Big Island Hawaii Beaches

Discover the Best Beaches on the Big Island

The beaches you’ll find on the Big Island are unlike any others you have ever visited before. In place of the typical white sand beaches, you may be accustomed to, Big Island beaches are most famously known for their black sand and fresh lava rock formations.

Since Big Island is the largest island in the chain, the beaches vary from coast to coast, offering visitors a chance to sample both dramatic and tranquil settings. If your ideal vacation includes soaking up the sun and splashing around in the ocean, you have come to the right place.

Five Must-Visit Big Island Beaches

To help you find the perfect beach destination for your next trip to Hawaii, we’ve compiled a list featuring some of the best beaches on Big Island:

  • Hapuna Beach: Located just north of Kona, Hapuna Beach is one of the most popular beaches for vacationers. Featuring a vast stretch of soft sand, there is plenty of room to play. As one of the cleanest and friendliest beaches in Hawaii, Hapuna Beach is perfect for families who want to enjoy excellent swimming conditions and lush surroundings.
  • Punalu’u: It wouldn’t be a trip to the Big Island without visiting its most famous black sand beach. Punalu’u is easily accessible for beachgoers and is the ideal spot for swimming, snorkeling, and coastal hikes. The beach is also home to a variety of sea turtles that can often be seen basking in the sunshine.
  • Makalawena: The only way to reach Makalawena Beach is by taking a 20-minute hike across a lava path. Luckily, this means that Makalawena is not located in a high traffic area, making it feel like your own private beach. This white sand beach is suitable for visitors who want to sunbathe or swim and explore the coral reefs.
  • Kiholo Bay: Another Big Island black sand beach is Kiholo Bay, the most accessible beach on the Kona Coast. Kiholo Bay is home to secluded fishponds and is also recognized as a favorite hangout spot for sea turtles. They are so common in the area that beachgoers are almost guaranteed to see these creatures up close and personal. If you are lucky enough to come across the sea turtles, please be respectful and stay at least 20 feet away at all times.
  • Green Sand Papakolea Beach: Thanks to the erosion of a semi-precious stone called olivine, this beach features a unique olive-like color of sand. If you’re willing to strap on your hiking boots and walk for 1.5 hours to reach Green Sand Beach, it is definitely worth the visit. While it may be one of the more challenging beaches to visit on this list, we guarantee you will see nothing else like it.

Visit our Big Island Beaches area guide for more information and options. As you make your Big Island beach choices, it’s important to remember that every beach here features its own unique qualities. Whether you’re searching for the best beach to catch some waves or are interested in a more family-friendly destination, has you covered.

Our team is happy to assist you in finding your own perfect piece of paradise.

We specialize in luxury beachfront homes on the Kohala Coast and offer a full collection of Vacation Rentals so you can find the right fit for your travel needs. Contact us today and say “aloha” to your next holiday in Hawaii! For all other questions or interests, you can fill out our online form and our team will be in touch with you soon.