NatureUnited States of America
It will come as little surprise that Hawaii is home to some of the most picture-perfect beaches in the world. But with 750 miles of coastline spread over eight main islands, it can be difficult to find the best if you don't know where to look.
Tunnels (Makua) Beach, Kauai
Its perfect curve of golden sand and riveted green hillsides make Tunnels Beach one of Hawaii's most spectacular beach options. But its name actually comes from the underwater lava tunnels just off its coast which have become a haven for tropical fish. There's something here for both beginners, nearer to the shore, and expert divers on the outer reefs.
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Green Sand (Papakolea) Beach, Big Island
The southern tip of Hawaii's Big Island is home to the only two green-sand beaches in the world. Papakolea's distinct color comes from olivine crystals, created during a volcanic eruption around 50,000 years ago. Nowadays you can explore the green carpet by 4x4 or with your own two feet on a hike that will take you past cave dwellings and old Hawaiian temples.
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Punalu'u Beach, Big Island
The wonderful black sand of Punalu'u is a haven for endangered green sea turtles, who favour the extra warmth absorbed by the beach for their nests. Visitors come here to marvel at these creatures, snorkel and even camp.
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Ko Olina Beach, Oahu
This tranquil beach on the upmarket west side of Oahu is perfect for families with young kids looking to enjoy the Hawaiian coastline without the giant Pacific rollers.
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Waimea Bay Beach, Oahu
Still on Oahu but heading towards the less commercial north shore, Waimea Bay is unmissable for lovers of big surf. During the winter months, it plays host to presitigious surfing competitions on the back of the biggest swells of the year.
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