Big Island Beach Days: Best Beaches to Relax

Big Island Beach Days: Best Beaches to Relax

Picture yourself on a pristine beach, the sound of waves lapping at the shore, and the warm sun on your skin… Welcome to the Big Island, where tranquility and natural beauty blend seamlessly to create the perfect beach day. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor, the Big Island offers an array of stunning beaches to relax, unwind, and soak in the sun. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the best beaches on the Big Island for relaxation, highlighting their unique features and attractions to help you find your ideal seaside sanctuary.

1. Hapuna Beach State Park

Hapuna Beach State Park is a picturesque paradise featuring a wide sandy shoreline and clear blue waters. This sprawling beach is consistently ranked among the best in the world, making it a must-visit for any beach lover. Stretching for nearly half a mile, Hapuna Beach offers ample space for sunbathing, beach sports, and leisurely strolls along the shore. The park is well-equipped with amenities, including picnic areas, restrooms, and showers, ensuring a comfortable visit.

A gentle slope and sandy bottom make the waters ideal for swimming and snorkeling, especially during the calmer summer months. Lifeguards are stationed to ensure safety, adding a layer of reassurance for visitors. Surrounded by volcanic landscapes and lush greenery, Hapuna Beach provides a breathtaking backdrop for capturing memories and appreciating nature’s splendor.


Snorkel with Sea Turtles: Explore the vibrant underwater world at Hapuna Beach and spot some of Hawaii’s beloved sea turtles. These gentle giants often float in the crystal-clear waters.

Fishing: The beach’s northern end is a popular spot for fishing, with many anglers catching ulua (giant trevally) and other fish species. There are also several chartered fishing tours available nearby.

Hiking: For those seeking some adventure, the Hapuna Beach Trail offers stunning coastal views and leads to secluded beaches.


Hapuna Beach is known for its stunning sunsets and is a fantastic spot for family-friendly activities. The beach’s calm, crystal-clear waters make it an excellent choice for swimmers of all skill levels.

2. Kaunaʻoa (Mauna Kea) Beach

Kaunaʻoa Beach, also known as Mauna Kea Beach, is a crescent-shaped haven featuring powdery white sand and serene waters. Nestled along the stunning Kohala Coast of Hawaii, this beach is renowned for its tranquil atmosphere and breathtaking views. Whether you’re lounging under the shade of swaying palms or snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, Kaunaʻoa Beach offers a slice of paradise for every visitor. Be sure to capture the majestic sunset painting the sky with hues of pink and orange, creating an unforgettable backdrop to your Hawaiian getaway.


Swimming: Enjoy a dip in the gentle, clear waters.

Snorkeling: Discover vibrant marine life just beneath the surface.

Beach Lounging: Relax under the shade of a beach umbrella and take in the breathtaking views.


Kaunaʻoa Beach is renowned for its stunning sunsets, making it an ideal location for an evening visit. The beach’s exclusivity and pristine condition add to its charm, attracting visitors seeking a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

3. Punaluʻu Black Sand Beach

Punaluʻu Beach stands out with its unique black sand, formed by volcanic activity. This striking beach offers a rugged beauty and a chance to observe endangered green sea turtles basking on the shore.


Turtle Watching: Spot the majestic green sea turtles as they rest on the sand.

Picnicking: Enjoy a meal with a view at one of the picnic tables.

Beach Walks: Stroll along the unique black sand shoreline.


The dramatic landscape of Punaluʻu Black Sand Beach offers a one-of-a-kind experience. The presence of green sea turtles adds a magical touch, making it a beloved spot for nature enthusiasts.

4. Waialea Bay

Waialea Bay, also known as Beach 69, is a smaller, more secluded beach offering both beauty and shade provided by numerous trees. Its clear waters and vibrant coral reefs make it a snorkeler’s paradise.


Swimming: Calm waters are perfect for a relaxing swim.

Snorkeling: Explore the underwater world filled with colorful marine life.


Waialea Bay’s seclusion and natural beauty make it a perfect retreat. The beach’s clear waters and rich coral reefs offer excellent snorkeling opportunities, making it a hidden gem for those looking to escape the crowds.

5. Anaehoʻomalu Bay

Anaehoʻomalu Bay, affectionately known as A-Bay, is a palm-lined paradise with calm waters. This beach is perfect for families and offers a variety of activities and nearby amenities.


Swimming: Gentle waters are ideal for a relaxing dip.

Paddleboarding: Glide across the serene bay.

Sunset Watching: Experience stunning sunsets with a backdrop of ancient Hawaiian fishponds.


A-Bay’s calm waters and picturesque setting make it a perfect spot for families. The historical significance of the ancient fishponds adds a cultural dimension to your beach day, making it a well-rounded experience.

6. Maniniʻowali Beach (Kua Bay)

Maniniʻowali Beach, also known as Kua Bay, is a stunning white sand beach with turquoise waters. Its crystal-clear waters provide excellent visibility for swimming and photography.


Swimming: Enjoy the refreshing clear waters.

Boogie Boarding: Ride the gentle waves.

Body Surfing: Experience the thrill of catching a wave.


Kua Bay’s breathtaking beauty and clear waters make it a prime spot for photography. The beach’s welcoming ambiance and excellent facilities ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit.

7. Makalawena Beach

Makalawena Beach is a remote, pristine beach featuring stunning white sand and dramatic dunes. This secluded spot requires a bit of effort to reach but rewards visitors with its untouched beauty.


Snorkeling: Discover the underwater treasures of this secluded beach.

Sunbathing: Relax on the soft white sand.

Hiking: Enjoy a scenic hike to access the beach.


The remoteness of Makalawena Beach ensures a peaceful and uncrowded experience. Accessible via a hike this beach offers a sense of adventure and untouched natural beauty, making it a true escape from the hustle and bustle.

8. Richardson Ocean Park

Richardson Ocean Park is a family-friendly black sand beach with calm, shallow waters. This beach is known for its abundant marine life, making it a great spot for snorkeling and tide-pooling.


Snorkeling: Explore the vibrant marine ecosystem.

Tide Pooling: Discover fascinating sea creatures in the tide pools.

Picnicking: Enjoy a meal at one of the picnic tables.


Richardson Ocean Park offers a family-friendly atmosphere with plenty of activities for children. The calm waters and abundant marine life make it an excellent spot for a fun and educational beach day.

Additional Tips

  • Safety Tip: Always check ocean conditions before swimming, as currents can be strong.
  • Best Times to Visit: Early morning or late afternoon for fewer crowds and cooler temperatures.
  • What to Bring: Sunscreen, water, snacks, and snorkeling gear for a perfect beach day.


The Big Island of Hawaii boasts some of the most beautiful and diverse beaches in the world, each offering its unique charm and appeal. From the pristine sands of Hapuna Beach to the dramatic black shores of Punaluʻu, there’s a perfect spot for every beach lover. We encourage you to visit the Big Island and experience these incredible beaches for yourself. Whether you’re looking to relax, explore, or simply enjoy the natural beauty, the Big Island’s beaches provide the perfect backdrop for your next adventure.

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