Beaches

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Island of Hawaii Beaches

The island of Hawaii features some of the most picturesque and varied beach landscapes in the world. From white sand, to black sand beaches (and a few other colors in-between), visitors can see first-hand how volcanic activity has shaped and influenced the beauty of Hawaii. From beautiful resort beaches, to rugged, off-the-beaten-path sands that are wild, remote and rewarding — there is much to explore. 

Hilo Beaches

Onekahakaha Beach Park 

A favorite with locals, this small, shallow sand-bottomed ocean pool just east of the Hilo Airport is one the safest swimming areas along the Hilo coast, with tide pools and inlets. Perfect for family snorkeling, it also offers lovely views of Hilo Bay.

Richardson Ocean Center/Leleiwi Beach Park 

The shallow bay fronting Richardson Ocean Center is the most popular snorkeling site on the east side of the island. The center, which is two miles south down Kalanianaole Avenue from Onekahakaha Beach, has picnic pavilions, restrooms, parking and showers.

Kolekole Beach Park 

Near Hilo, you’ll find this jungle garden by the ocean, with a nearby stream lined with smooth lava rocks and a waterfall. A banyan tree leans over the river with a rope swing.

Kau Beaches

Punaluu Black Sand Beach

Thirty miles south of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is the island of Hawaii's famous black sand beach and a great place to see honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles) basking on the shore. An adjacent campground is popular with local families and fisherman.

Kohala Beaches

Anaehoomalu Beach

This stretch of Kohala Coast beach next to the Waikoloa Beach Marriott is a place to rent kayaks, hydro bikes and body boards or to snorkel, scuba dive or sunbathe. There is ample parking, along with picnic facilities and restrooms. A historic Hawaiian fishpond also hugs the beach.

Hapuna Beach 

The largest white sand beach on the island of Hawaii, this world-renowned beach is located adjacent to the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. There is ample parking with restroom and picnic facilities.

Holoholokai Beach 

This small beach park with full facilities near the Fairmont Orchid Hawaii isn’t a sandy beach, but it’s a beautiful place to explore tide pools and snorkel. It’s a short walk from the Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve, where you’ll find hundreds of ancient carvings in the lava rock.

Kaunaoa Beach 

This near-perfect crescent of sand leading to calm water has been voted among the Top 10 beaches in the U.S. by Conde Nast’s Traveler magazine. Adjacent to the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, parking spaces are limited, so it’s good to arrive early.

Ohaiula (Samuel Spencer Beach Park)

Popular among families, this Kohala Coast beach, located a half-hour north of Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona), is well protected by an outside reef, which allows for calm swimming and snorkeling waters on most days. The beach park has picnic pavilions, tables and barbeque grills and is within walking distance of Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site.

Kona Beaches

Kahaluu Beach

Located just south of Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona) in the Keauhou area, Kahaluu Beach is known for honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles) that frequent its shores. This is one of the Keauhou and Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona) area’s most popular beaches, great for snorkeling.

Laaloa Beach 

Also known as Disappearing Sands and Magic Sands, this white sand Kona beach is located on Alii Drive just south of Historic Kailua Village. This popular pocket of sand is great for splashing in the surf, body-surfing and body-boarding. There are restrooms, showers and a lifeguard, but limited parking. This small beach may disappear overnight due to tidal shifts or strong surf, but always returns.

Note: Heed all warning signs and be aware of changing conditions, strong currents and reefs. Use your own best judgment to determine whether a particular beach is appropriate for you and your ability level.

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