The Hawaiian Islands are full of magnificent soft sand beaches, and many are dog-friendly. Most of these pet-friendly beaches require dogs to be on leashes at all times. Look forward to splashing in the water, running on the sand, beachcombing, and relaxing under an umbrella with your favorite four-legged friend. Keep in mind that dogs can get sunburned, so avoid too much exposure to direct sunlight, and be sure to have plenty of fresh water on hand. Book a stay at one of many vacation rentals in Hawaii for an unforgettable beach trip. Without further ado, here are the best dog-friendly beaches in Hawaii.
1. Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Oahu
Waikiki Beach lies conveniently right on the Honolulu city shoreline, and several of its beach areas welcome dogs, including Gray’s Beach, Royal-Moana Beach, Outrigger Canoe Club Beach, and Fort DeRussy Beach. Enjoy the sunshine and surf at one of the world’s most popular beaches. If your dog needs some off-leash time, head for Ala Wai K9 Playground in Ala Wai Community Park, which is walking distance from the beach on the east side of the Waikiki neighborhood. Honolulu also has several great dog-friendly hiking trails. The Ualakaa Trail takes you through a short loop of forest to a magnificent view of the southern Oahu shoreline from Pearl Harbor to Diamond Head. The Kuliouou Ridge Hiking Trail, a slightly more rugged path, leads you into the hills surrounding the city. Well-mannered dogs on leashes are allowed on the grounds of the Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor, where many famous historic airplanes are on display.
To enjoy a Honolulu shopping experience, visit Aloha Tower Marketplace, where dogs are welcome in the common areas of the mall, and individual stores admit them at the shops’ discretion. The Town Restaurant, which serves excellent Italian and American cuisine, has an outdoor area that admits dogs, and so does the Greek Marina Restaurant on the Koko Marina waterfront.
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2. Kailua Beach, Kailua, Oahu
Kailua Beach is a beautiful spread of soft white sand fronting the town of Kailua on the windward, or eastern, coast of Oahu. The lovely two-mile shoreline is an extremely popular dog-walking area. Facilities at Kailua Beach Park include picnic tables, barbecue grills, bathrooms, and showers. Don’t miss a walk on the nearby Maunawili Falls Hiking Trail. The path takes you through lush tropical foliage, across several streams, and down a flight of stairs before culminating at a stunningly beautiful waterfall.
In town, the Aikahi Park Shopping Center is a dog-friendly mall with numerous shops, services, and restaurants. The Uahi Island Grill, which serves fresh Hawaiian cuisine, has outdoor seating areas where dogs are welcome. Another local dog-friendly restaurant with an extensive menu is Big City Diner.
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3. Kalapaki Beach, Lihue, Kauai
The city of Lihue lies on the southeastern side of Kauai, the northernmost of the large Hawaiian Islands. Dog-friendly Kalapaki Beach is a beautiful crescent of soft sand on the north side of Nawiliwili Harbor. A large break wall protects the harbor and leaves the beach water placid and inviting. It’s an ideal spot for relaxing, sunbathing, and beachcombing. For some off-leash running time, take your dog to the extensive Freddie’s Dog Park, which is run by the Kauai Humane Society. The one-time fee is tax-deductible and includes access to picnic tables, gazebos, a pavilion, and a wide expanse of grass with separate sections for large and small dogs.
The Ke Ala Hele Makalae Pathway, also known as the Kauai Path, is an extensive trail along the coast that is ideal for hiking with your canine friend. When you’re hungry, the Kalapaki Beach Hut has dog-friendly outside seating.
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4. Baldwin Beach Park, Paia, Maui
Breathtakingly beautiful Baldwin Beach Park is near the town of Paia on the north shore of Maui. This long stretch of soft golden sand is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, beachcombing for shells, and, of course, dog walking. The west side of the beach, known as Baby Beach, features a sheltered pool ideal for families with young children. The east side, known as the Cove, is livelier with family sports and impromptu musicians.
If you and your canine companion love hiking, head inland to find several scenic trails. Haleakala Ridge Trail, Redwood Trail, and Polipoli Trail at the Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area offer lovely walks with amazing views through stands of cypress, pine, and cedars. Rock and Brews in Paia is a dog-friendly restaurant with a diverse menu of Hawaiian and traditional American cuisine. For dessert, visit Paia Gelato with your dog, and choose from among the many ice cream flavors.
5. Honokohau Harbor Dog Beach, Kailua-Kona, Big Island
The resort city of Kailua-Kona lies on the west side of the Big Island of Hawaii, and the Dog Beach at Honokohau Harbor is one of the few places in the Hawaiian Islands where dogs can run and swim freely without leashes. A short walk over lava rocks takes you down to the soft sand beach with shallow waters.
Huggo’s on the Rocks is a lovely dog-friendly seaside restaurant with extensive outdoor seating. The Royal Thai Cafe in the Keauhou Shopping Center serves Southeast Asian cuisine at their dog-friendly outdoor seating area.
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