Best Beaches in Hawaii

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The Big Island of Hawaii is filled with history and culture as well as the thing Hawaii is probably most famous for: beautiful beaches. Hawaii is the state’s largest and youngest island and offers variety of landscapes and beaches.

From white sand to black sand beaches to family-friendly beach parks with shallow tide pools, the Big Island has a beach that is right for you. Here are just a few of our favorite beach spots on the Big Island:

Papakolea Beach

Papakolea is a “once in a lifetime” green sand beach, and it’s only one of two green sand beaches in the United States. The green sand was formed by the Mauna Loa volcano which erupted 49,000 years ago and created the beach’s olivine crystals. The water can be rough though, so swimming is not recommended. There are no lifeguards or facilities either; this beach is really for the views.

Kahaluu Beach Park

Located in North Kona, Kahalu’u Beach Park is a small beach & reef with calm, crystal clear water. This makes it a favorite spot for snorkeling in Hawaii. It’s like swimming into a real life aquarium. The shallow water is often crowded with schools of colorful fish, and be sure to keep an eye out for sea turtles!

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach

Punalu’u beach is the most famous black sand beach of Hawaii. Located on the southeast shore, Punalu’u beach has picture perfect coconut palms and green sea turtles basking in the sun. Beach Tip: the shade under the palms is the best place to hang out because black sand gets very hot during the day.

La’aloa Park

La’aloa Park is also called Disappearing Sands and Magic Sands because the sand disappears during winter and becomes a rocky shoreline. Located on Alii Drive, the beach is ideal for swimming, body-surfing and body-boarding. There are restrooms, showers and a lifeguard, but parking can be limited.

Kona is also known for historical sites like the Hulihe’e Palace and Hawaiian Heiau-Temples. You can learn about the history of Kona on the Kona History and Culture Tour. If you’re headed to a Kona beach, be sure to catch ride with SpeediShuttle or Arthur’s Limousine.