    • Home to Iolani Palace, US’s only royal place
    • Voted “Best Island in the US”
    • Home to Haleakala volcano
    • Famed for whale watching during the winter months
    • Famous scenic stretch road to Hana
    • Mile long of sandy shore at Kaanapali Beach
    • Nicknamed the Garden Island
    • Known for lush valleys, waterfalls and hiking trails
    • Has more beaches than any other Hawaiian Island
    • Most hiking trails than an other Hawaiian Island
    • Largest coffee plantation in the US
    • Often referred to as the “Big Island”
    • Kilauea volcano is the most active and largest in the world
    • Known for black sand beaches
    • Grows most of the world’s macadamia nuts
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    • Accommodations in Koh Samui, PhangNga and Surin Phuket
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