Let's face it.... beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. One man's favorite beach is another man's second choice. Recognizing that deciding the Big Island's Best Beaches will always be a subjective decision, it is still possible to categorize beaches into their respective best categories with a likelihood of being correct in the same way many polls in politics or whatever present you with a probable likelihood within a margin of error. The following are the likely picks of the best beaches on the Big Island in their respective categories:
Hapuna Beach on Hawaii's western coast line wins this category hands down and we are not alone in this assessment as many travel magazines have rated this beach the best beach in the world in various recent years. (more)
Although Punalu'u Beach is distant from the major populated areas of the Big Island it is the largest black sand beach in the state of Hawaii and has a beauty and charm all its own. Punalu'u beach qualifies "big time" as the best black sand beach on the Big Island. (more)
Kahena Beach is a small and absolutely beautiful black sand beach located on the east facing coast on the Hilo side of the Big Island. For years it has had the reputation as being a nude beach and although this activity is not considered "legal" it proves out when taking a visit that its legend is no misnomer. (more)
Ahalanui Beach Park (also known as Pualaa) wins the prize as the best thermal heated beach on the Big Island. This amazing series of hot pools located just off the coast is a natural wonder on the Big Island. (more)
Manineowali Beach, also known as Kea Bay, wins our award for the most subjective of all categories, the most picturesque beach on the Big Island. A more perfect white sand beach would be hard to imagine. (more)
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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