A Guide to Hawaii's Private and Secret Beaches


Hawaii is known for its stunning beaches, and while many popular ones attract tourists, the islands are also home to some lesser-known private and secret beaches that offer a more secluded and tranquil experience.

Private beaches are usually owned by resorts or individuals, and access is limited to guests or property owners. On the other hand, secret beaches are less known and might not have official public access points. They are often secluded and pristine, making them perfect for a peaceful getaway. However, be aware that accessing some of these beaches might involve hiking or crossing private land, which could be illegal or disrespectful to the landowners.

Private and Secret Beaches Guide

Before we start with some of the most interesting private and secret beaches in Hawaii, let’s check some of the most important aspects. Of course, the first thing would be to do some research and the best way is to ask locals. Then, it’s also important to be aware of local rules and culture and also to pack essentials. Finally, always have safety in mind.

Research and Ask Locals

Researching and asking locals is an essential aspect of discovering private and secret beaches in Hawaii. Start your research by looking up travel forums, blogs, and websites dedicated to Hawaii's hidden gems. Websites like Reddit, TripAdvisor, and local travel blogs often have discussions and recommendations from travelers who have explored off-the-beaten-path beaches.

Check for articles or guides specifically focusing on secret or private beaches in Hawaii. Some travel writers or bloggers may have uncovered lesser-known spots that are worth exploring.

Social media platforms can be valuable sources of information. Look for hashtags related to Hawaii's private or secret beaches on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Many travelers and locals share their experiences and pictures, offering insights into less crowded and more secluded spots.

Once you're in Hawaii, engage with locals, and ask for their recommendations. Locals are the best sources of information about hidden gems, as they often know the lesser-known spots that tourists might not be aware of.

Strike up conversations with shopkeepers, restaurant staff, tour guides, or people you meet during your travels. They might be willing to share their favorite secret beaches with you.

When asking locals about secret beaches, be polite and respectful of their time and privacy. Some locals might be protective of these spots to preserve their seclusion, so approach the topic delicately.

Avoid prying for exact locations or pushing for information if the locals seem hesitant to share. Instead, ask for general tips or hints that can guide you in the right direction.

Guide to Hawaii's Private and Secret Beaches

Respect Local Rules and Culture

Respecting local rules and culture is paramount when visiting any destination, including Hawaii. The islands have a rich and unique cultural heritage, and being mindful of local customs and regulations ensures a positive experience for both travelers and residents.

Hawaii's indigenous culture is deeply rooted in traditions, values, and practices. It's essential to approach the islands with cultural sensitivity and an open mind. Educate yourself about the local culture and history before your trip to gain a better understanding of the significance of certain places and customs.

Hawaii has numerous sacred sites and places of cultural significance, such as heiaus (temples) and burial grounds. Always be respectful and avoid trespassing or engaging in inappropriate behavior at these sites. Many of these locations are not open to the public and should be admired from a distance.

Hawaii's natural beauty is a treasure that must be preserved. When visiting beaches or any outdoor areas, follow the principles of "Leave No Trace." Pack out all your trash, avoid disturbing wildlife, and refrain from removing anything from the environment.

Hawaii is home to unique and fragile ecosystems with rare species of flora and fauna. Keep a safe distance from wildlife, do not feed them, and avoid touching or harassing any animals. Be aware of nesting areas and avoid disturbing nesting birds or sea turtles.

Pay attention to signs and regulations posted at beaches and other public areas. Some beaches may have specific rules, such as restrictions on camping, fires, or certain activities. Follow these guidelines to ensure your safety and protect the environment.

Hawaiian language, culture, and customs are highly regarded. Learning and using basic Hawaiian greetings and phrases, such as "aloha" and "mahalo" (thank you), shows respect and appreciation for the local culture. Additionally, practice common courtesy and politeness in all your interactions.

Pack Essentials

Packing essentials is crucial for any travel experience, and this is especially true when visiting private and secret beaches in Hawaii. Since these secluded spots may not have facilities nearby, being well-prepared ensures your comfort, safety, and enjoyment. Here's more about packing essentials for your beach adventure

Staying hydrated is essential, especially in Hawaii's warm and tropical climate. Carry an adequate supply of water for everyone in your group. Packing snacks like fruits, energy bars, or sandwiches is also advisable, as there may not be nearby food vendors.

Hawaii's sun can be intense, so pack sunscreen with a high SPF rating to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, and lightweight, long-sleeved clothing can offer additional protection.

Bring towels or beach blankets to relax on the sand. Quick-dry microfiber towels are ideal for beach trips as they are lightweight and dry faster than regular towels. Of course, don't forget your swimwear. A change of clothes is also handy if you plan to explore more areas after your beach visit.

Flip-flops or sandals are perfect for the beach, but consider bringing water shoes if you plan on exploring rocky areas or for protection from sharp coral or shells.

