Black sand beach at Wai'ānapanapa State Park
Black sands in a tropical paradise

Wai'ānapanapa State Park, Maui, Hawaii

Brooding black sand beaches are popular with photographers looking for something a little different, and Hawaii has plenty of them on offer. This famous beach at Wai'ānapanapa State Park on Maui was created when basalt, a dark volcanic rock, was eroded by waves into fine grains, creating a stunning shoreline. You'll find it on Maui's east side, toward the end of the legendary Road to Hana, a scenic 64-mile highway. You can also find black sand shores around the world, from Alaska to Greece, Costa Rica, Italy, Iceland, Indonesia, and New Zealand.