On every island, you’ll find a family-friendly beach where swimmers of all skill levels can splash around. Look for a beach with wide shores, tranquil waters, and friendly lifeguards. Makena Beach (Maui), Hanauma Bay (Oahu), Anini Beach (Kauai), and Hapuna Beach (Hawaii Island) are great places to start.
Beaches and Beyond
For terrific swimming in Hawaii, just add water.
Sparkling water and soft sand shores make Hawaii’s beaches ideal places to swim. But they’re not the only ways to make a splash. There are ponds, tide pools, and even gentle waterfalls that are more than worth dipping into. And you won’t have to look very far to find them
There are a number of lesser-known beaches and coves that offer superb swimming in secluded places. Supervision is usually minimal, so it’s best to have an alternate plan for beginner-level swimmers in your group. Check out the black-sand Honokalani Beach (Maui), Mahaulepu Beach (Kauai), Kawela Bay (Oahu), and Makalawena Beach (Hawaii Island).
Hawaii has a large number of swimming holes and waterfall ponds safe for swimming. If you are a competent, confident swimmer, you'll get a kick out of natural swimming spots like Waimea Falls (Oahu), the caves of Kalalau Beach (Kauai), Ching’s Pond (Maui), and the Ahalanui Warm Pond (Hawaii Island).
Make sure you stay hydrated while you’re swimming. Drink plenty of (safe drinking) water, and avoid consumption of alcohol or caffeine before swimming.
Safety first. If you’re going to swim at a location off the beaten path, make sure it has a reputation for being a safe destination. And never swim alone.
If you have an open wound, avoid swimming due to bacteria and sharks.
Don’t get swept away. Never turn your back to the ocean when waves are breaking and crashing on the shore. Beware of unpredictable currents that can’t always be seen from the shore.
Oahu is full of family-friendly beaches. Take your pick from a beloved coastline attraction, or a more laidback stunner. You’ll also find small waterfall ponds at the ends of many a hike.
Maui has what many agree are the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii, and rejuvenating rainforest ponds in East Maui fit for frolicking.
Hawaii Island has warm ponds, springs, and tide pools heated by volcanoes. The beautiful Hapuna Beach on the Kohala Coast is also a great place to stay afloat.
On Kauai, it’s easy to find a hidden oasis or a secluded beach for a relaxing swim. The awesome Honopu Beach looks like a deserted island full of hidden treasures.