Big Island Snorkling Tours Blog

10 Gorgeous Beaches In Hawaii That Are Too Dangerous For Swimming

Magic Sands Beach

Megan Shute for Only In Hawaii on 10 beautiful beaches that she considers too dangerous for swimming.  Guess people didn’t get the memo on Magic Sands on the Big Island.  Join us in the water for an enjoyable and safe snorkel or manta ray tour that you won’t forget!

With approximately 750 miles of coastline, the Hawaiian Islands are ultimately home to some of the greatest beaches in the country – and perhaps even the world. But not all beaches are created equal – in fact, there are some beaches so dangerous, swimming should be avoided. From strong undertows and massive waves to unprotected shoreline and dangerous currents, these 10 dangerous beaches in Hawaii might be pretty enough to stop for a few photographs, but we certainly wouldn’t suggest swimming while you’re there.

1. Hanakapi’iai Beach
Located on the secluded Na Pali Coast, Hanakapi’ai Beach has been called the most dangerous beach in Hawaii. It’s also one of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii! The water often looks fine, but a dangerous rip current has swept several people out to sea.
2. Sandy Beach
Near Oahu’s southeastern tip is Sandy’s, as the locals like to call it, a beach with year-round crushing shore break. It’s a favorite spot for surfers, but many tourists and wanna-be bodysurfers have walked away with sprains, neck compressions, and broken bones.
3. Kaihalulu Red Sand Beach
This stunning red sand beach on Maui’s eastern coast is one of only a few red sand beaches in the world. You’ll have to access the stunning beach via an overgrown cliff-side trail, and the water is rough, but the views are well worth the effort. Just maybe stay away from actually entering the water.
4. Makena Beach
Also known as “breakneck beach,” the surf breaks right on the shore, making this an extremely dangerous beach in Hawaii for swimming. Oh, and if the dangerous surf breaks aren’t enough to deter you from entering the water, Makena Beach is considered one of the world’s most deadly beaches for shark attacks.
5. Lumahai Beach
The stunning turquoise waters and pristine sand might make this beach picturesque, but slippery rock ledges and huge winter waves make Lumahai Beach quite the hazardous spot. Some have even started calling the beach “Luma-die.”
6. Magic Sands
With mid-sized waves crashing into hard-packed sand in shallow water, the shore break at Magic Sands can be extremely dangerous. This beach is also known as Laʻaloa Bay and is located on the Big Island. (It’s also called “Tragic Slams”)
7. Queen’s Bath
Though not technically a beach, Queen’s Bath is one of the most dangerous spots along the Hawaiian coast. A sinkhole surrounded by igneous rock, this incredible geological formation is not only a vibrant turquoise pool set in the striking black lava shoreline, but it is also a dangerous lava bench exposed to deadly high surf.
8. Pipeline Beach
While safe enough during the summer months, many beaches along Oahu’s north shore – including Piepline – can be extremely dangerous during the winter months, when high surf pounds the shore.
9. Polihale Beach
Located on Kauai’s western shore, Polihale Beach is absolutely stunning but its unprotected waters can prove dangerous for unsuspecting swimmers.
10. Hapuna Beach Park
At more than 200 feet wide and nearly half a mile long, Hapuna Beach is the longest stretch of white sand on Hawaii Island – as well as the most dangerous. The intense shore break has led to more spinal cord injuries than any other beach in the state. It’s tempting to try to swim here, as it’s one of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii, but don’t do it!


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