8 Best Beaches on the BIG ISLAND of Hawaii to Visit in 2023

Best Beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii

The Big Island of Hawaii is well-known for its incredible beaches. With over 120 miles of coastline, beach-goers have plenty of options to explore.

From the black sand beaches of Punalu’u to the white sand beaches of Hapuna, there is a beach to suit everyone’s taste. And with year-round warm weather, the Big Island is the perfect place to enjoy a beach vacation any time of year. In addition to its beautiful beaches, the Big Island is also home to some of the world’s most active volcanoes. Visitors can take a lava boat tour to see lava flowing into the ocean or hike through Volcanoes National Park to see firsthand the devastation caused by volcanic eruptions.

Whether one is looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an adventure-filled trip, the Big Island has something to offer everyone. Here are six of the best beaches on the Big Island, each with unique features.

Suggested: Best beaches in Hawaii

Hapuna Beach

Hapuna Beach is a beautiful spot on the Big Island of Hawaii. It’s well-known for its clear water and calm waves, which make it a perfect place to swim and snorkel.

Hapuna Beach also has a large grassy area perfect for picnicking or relaxing in the sun. In addition to its many beautiful features, Hapuna Beach is also conveniently located near several restaurants and shops. So, whether looking to soak up the sun or explore the nearby area, Hapuna Beach is the perfect destination. Hapuna Beach State Park also offers hiking trails, camping sites, and horseback riding.

Manini’owali Beach

This place is fantastic for swimming and snorkeling in the summer, and in the winter, when the waves can get quite high, it offers excellent surfing conditions. Dolphins can often be seen playing in the distance, and sea turtles are also frequently seen.

Since there is no shade here, you should bring a beach umbrella and wear shoes to walk on the lava rocks on the way to the sand. There are no concessions here, so pack your lunch, some snacks and water.

There are now lifeguards at the beach, as well as restrooms and showers. Manini’owali Beach, like other of the Big Island’s most popular beaches, can be crowded on weekends, and parking can be difficult.

Punalu’u Beach

Punalu'u Beach Big Island Hawaii

Punalu’u Beach is an iconic black sand beach located on the south shore of the Big Island. It’s a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking.

The beach gets its distinctive color from lava that has cooled and broken into tiny fragments. Keep an eye out for the green sea turtles that often come ashore to bask in the sun. Turtles are a protected species, so please do not disturb them.

If you’re lucky, you might also spot a Hawaiian Monk Seal napping on the beach. These endangered animals are often found on Punalu’u Beach because it provides a safe place to rest and give birth.

Kealakekua Bay

Kealakekua Bay

Kealakekua Bay is one of the most popular destinations on the Big Island. Visitors come from all over to enjoy its clear water and abundant marine life.

The bay is home to various corals and fish, making it a perfect place for snorkeling and diving. In addition, the bay is also home to a historical monument commemorating Captain Cook, who was killed here in 1779. The monument is a popular spot for visitors who learn about the area’s history. Kealakekua Bay is a beautiful spot that offers something for everyone.

Kahaluu Beach Park

Kahaluu Beach Park is an excellent spot for swimming, bodyboarding, and surfing. It’s located on the east side of the Big Island and is known for its gentle waves and beautiful views. The park also has a playground, picnic tables, and showers.

Anonymous visitor review: I had the opportunity to visit the park last week, and I was impressed by how well-maintained it was. The playground was clean, and the picnic tables were in good condition. The showers were also clean and well-stocked with soap and towels. The beach itself was beautiful. The water was crystal clear, and the sand was soft and white. I didn’t see any trash or debris anywhere, which is always a good sign. Overall, I would recommend Kahaluu Beach Park to anyone looking for a great place to enjoy a day in the sun.

Hapuna Beach Park

Hapuna Beach Park is a great place to enjoy the sun and the water. The clear water and gentle waves make it perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking.

There are also showers, bathrooms, and a lifeguard on duty, so one can be sure they will be safe while enjoying the beach. Whether one is looking for a place to swim, sunbathe, picnic, or just looking for a place to enjoy the sun and the water, Hapuna Beach Park is the perfect place.

Kaunaoa Beach

This famous white sand beach on the Kohala Coast is known for its swimming, snorkeling and family-friendly atmosphere. It is also known as Mauna Kea Beach because of its proximity to the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, the island’s first resort; however, the beach is open to the public. It is well protected by reefs located at either end of the crescent-shaped beach, and both are good snorkeling areas.

The hotel’s proximity makes up for the inconvenience of parking, which can be a bit of a hassle if you do not arrive early enough to secure one of the hotel’s public parking spaces. In addition to lifeguards and basic amenities, beachgoers can dine at the hotel restaurant and take advantage of equipment rentals for snorkeling and other activities.