A waterproof or dry bag is essential for keeping your valuables (such as your phone, camera, wallet, and keys) safe from sand and water damage. It also helps in carrying out any trash you might generate during your visit, adhering to the "Leave No Trace" principle.

It's always wise to have a basic first aid kit with essentials like adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any personal medications you may need.

Depending on the location and time of day, there might be insects around. Having insect repellent will help prevent bug bites and make your beach experience more enjoyable.

Keep in mind that you may need to hike or walk a distance to reach some secluded beaches, so pack only the essentials to avoid carrying unnecessary weight.

Hawaii and Beaches

Safety First

Safety should always be a top priority, especially when exploring private and secret beaches in Hawaii. While these secluded spots can offer a magical and peaceful experience, they may also present unique challenges and hazards.

Before heading to a beach, check the local weather forecast and ocean conditions. Hawaii's waters can be unpredictable, and it's essential to be aware of potential hazards like high surf, strong currents, or stormy weather.

Stick to designated swimming areas with lifeguards on duty, especially if you're not familiar with the beach. If a beach doesn't have a designated swimming area or lifeguards, exercise extra caution and be aware of potential dangers.

Hawaii's beaches can experience strong rip currents that can quickly pull swimmers away from shore. If caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shoreline until you break free from its pull, then swim back to shore.

Always face the ocean and keep an eye on the waves, even if you're not planning to swim. Large waves can unexpectedly wash ashore and pose a risk, especially in areas with rocky shores.

Hawaii's tropical climate can lead to dehydration, so ensure you have enough water to stay hydrated, especially if you plan to be outside for an extended period.

Some secret beaches might involve navigating rocky or uneven terrain. Be cautious near cliff edges and avoid risky climbs or hikes that could lead to accidents.

Always let someone you trust know your beach plans, including where you're going and when you expect to return. This way, they can check on your well-being if needed.

Carry a charged cell phone with you in case of emergencies. However, note that some secluded beaches may have limited or no cell phone reception.

Protect yourself from the sun's harmful rays by wearing sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat. Overexposure to the sun can lead to sunburn and heat-related illnesses.

Hawaii's beaches are home to various marine life, including sea turtles and monk seals. Keep a safe distance from wildlife and never disturb or approach them.

Pay attention to warning signs and safety guidelines posted at beaches. Respect any closed-off areas or restricted zones.

If possible, explore secluded beaches with a friend or a group. Having a buddy system ensures someone is there to help in case of an emergency.

Top Picks for Private and Secret Beaches in Hawaii

Lanikai Beach (Oahu):

Lanikai Beach, located on Oahu's east coast, is renowned for its powdery soft sand and stunning turquoise waters. While not private, it has limited public parking, which helps maintain a less crowded atmosphere compared to other beaches in Oahu.

Waimanalo Bay Beach (Oahu):

Just south of Lanikai, Waimanalo Bay Beach offers a long stretch of white sandy shoreline. The beach is less crowded, making it an excellent choice for a peaceful day by the sea.

Makalawena Beach (Big Island):

Accessible via a moderate hike or a rugged 4WD trail, Makalawena Beach is a remote gem on the Big Island. Its untouched beauty and seclusion make it a favorite among nature lovers.

Secret Beach (Kauai):

This aptly named beach, also known as Kauapea Beach, is located near Kilauea Point on the island of Kauai. To access the beach, you'll need to hike down a steep trail, but the breathtaking views and relative seclusion are well worth the effort.

Kaihalulu (Red Sand Beach) (Maui):

Located in Hana, Maui, Kaihalulu, or Red Sand Beach, is a unique and striking beach with red-colored sand. It is surrounded by volcanic cliffs and accessed by a short but challenging hike.

Papakolea Beach (Green Sand Beach) (Big Island):

One of the rarest beaches in the world, Papakolea Beach features green sand, created by the mineral olivine. It's located near South Point (Ka Lae) on the Big Island, and reaching the beach requires a hike or a 4WD vehicle.

Ko Olina Lagoons (Oahu):

While not entirely secret, the Ko Olina Lagoons on Oahu's west coast offer a calmer and less crowded alternative to some of the more popular Waikiki beaches. These man-made lagoons are great for families and provide a sense of seclusion.

Polihale State Park (Kauai):

Polihale Beach, on Kauai's west side, is one of the longest and most secluded beaches in Hawaii. Accessible by a rugged dirt road, it offers stunning views of the Na Pali Coast and the Pacific Ocean.


As an epicenter of natural beauty, with impressive coastlines, Hawaii islands offer so many gorgeous private and secret beaches. However, it’s important to keep some things in mind when planning this kind of advantage. Keep in mind that accessing some of these beaches may involve hiking, navigating challenging terrain, or respecting private property boundaries. Always research and follow local regulations and guidelines to ensure a safe and respectful visit. Additionally, the status of these beaches may change over time, so it's a good idea to check for updated information before planning your visit.

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