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Hawaii's islands offer many exotic and beautiful beaches – some sand, some coral, some black from the volcanic eruptions that formed these paradises. Each island has innumerable hidden gems, but there are several that are agreed to be some of Hawaii's - and the world's – best beaches.
On Maui, Wailea Beach is one of Hawaii's best family beaches. Wide and well-shaded, it offers good snorkeling and swimming. Go early in the days, since parking is difficult and offshore currents can be strong in the afternoon. Also on Maui, Palauea Beach is undeveloped and secluded. Palauea is idea for families with young children because its water is shallow and the beach is sheltered from winds. Underwater rock formations make it an attractive destination for divers and snorkelers, though you'll need to bring your own food and drinks, as its seclusion means there are no snack stands or restaurants nearby. Likewise, this beach is not patrolled by lifeguards.
On the island of Oahu, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is situated in the crater of a volcano, and offers world-class snorkeling and scuba diving. This conservation area has strict rules to protect its environment, including no smoking, no food consumption, and the Preserve allows only 2000 visitors each day. Go early and follow the rules, and you'll have a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
On the island of Kuai, Poipu Beach Park is one of the best beaches in Hawaii for swimming, and its surroundings are unique. Lava flows have created borders of hardened lava that create sheltered pools that are ideal for children, and while other areas of the beach can have vigorous surf.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|