The fact that the hotel lights up the beach and surrounding reefs each night is an added benefit. This attracts plankton, which in turn attracts manta rays. The hotel also organizes unique evening scuba and snorkeling excursions.

Makalawena Beach

When it comes to beaches, everyone has their preferences. Some prefer crowded beaches with lots of activities, while others prefer more secluded spots where they can relax in peace. If anyone falls into the latter category, Makalawena Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii is worth a visit.

The beach is only accessible by hiking about 15 minutes from the nearest parking lot, but the effort is well worth it. The beach is known for its dramatic cliffs, turquoise water, and white sand. Plus, since it’s not as well-known as some other beaches on the island, one is likely to have it all alone.

Popular Activities on their beaches

The Big Island is home to many water and beach activities such as:


Swimming is one of the most popular activities at Hawaiian beaches. However, there are a few things to remember when swimming in Hawaii.

First, one must be aware of the strong currents and rip tides. These can quickly pull swimmers out to sea, so it is essential to stay close to shore.

Second, beware of dangerous wildlife. While Hawaii is home to many beautiful creatures, a few can also pose a threat to humans. These include sharks, jellyfish, and Box Jellyfish.

Finally, be sure to protect yourself from the sun. The tropical climate can cause sunburns very quickly, so be sure to use sunscreen and stay in the shade when possible.

By following these guidelines, anyone can enjoy a safe and enjoyable experience swimming in Hawaii.


The Big Island is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. With its clear water and abundance of marine life, it’s no wonder that snorkeling is a popular activity at many of the island’s beaches. Whether you are new to snorkeling or you are an experienced diver, there’s plenty to see and explore underwater.

The best time to go snorkeling is in the morning when the water is calm and the visibility is at its best. Be sure to wear sunscreen and plenty of insect repellent, as the sun and bugs can be pesky. Most importantly, remember to have fun and enjoy the amazing underwater world of the Big Island!


The Big Island is a popular destination for divers from all over the world. The clear water and abundance of marine life make it a perfect place to explore the underwater world.

There are many different dive sites, each with unique features. One of the most popular dive sites is Hanauma Bay, known for its rich coral reefs and diverse marine life. Another popular dive site is Kealakekua Bay, which has dramatic cliffs and clear waters. Whether a beginner or an experienced diver, a dive site suits the needs.


The Big Island is blessed with abundant natural beauty, from its verdant rainforests to its pristine beaches. And there’s no better way to enjoy the island’s stunning scenery than basking in the warm sun. Sunbathing is popular at many of the Big Island’s beaches.

The clear water and gentle waves make it perfect for relaxing and soaking up some rays. The island’s tropical climate means the sun is almost always shining. Thus, whether one is looking for an escape from winter cold or wants to relax in a beautiful setting, the Big Island’s beaches are sure to please.


Picnics are a popular activity at many of the beaches on the island, and there are plenty of great spots to choose from. One of the most popular picnic spots is Hapuna Beach, which has beautiful white sand and stunning views.

Another great spot is Kealakekua Bay, known for its abundant marine life. Whether looking for a quiet spot to relax or a lively place to play, the Big Island’s beaches have something for everyone. As such, any time one is planning for a beach trip, Big Island is a must-go.


Several hiking trails provide breathtaking views of the island’s coastline. One of the most popular trails is the Kole Kole Beach Park, which winds its way through lush rainforest and offers stunning ocean views.

For those looking for a more challenging hike, the Pololu Valley Trail provides a strenuous workout with rewards, including sweeping coastline panoramas. No matter one’s level of fitness, there is a hike on the Big Island that is perfect for everyone.

Do people need a guide?

There are two schools of thought when exploring a new place. Some people prefer to strike out on their own, armed with nothing more than a map and a sense of adventure. Others prefer a more leisurely approach, joining a guided tour to learn more about the area. While both approaches have their merits, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. It ultimately comes down to personal preferences.

For those who enjoy the challenge of navigation, Big Island is the perfect place to explore. The island is well-marked, and plenty of maps are available to help people find their way around. However, for those who would prefer a more guided experience, several tour companies offer package tours of the island. It all comes down to what you want out of your vacation.

The Big Island is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike. With its abundant natural beauty, there is no shortage of things to do on the island. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or explore the island’s many hiking trails, the Big Island has something for everyone.

So come on and experience the beauty of the Big Island for yourself! The clear blue waters and sandy beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying stunning views. For those looking for more adventure, there are plenty of hiking trails to explore, as well as volcanoes, waterfalls, and other natural wonders. No matter one’s interests, they will surely find something to love about the Big Island. Thus, come on and see why it’s one of the most popular destinations in Hawaii!