2. Papakolea Beach (Green Sand Beach), Big Island Hawaii
A bit off the standard tourist path lies one of only four green sand beaches in the world. Getting there can be an adventure but it’s well worth it. Choose to drive your 4X4 rental, hike the two miles or catch a ride down to the beach with locals for a small price. The beach is carved into the side of a cinder cone that erupted over 50,000 years ago. The result is a breathtaking cove with sparkling soft green sand. Often uncrowded with plenty of sunshine, Green Sand Beach is a must-visit on the Big Island.