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Big Island Hawaii’s Beaches

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Big Island Beaches

The Big Island has many diverse beaches, all with a different experience. Some are small, others have large areas to explore. There are white, black, and green sand beaches. Some are quiet, others have more wave action. Evaluate what you are looking for. Do you like to sun bathe, swim, snorkel, boogie board, kite board, surf, or canoe ? Do you want someplace with other people (and life guards) or do you prefer a place that is more remote? Take time to explore several beaches during your stay. Always remember though, the the ocean is unpredictable. The currents, rip tides, and wave action can change rapidly. Never turn your back to the ocean and never swim alone. I prefer a beach with a life guard if I plan to get in the water. The life guards are there for a reason and are very capable.
All beaches are public but some can be difficult to get to. Most of the Islands white sand beaches are found on the Kona Kohala coast. Black and green sand beaches are found mostly on the southern coast with some on the north coast.
The following are some that you may want to try that are an easy drive (or walk) from the condo and are my favorites.:

White Sands aka Magic Sands Beach

Located south of Kailua Village along Ali’i Drive (and directly across from Our condo: My Dolphin Cove.) A small beach popular for swimming, surfing, and boogie boarding. Water can be calm or have a heavy surf with a strong shore break and possible rip tide. Make sure to check before entering the water. White sand varies with the season and can be completely eroded by heavy surf (mainly in winter months) before slowly returning which is where the name Magic comes from. Life guard, volleyball net, outdoor shower and changing rooms.


Kahalu’u Beach Park aka Snorkel Beach

This Dark Gray sandy beach is a very popular beach for snorkelers because the reef off shore keeps the waters calm and it has shallow waters. Over 100 species of tropical fish may be observed here along with sea turtles. Surfers may be seen in the north area of the snorkeling area where the wave actions and currents are much stronger and may contain a strong rip tide.. Located only a mile south along Ali’i Drive from the condo. Offers parking, equipment rental, a covered pavilion, a snack bar, life guard, showers and changing rooms. Can get very crowded so best to go early.

Old Kona Airport State Park

Mile long beach with lots of parking. Wide sandy beach area but ocean is rocky. Some shaded areas. Also picnic tables, shelters, showers, Little League fields and tide pools.

Hawaii Old Airport Beach

Hapuna Beach

Half mile of soft white sand beach with life guard in the summer months. Sand extends well into the ocean and trees and greenery line the shore. Summer months the water is usually calm but winter surf can be very heavy with strong riptides. Beach facilities include camping areas, men’s and women’s showers, a snack bar, and a pavilion.

Mauna Kea Beach aka Kauna’oa Bay

White Fine Sand crescent shaped beach located on the Northern coast just north of Hapuna Beach. The Natural rock reef provides some protection from the surf. Parking is very limited because the resort limits the number of cars, so arrive early.

Anaeho’omalu Beach aka A- Beach

Located in the Waikoloa Village Resort area. Coconut lined shore and calm waters make it a popular area for families. The Ku’uali’i Fish pond is located behind the beach once used by Hawaiian royalty to raise small fish. It is home to several canoe clubs. I have enjoyed watching kite surfers from this beach.

Spencer Beach Park

A white sand beach with a reef offshore that helps keep the waters calm and water near the shore is shallow. Trees line part of the beach providing shade. This is a bit further than some of the other beaches. It is located in the north, just south of the Kawaihae harbor, but one of my favorites. If the Mauna Kea Beach parking is full, then we head here. Amenities include changing rooms with showers, a picnic pavilion, and camping (You need a permit for this.)