Hapuna Beach is practically a legend on the Big Island. In fact many people believe that Hapuna Beach is the most beautiful beach to be found here, and a good case could certainly be made for that. On several occasions a number of the travel magazines have listed Hapuna Beach as the number one beach in the world. Hapuna is a half mile in length and during the summer months the white sands can extend to a full 200' wide. In the winter months the sands will recede and quite often the beach will actually divide into two at the point where a large promontory of lava rock protrudes from the cliffs behind. The sand is soft and billowy and even on the busiest days there seems to be enough sand area for all to find a comfortable place to claim as their own.
The ocean can be great fun here as the sand extends into the water a fair distance making for a nice entry. Water clarity is also one of Hapuna Beach's virtues and snorkeling can be rewarding particularly near the rock outcroppings on either end of the beach. Boogie boarding is also a popular pastime here when the waves are cooperating but these same waves can also prove dangerous when they get too large. In fact, during much of the winter season (this can happen in the summer too) there will be an enormous shore-break at Hapuna Beach that will have the power to slam you on the beach. In a conversation with a lifeguard here we were told that this beach is responsible for the "lion's share" of beach injuries that occur on the island but this is also probably due in part to the fact that it is such a popular spot. Whereas most beaches on the Big Island do not have any life guard towers at all, Hapuna Beach actually has two of them so for this reason it is probably one of your best bets for some great ocean fun. Because of the possible dangers that can exist here the life guards recommend that when you arrive at the beach, at any time of year, you should walk up to them and ask if it is a good day to go in the water and if so what precautions you should be taking on that particular day.
Facilities abound at Hapuna beach making it a very comfortable beach to visit. There is a very large paved parking area, great restrooms, picnic tables, barbeque stations, showers and even some large pavilion areas for larger groups. Shade can become an issue here as there is little foliage offering protection from the sun's rays directly on the beach itself, so bringing a beach umbrella might be a good call.
Be advised that all beaches and ocean locations in Hawaii can be dangerous including this one. Be completely aware of the ocean conditions prior to entering any Hawaiian waters and it is advised that you enter the water at this location only after you consult with a lifeguard on duty. Also, all shorelines and beaches in Hawaii, including this one, can be frequented by sharks, jellyfish and other sea creatures which can provide potential harm to people entering the water.
Kikaua Point Beach is a tiny but very beautiful beach that is located about ten miles north of Kailua-Kona. Kikaua Beach is perhaps the calmest beach on the Big Island being protected from the open ocean by a series of huge boulders and rocks that provide a rim for the pond-like beach within.
La'aloa Beach Park in the town of Kailua-Kona is also referred to as Magic Sands Beach, White Sands Beach and Disappearing Sands Beach. Though its Hawaiian name has implications suggesting it is a beach of sacred nature the other three more popular names refer to the propensity of the beach to lose its sand each winter and early spring to the currents, waves and storms that extract the white sands from the shoreline portion of the beach and temporarily deposit them further out to sea exposing dangerous exposed rocks in the process.
The Old Kona Airport landing field became obsolete in the early 1970's but the one-mile landing strip still exists. This huge stretch of asphalt lies right next to the ocean just north of the city of Kailua-Kona and today serves as the gigantic parking area for the Old Kona Airport Beach.
Punalu'u Black Sand Beach is the largest black sand beach in the state. Located south of the Volcanoes National Park on the coastal Highway 11 it is a beach that is basically fairly far from populated areas and most people will decide to enjoy a quick visit when they take the southern route to visit the volcanoes if they are staying in the Kona region.
If it wasn't for the fact that Spencer Beach was located so close to Hapuna and Mauna Kea Beach, it would receive more notoriety than it does. Although it is a beautiful white sand beach with a sand bottom allowing for an easy water entry, it just lacks some of the luster and beauty associated with its nearest beach neighbor.
The Big Island often gets a pretty bad rap when it comes to beaches. Yes, it is true that it is the newest of the Hawaiian islands and as a result it has not had enough geological time pass by to jump-start the laws of physics and allow nature to work its magic on creating the type of amazing beaches that can often be found on other islands of the Hawaiian chain.
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