Big Island, more properly known as Hawaii Island, or just Hawaii, is the southeastern most of all the islands in the archipelago that comprises this chain in the North Pacific. It is not only the largest of all the Hawaiian Islands, but also has the distinction of being the largest island in the entire United States. There are more than 80 beaches, some of which are extremely remote and others that are easily accessible from luxury hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals. Some of the beaches are ideal for surfing and others are perfect for relaxing in the sun, swimming, and just taking it easy.
Hapuna Beach is perhaps the most popular of all the Big Island beaches. It always ranks among the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii. The water at this beach has a sandy bottom and a shelf that extends out a good distance, making for excellent swimming and snorkeling conditions. This is also one of the largest beaches on Big Island and provides gear and equipment rentals, lifeguards, public facilities, and a variety of guest accommodations. Hapuna Beach State Park is over 60 acres and is shaped like one large crescent with rocky cliffs at either end. You will not only enjoy the ability to access several places to eat, drink, and shop, but also lots of shady spots where you can picnic and take a reprieve from the sun. There is a snack bar at the beach park.
Kua Bay, Kona
Kua Bay is a stunningly picturesque beach located just north of Kona. It is a white-sand beach with crystal blue waters that are reminiscent of the Caribbean Sea. The calm waters are great for swimming and snorkeling. There is very little shade at the Kua Bay Beach Park, so will want to be sure to bring an umbrella, hat, sufficient sun block, and anything else you may need to protect yourself from the sun. The limited facilities include showers and changing rooms, picnic tables, and bathrooms. The contrast of black lava rock against white sand is striking to say the least.
Mauna Kea Beach, Kona
Mauna Kea Beach is another of the crescent shaped tropical beach paradises on Big Island. It features white sand and plenty of shady palm trees. The protected waters are calm nearly all year, making this another ideal place for swimming, snorkeling, and activities in general for families with small children. The Mauna Kea Hotel is located here, and many of the guests of the beach are patrons of the hotel. You will find a finely manicured beach with lifeguards, facilities, and access to food and beverages.
Known to some as Snorkel Beach this is one of the premiere spots for this activity on an island where there are many such locations. These calm and clear waters are fed by a fresh water spring. People who snorkel here can expect to see over 100 species of tropical marine life. Come early to find good parking. There is a pavilion, picnic tables, changing rooms, and a beach bar and grill. This is also one of the best places from which to observe sea turtles.
This is perhaps the most enchanting and lovely black-sand beach on Big Island. There are no lifeguards or public facilities, but the gorgeous landscape more than makes up for it. The calm waters are protected by a cove, and there are plenty of areas where you can relax in the shade. The black sand is fine and soft and perfect for sunbathing.
Some other notable beaches in Big Island Hawaii include Spencer Beach, Makalawena Beach, and Kikaua Point Beach.