A rainbow is caught mimicking the bridge in Hilo's Wailoa River State Park.

Hilo’s Wailoa River State Recreation Area

The Wailoa River State Recreation Area, a huge area encompassing a spring-fed lagoon, is used by locals for picnics, pleasure walks, informal get-togethers, fishing, and launching boats. For visitors, the Wailoa Center is also an excellent cultural stop, with historical and local artist exhibitions.

Kayaks on the beach of Moku Nui, with the ocean and O‘ahu in the background.

Best Kayaking in Kailua

Beautiful views and calm waters make for excellent kayaking in Kailua; you’ll want to make sure you have your camera along in a dry sack. Along with outfitters, guided excursions, and lesson providers, here’s where to go for the best day on the water.

A Hawaaian sea urchin in a coral crevice.

Ocean Safety in Hawaii

More people drown in Hawaii than anywhere else in the world. But don’t let the statistics deter you from enjoying the ocean! Use common sense along with these tips for respecting both the ocean and the creatures that live in it to stay safe.

Ulua Lagoon, the first of the four Ko Olina Lagoons. Photo © Leigh Meeks/123rf.

O‘ahu’s Leeward Beaches

If you’re feeling adventurous and don’t mind an hour’s drive across the island, the beaches of leeward O‘ahu offer wide swaths of white sand under clear, sunny skies. As the trade winds blow across the island from east to west, the leeward coast’s waters remain calm and protected. Here are beach highlights, amenities, and the best activities for each.

Waves crash on the rocky, volcanic shorline of Wawaloli Beach.

Kona’s Beaches: South of the Airport

Kona’s beaches south of the airport are a motley crew. Worth a visit if you’re in the area looking for sand, you’ll find plenty of picnic areas and one or two spots to get in the water for snorkeling, swimming, or boarding. Here are directions, the best activities for each beach, and amenities.

Makena Beach, Maui, Hawaii.

Best Beaches of Wailea and Makena

Whether you’re looking for a quiet, secluded beach, a great spot to get into the water for your sport of choice, or simply some sun and sand, the beaches of Wailea and Makena deliver. Here’s where to go, including beach overviews, amenities and directions.

A kitesurfer at Kanaha Beach Park in Central Maui.

Best Beaches in Central Maui

The undeveloped beaches of Central Maui are defined by wind, waves, and water sports. You won’t find any tiki bars or activities stands, but there are long stretches of undeveloped beaches where the world’s best watermen hang out.

Surfboard rack on the ocean shore in Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Surfing Lessons and Outfitters in Waikiki

You’ll find surfing is a way of life in Waikiki. There’s a long history here of welcoming visitors to learn how to catch a break and ride the big one that continues on today with several surf schools offering private, group, and customized surf tours for reasonable prices, as well as boards and gear.