Just so you know, I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. Links may be affiliate links, which won't cost you anything extra when you purchase. For full affiliate disclosures, click here.
Aloha, visitors. Hawai’i travel policies and procedures change frequently. Always check the Hawai’i Safe Travels site for the latest information. Mahalo for your support.
Need a break?
It’s time to imagine yourself on a beach…
Here are the best Big Island Beaches – find out which is best for you with this quiz:
Stay All Day
You love everything about the beach – sun, sand, waves – so you stay all day. Here are some of the Best Big Island beaches where you can spend the day.
Kahalu’u Beach Park
A snorkeler’s paradise, Kahalu’u Beach Park is walk-out snorkeling at it’s Big Island best. There is a small amount of salt-and-pepper sand for lounging, as well as a tide pool area for relaxing or rock scrambling.
Honokohau Boat Harbor/Aio’pio Fish Trap
A small beach with plenty of shade, gentle waves and rocks to climb on. Often a great place to spot sea turtles on the Kona side of the island.
Take in the View
You love going to the beach, but you prefer to find a perch above it all and take in the view. These are some of the best Big Island Beaches for the photographers, videographers and Instagram-ers.
There are fewer white sand beaches in Kona than in other areas on the Big Island. This makes Magic Sands even more magical. It’s not huge, but if you are there when it’s less crowded that won’t matter. It’s clear water and smallish waves make for great body surfing and boogie boarding. (As always, exercise caution in the water – the local ER sometimes refers to the beach as Tragic Sands.)
Punalu’u Black Sand Beach
A stunning black sand beach on the southeast coast of the Big Island. An easy stop on the way to or from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, or a quick trip from Hilo. You’re almost guaranteed to see sea turtles here. (But the sea turtle or honu is protected in Hawai’i. Be sure to keep your distance when you take sea turtle selfie.
Toes in the sand – not the water
You love the sand part of the beach, but not so much the water. You choose a sandcastle over swimming every time.
National Energy Lab
The waves crash on the outer barrier of rocks, and the inner, protected area is great for wading and splashing.
The closest “real” beach to Kailua Town, accessing Keiki Beach calls for parking at the local gym and cutting across the soccer field.
From a Distance
You’re all about the ocean views – ideally enjoyed with a picture-perfect beverage of your choice.
Powder white sand, crystal blue water, and waves perfect for splashing and boogie boarding. Kua Bay is about 15 minutes north of the airport. The small parking lot can fill up, so come on the early side. This beach made Trip Advisor’s list of the top 25 beaches in the US.
Just off Banyan Drive in Hilo, Coconut Island is adjacent to x park. It is easily accessible by a footbridge. There is not much sand, but there is easy access to the water in a protected area of Hilo Bay.