Whether you come for massive waves and roaring barrels to surf, pristine tropical coves framed by black-rock cliffs, or scintillating turquoise lagoons laden with hawksbill turtles, you can rest assured that this guide to destinations across America's island state will have something to spur on that search for the perfect Hawaii beach house.
A Hawaii beach house on Oahu
The most populous and lively of the whole Hawaiian chain, Oahu is likely to be where you touch down when flying into the Aloha State from the continental U.S. Honolulu gets things rolling with its spice-scented curry houses and buzzing Chinatown, but the beach living is left to happening Waikiki and the roaring North Shore.
Be enthralled by Waikiki
Once the chosen vacationing spot of Hawaii's rulers, Waikiki later drew the likes of Elvis with its shimmering coves and aquamarine seas. These days, you should find it easy to pick up a modern beach house on Oahu in these parts, thanks to the mix of high-rise condos, resort complexes, and villas that cluster right by the shore. They share sand space with surfboard rentals and water sports outfitters.
A beach house on the North Shore
If you've come to witness the fabled power of Hawaii's waves, the North Shore is what you've been looking for. Up here, the sands are ringed by multicolored coral reefs and jagged underwater rock gardens. They divide the lagoons from the famous swells that turn into mighty pipelines for pro surfers to conquer. Between the lot are plenty of condo homes and little cabins on the clifftops for rent.
Want to be away from the action? The Windward Coast around Kailua is home to off-the-beaten-track Hawaii beach houses that lurk between the palms and cliffs of quiet inlets. Some even have leafy gardens of their own, outdoor patio areas, and space for those morning yoga sessions right by the waves.
What about a beach house in Maui?
A beach house in Maui is all about feeling the good vibes of islander life. Weaving the folksy and the sublime into an incredible Polynesian patchwork of Hawaiian culture and beauty, this one has long-been a favorite of the Aloha State. Some of its hottest spots are listed below.
Kihei – sun-splashed, stunning beaches
Find a spot along the cinnamon-tinted stretches of palm-fringed sand at Keawakapu Beach and you might just have secured yourself one of the most coveted Hawaii beach houses of all. Yep, that's how jaw-dropping the coastline in Kihei can be. In total, the town runs for six miles along the west of Maui, which means there's plenty of room to fit in timber-built beach cabanas and stylish resort condos alike.
Lively nights in Lahaina
If you're the sort who likes to toast the sunset with a pineapple juice or Kahlua cocktail, Lahaina town could be the place to find those Hawaii beach houses. It's got all sorts, for families and couples and even large groups, not to mention loads of boutique shops with Polynesian folk trinkets, seafood grills where mahi-mahi sizzle, and even pulsing nightclubs.
Loads of places to pick in Kaanapali
There are more coastal rentals in Kaanapali than you can shake a hula skirt at, meaning this stretch of glitzy resorts, glinting beaches, and manicured golf courses is prime hunting ground for that beach house in Maui. Be aware that pads in these parts tend to lean towards the luxurious, so expect infinity pools by the Pacific Ocean and on-site spa facilities to make an appearance.
Choose the Big Island for dramatic vistas and less-trodden sands
Prepare to be wowed by the Big Island – the largest and most volcanic of all the Hawaiian chain. This smoke-spluttering place might be topped by great calderas, but its coast still has awesome beaches with oodles of oceanside vacation pads to go around.
Kailua-Kona has loads of rentals
White-sand stretches await at Kua Bay and Magic Sands, all benefitting from what's considered one of the most pleasant microclimates in the state. And if that makes Kailua-Kona sound like a place you might want to seek out your Hawaii beach house, that's probably because it is. So many come here, you'll almost certainly find somewhere perfect, whether it's a two-bedroom pad for the family or a deluxe villa just steps off the shore.
R&R in Waikoloa Village
Waikoloa Village is a purpose-built resort destination that tempts travelers with modern condo rentals and homes sandwiched between pristine tropical beaches and acclaimed championship golf courses. Rates can swell in this exclusive part of Big Island, but the level of luxury is often a tad higher to match.
Snorkeling galore around Hilo
On the eastern side of Big Island, the usual Pacific stretch of shimmering yellow-white powder and leaning palms is often replaced by rugged coves of black volcanic stone and glowing lagoons. The town of Hilo is right in the middle of all that, making it a fine place for budding snorkelers, coast walkers, and scuba divers on the quest for an alluring Hawaii beach house.