The beaches are one of the main reasons to visit such a beautiful tropical destination. Those with white sand are the most common around but if you look closely, you'll be able to find black sand and even red sand.
From these fabulous locations you'll be able to accomplish almost any outdoor task. Fishing from the shore is quite popular (watch out for swimmers!) camping right on the shore, is available as well but you'll need to call ahead for reservations as the local Hawaiian population loves to spend their time out-of-doors and will book these areas far in advance.
On the Big Island of Hawaii there are numerous beaches to choose from. James Kealoha lies a few miles east of Hilo. The Kealoha beach supports swimming and snorkeling during calm waters and the eastern end is protected by a small island and shore break. There are a few sandy areas and the water is often calm and clear. The western side is exposed to open ocean where rough water and strong currents make this area unsafe during high seas. There are also some camping areas reasonably close by, with access to hiking trails.
Punalu'u is best known for it's black sand. The state park lies on the southeastern coast of the Big Island and is exposed to open ocean and rough seas. Swimming should be attempted only on very calm days since a strong rip current flows offshore. Swimming is least treacherous at the northern end. Snorkeling can be attempted from the same area, but be cautious. This is also a good site for fishing.
Hana Beach lies in the southern portion of Hana Bay on the island of Maui. It is used by residents and visitors alike. This beach is exposed to open ocean and subject to high surf and strong currents. When the water is calm, snorkeling, diving and swimming are popular activities. Otherwise, entering the water is not advised.
Kamaole lies on the southwestern shore of eastern Maui, between the communities of Kalama and Keawakapu. This beach is split into three distinct sections, which go by the same name with I, II or III after it. Each area has full facilities. These areas are generally sandy and wide, but subject to storms from the south.
Hanalei lies on the eastern shore of Hanalei Bay on Kaua'i. The bay is a large crescent-shaped area fronted by the community of Hanalei. The area is popular and used heavily by locals and visitors alike, especially during the summer and weekends. Hanalei Beach is long and sandy with a gentle slope into the bay. At the park a grass area, shaded by ironwood trees, serves as a dispersed camping area. The eastern side ends at the Hanalei River, where a boat ramp is maintained.
Ehukai lies on the northern shore of Oahu and is most famous for surfing. Huge rolling waves form quickly and break over a shallow reef, which makes these waves enticing and dangerous. These rolling waves are known as the Banzai Pipeline and are used for professional surfing competitions each year. The beach is wide and sandy, good for watching surfers and sunbathing. During the summer months the waters calm and Ehukai is a great place for swimming.
Whatever your fancy, if you like the larger more crowded, with greater amenities, type of beach; if you like the secluded, or even the nudist beach, your sure to find it here. All you need to do is bring some sunscreen, and an attitude of willingness to let the islands wash the tiredness out our system. biking is a local favorite way to get around and explore the inland trails. Backpacking, is another great way to get away from the heat and masses of the seashore and travel where the air is a little cooler. Be sure to spend time on the island of Molokai as well.