Pick a BeachBig Island
WHITE-, BLACK- and even GREEN-SAND BEACHES abound along Hawai‘i Island’s 266-MILE COASTLINE. Check out some of the most popular spots below:
KAUNA‘OA BEACH: At the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.
HAPUNA BEACH: Just outside Kamuela town and popular for walking and body boarding, recently ranked No. 3 by Travel + Leisure readers on a list of the world’s best beaches for families.
ANAEHO‘OMALU BEACH: Known as “BAY,” great for windsurfing and kitesurfing.
KA‘UPULEHU BEACH at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.
WHITE SANDS BEACH PARK: Near the Keauhou Resort, also known as “MAGIC SANDS” because the beach can quickly disappear during high-surf winter months, only to return in the spring.
KAHALU‘U BEACH PARK: Kona’s most popular snorkeling beach.
PUNALU‘U BEACH PARK: A well-known black-sand beach.
MACKENZIE STATE PARK: In Pahoa, where there’s a lava-lined pool heated to 95 degrees Fahrenheit by a volcanic stream nearby.
COCONUT ISLAND PARK: Near the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, a local favorite for fishing and swimming.
LAUPAHOEHOE POINT PARK: Created by a lava flow from Mauna Kea, it has a large grassy area great for camping.
WAIPI‘O VALLEY’S BLACK SAND BEACH: Accessible only with four-wheel drive or on foot from the overlook.
REMEMBER: Water conditions at Hawai‘i Island beaches can be tricky and unpredictable. Whether swimming or surfing, follow these basic aquatic rules:
• Watch the ocean for at least 20 minutes before entering.
• Take caution if you notice water moving rapidly or swirling, or if you see waves breaking far offshore.
• Never swim or snorkel alone.
• Always supervise children.
• Strong currents near shore are the most frequent and dangerous hazards; areas near river mouths are particularly dangerous.
• Obey warning signs; if lifeguards are unavailable, ask other beachgoers about potential hazards.
• Locate the lifeguard station, emergency phone or rescue surfboard when you arrive at a beach and never turn your back to the ocean.
For the latest on beach conditions, go to hawaiibeachsafety.com/big-island.
Maui Babe (808) 244-2102