7 Big Island Beaches That Should Be Your Next Dream Vacation

The Big Island of Hawaii offers a range of stunning beaches, from white sands to unique green and black sand shores, ready to captivate and inspire your dream vacation.

As you plan your trip to this island paradise, you’ll find that each beach offers a unique environment and distinctive activities.

Get ready to pack your bags! Explore the dreamy Big Island beaches, embrace the island lifestyle, and create lasting memories with the Pacific Ocean as your background.

1. Hapuna Beach State Park

When planning your next dream vacation, Hapuna Beach State Park should be at the top of your list. As soon as you arrive, you’ll be greeted by a stunning white sand beach that stretches over half a mile.

Hapuna Beach offers incredible opportunities for swimming and snorkeling. The gentle slope of the beach allows you to easily wade into the clear blue waters.

Aerial panorama of the Hapuna Beach
Aerial panorama of the Hapuna Beach” by GregS1972 is marked with Public domain mark 1.0.

One of the reasons Hapuna Beach is so popular lies in its accessibility. Located on the Big Island’s Kohala Coast, it’s a short drive from many of the island’s popular tourist destinations.

The beach has well-maintained facilities, such as restrooms, picnic areas, and lifeguards, to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time.

2. Mauna Kea Beach

Located on the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii, Mauna Kea Beach is an idyllic destination for your dream vacation.

Known for its pristine white sand and clear blue waters, this beach offers a charming setting for relaxation and leisure.

Mauna Kea Beach Resort
Mauna Kea Beach Resort” by takenbygabi is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

As you step onto the soft sand, you’ll immediately be drawn to the inviting crystal-clear waters—perfect for a refreshing dip.

The bay’s calm tides make it an excellent spot for snorkeling, especially along the lava rock-framed north and south sides.

The beach is conveniently located near several resorts and hotels, so you’ll have easy access to comfortable accommodations during your stay.

3. Punalu’u Black Sand Beach

Imagine basking in the sun on a beach with a unique and dramatic landscape, with black sand beneath your feet and palm trees swaying gently in the breeze.

That’s exactly what awaits you at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach, one of Hawaii’s most popular and most visited black sand beaches.

bird's eye view photography of beach line

Located on the southeastern coast of the Big Island, Punalu’u Beach offers stunning views of lava rocks contrasting with the deep black sand.

Punalu’u Beach is a well-known habitat for green sea turtles, which you often can see resting on the shore.

You don’t have to worry about facilities while visiting this incredible beach. With lifeguards present every day, ample parking spaces, restrooms, and picnic areas,

4. Kua Bay (Manini’owali Beach)

Kua Bay, or Manini’owali Beach, north of Kona, is a stunning secluded white sand beach. The moment you arrive, its pristine beauty and crystal-clear waters captivate you.

Reaching Kua Bay requires a bit of effort, but it’s worth it. Renting a car is always an option, but make sure you arrive early to find parking.

white sands and blue sea
Manini’owali Beach” by Ashlyn G is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

Kua Bay offers basic amenities like parking, restrooms, and showers, with lifeguards on duty as of December 2022 for added safety.

Manini’owali Beach is fantastic for several leisure activities. Because of the calm waters and nearby reef, it’s perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

5. Kahaluu Beach Park

If you’re looking for a fantastic snorkeling spot, look no further than Kahaluʻu Beach Park! This beautiful, wide protected bay is just a few miles south of Kailua-Kona town center.

You’ll be amazed by the abundance of marine life at Kahaluu Beach Park. The fish here are quite comfortable with snorkelers and, perhaps, unusually friendly.

people on a rocky beach
Kahaluu Beach Park” by scurker is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Kahaluu Beach Park is not just about snorkeling. You can also enjoy surfing and swimming in this family-friendly destination, the park has excellent facilities and a convenient location.

Kahaluu Beach Park is located near the lively town of Kailua-Kona, which means you can easily access various local attractions, shops, and restaurants during your visit.

6. Anaehoomalu Bay (A-Bay)

Anaehoomalu Bay, commonly known as A-Bay, is a picturesque crescent-shaped beach with a salt and pepper sand mix, surrounded by classic palm trees.

The calm waters at A-Bay are a result of the generous protecting reef. This makes it a perfect spot for families to swim, snorkel, and play in the water.

aerial view of green trees beside body of water

The reef also provides a suitable environment for snorkeling and windsurfing, with the bay boasting good visibility for most of the year.

Besides the beach activities, A-Bay is also close to the Waikoloa Petroglyph Reserve, just a 14-minute walk away, you can discover around 30,000 ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs etched into lava rock.

7. Kealakekua Bay

Kealakekua Bay, located in the Big Island’s South Kona district, should be on your list for your dream vacation.

This beautiful bay is the largest natural bay on the island, spanning 315 acres and approximately 1.5 miles by 1 mile in size source.

grassy mountain beside blue sea during daytime
Kealakekua Bay in the morning” by Nnachappa64 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

When you visit Kealakekua Bay, you’ll be surrounded by the rich history and culture of the region. Not only is it a Marine Life Conservation District, but it also houses a state historical park.

One of the main attractions of the bay is the Captain Cook Monument, which can be accessed by hiking the beautiful Ka’awaloa Trail.

The bay’s waters were designated as a Marine Life Conservation District in 1969 due to their abundance and diversity of marine life.

7 Big Island Beaches That Should Be Your Next Dream Vacation: A Recap

On the Big Island, explore stunning and unique beaches awaiting your visit. Here’s a synopsis of the must-visit beaches for your dream vacation.

First, embrace the magic at Hapuna Beach State Park, a renowned white sand beach on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island, offering excellent swimming, snorkeling, and facilities.

Your adventure continues at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach, an iconic and enchanting beach where you can feel the jet-black sand beneath your toes, surrounded by vibrant palm trees.

As you embark on your dream vacation to these impressive Big Island beaches, feel the warm sand beneath your feet, the ocean breeze in your hair, and the spirit of aloha surrounding you.

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