For the past 2 years, I have had the chance to go to Hawaii quite a few times, probably more than 3 months in total. I had a wonderful time being there, obviously, because it’s paradise! Since I posted often about it, I get regular questions about information and tips, and especially about the best beaches on Hawaii Big Island, so I decided to share with you my favorites.
Of course I don’t know them all, having been mostly around Kona and North Kohala. One interesting fact: in Hawaii, the beaches and the water are always public space, even if they are located at a fancy hotel. So if you like that kind of vibes, know that you can go there no problem, even if you don’t reside at the hotel.
So again, this is not an exhaustive list, this is my personal choices and recommandations. So here are my top picks!
This one is probably the one I have been the most often. It was one of the closest to where I was staying, at my friends’ place. There is a huge, very easily accessible parking lot and you don’t have to walk much at all to get to the beach.
The beach is quite long, and the fun thing here is that there is always some waves (not enough for surfers, but enough to have fun in it)! There is not rocks in the water, only beautiful sand as you go in. It can get crowded, specially during the weekend, but it’s so big that it feels ok!
This one is very close by and even though it is not my personal favorite, it seems to be everybody else’s!
This beach is also equipped with a parking, toilets and showers (like Hapuna), but looks quite different. There are trees all along the beach, so you can finds lots of shady spots if this is what you like!
There are lots of locals here, lots of families, listening to music (or even better playing it themselves), people come with their coolers and stay here all day in the shade of the trees.
You’ll have to go through a little line of rocks as you reach the water, but it’s not so bad! Bring your snorkling gear, it’s a nice spot to see fishes.
The beach at the Fairmont Orchid
Definitely one of my favorites. I « discovered » it during covid, with my friend Jessie. We had the place to ourselves, as the hotel was closed due to the pandemic. That was awesome!
I’m not sure if you are allowed to park at the hotel, but there is a little public park near by where you can park and then you walk along the water on a path, with black and white coral around you – it’s quite pretty! You’ll be there in less than 10 minutes.
The chairs are reserved for the hotel guests, but when it’s quiet, they might not mind if you take one.
It’s also a good place to see fishes. And since it’s like a mini bay the water is quiet and there are no waves. I came face to face with a sea turtle there once, while swimming in the water!
Napuha at Mauna Lani Beach club
Here you will have to walk a bit, about 15m walk from the parking, but it’s pretty nice walk through the lava tub first, and then through a nice and well groomed property condo-like property.
You’ll see this amazing hut on your way, stope here for cool photos!
Then you’ll go left a few more minutes and you’ll make it to the beach. There is a restaurant there, Napuha, it’s one of my favorite on the island. Make sure to have reservation, it’s a popular spot, and it’s quite fancy!
Māhukona Beach Park
Technically this is not a beach, it’s an old wharf in concrete, so there is no sand. It’s my favorite spot for snorkling – it’s just amazing and magical under the water there!
It’s easy to get in and out of the water through a ladder on the side of the wharf.
Pololu Valley Black Sand Beach
To get here, you’ll have to do a nice hiking (mainly going down on the way to the beach, so obviously, up on the way out). The view is amazing the whole time.
The current is too strong to swim but the beach and the surroundings are absolutely magical and worth exploring. It had a Jurassic Park kind of vibe. You’ll have fun!
That’s not a beach, but more of a little town. For the snorkling lovers, this is paradise! Absolutely gorgeous views. There are many spots where you can enter the water. Some are a bit awkward though. I haven’t visited a real beach there. It was pretty rocky going in, no sand.
But the underwater views are unforgettable!
Black Pearl Ocean Excursions
Ok – also not a beach, but this is so much fun I had to share. How would you like a private boat tour that takes you around for wonderful adventures on the ocean?!
My friends Dustin and Dion will show you around like only local people can do. I definitely recommend you reach out to them if you go to Big Island and book a boat adventure with them!
Last time, in addition to snorkling, they made me try the subwing and it was a-ma-zing! If you don’t know subwing – it’s a device that gently brings you face to face with the underwater world, allowing you to see the reef and all the marine life that might take all day to explore in just minutes. It feels like swimming as a dolphin or mermaid and takes zero skills to use! It was quite a thrill!
So there you have it, some of my favorite spots and beaches on Hawaii Big Island.
I hope you have lots of fun during your stay and don’t hesitate to share in the comments which ones are your favorite beaches on Hawaii Big Island – I know there are many many more to discover there!