10 Best Big Island Beaches and The Best Hikes

Black sand beach on Big Island

The Big Island of Hawaii is stunning. The colourful sand beaches, beautiful water and marine life are seen at every single corner of the island. I will tell you the best 10 beaches on the island to check out and 3 amazing hiking trails to see.

You can always find a piece of paradise to relish for yourself.

While many tourists head to the Big Island for a relaxing time, you can find a private spot because there are soooo many different beaches.

Big Island Beaches

Kekaha Kai Beach 

Drive through a black lava field and arrive at a soft sand beach! There is a mix of lava, soft golden sand and palm trees.

I saw a Monk Seal hanging out on the beach for the day while we were there. We also saw turtles lounging on the lava. You get to see a variety or sea animals, what an amazing day.

Ho’okena Beach

This was one of my favourite beaches by far. You will see more locals here than tourists. It has an amazing scenic cliff on the left and salt and pepper sand.

The beach is cuddled by a bay, which provides a nice calm swimming area. We came here three times so that tells you how amazing we thought it was!

Welcome to pristine beaches and spellbinding marine life.

Black Sand Beach Big Island

This amazing beach has completely black sand. It is so unique that you must see it.

This is also the place to find sea turtles lounging on the beach. Be ready to be blown away!

Reminder: Do not get close to the animals. Hawaii provides many opportunities to see some beautiful wildlife but keep your distance and respect that you are in their habitat.

Snorkeling in Maui

Kona beaches

Makalewena Beach

This is a white sand beach that offers seclusion. There is a 40-minute walk through lava before you arrive at the beach. If you are up for some exercise and looking to have a nice beach that offers privacy, this will be your spot.

There are portable toilets last time I checked and some cute picnic tables to have lunch at.

Kamakahonu Beach

This is a perfect spot for families who are looking for facilities like restrooms, trash bins, walking path and outdoor showers.

The water has shallow areas for parents to take toddlers into the water and enjoy the day .

Things to Do on The Big Island

Kealakekau Bay Snorkel and Cave Expedition

This is a great family option. The staff are friendly & engaging.

The whole afternoon was filled with tuna jumping around, checking out caves, snorkelling in what I can only describe as one of the best snorkel locations I have ever been to and finishing with dolphins swimming with us on our way back!

You can see a lot of water life.

Nighttime Snorkel with Manta Rays

Watch as the manta rays glide through the water feeding on plankton which is attracted by underwater lights.

They tour takes you to the mouth of Keauhou Bay, a spot known for having the highest concentration of manta rays in the Hawaiian Islands.

You will spend 45 minutes in the water observing these gentle giants.

Best Beaches in Kona

Kahalu’u Beach Park

This is another Family Friendly beach for you try. Having amenities is so important for families and here you get:

  • Restrooms
  • Outdoor showers
  • Picnic tables
  • Grills
  • Trash bins

I really enjoy when I find the shade of a beautiful palm tree at the beach. It is so picturesque.

There are some food trucks that frequent the area as well for treats during the day. Or you can pack your lunch and relax all day at the beach.

Manini’owali Beach

This is a white sand beach with small waves. The water is crystal clear, and the scenery is breathtaking.

You can enjoy some snorkeling, boogieboarding or swimming in the water. The beach has lifeguards and restrooms which are a nice touch.

This beach can get busy, so if you are looking for something more private, check out Makalewena Beach.

things to do in oahu at the pool

More of The Best Kona Hawaii Beaches

Magic Sands

The amount of beach varies a lot depending on whether the tide has swept most of the sandy beach out to the ocean.

The lifeguards do a great job of helping people know how it is and where it is safe to enter/exit the water, so you can rely on their guidance.

Honl’s Beach

You can get beautiful pictures at sunset here. It is a small beach, so you wouldn’t spend the whole day here, but it is a nice spot for a visit.

There are public washrooms and an outdoor shower to use as well. There are picnic tables for snacks and relaxing at.

Depending on the waves, it may be available for swimming. But this is the spot for photographers to snap plenty of shots to post on social media.

Beaches Big Island

Kikaua Point Park

You need a beach pass to get there, but don’t let that deter you. The beach is accessible from a parking lot with a limited number of spots. So, arrive early to get your spot!

The beach is popular, both with tourists and locals, but the limited number of parking spots means it does not get crowded. There is even a nice grass patch to enjoy with your family.

Big Island Hikes

The Puna Hiking Trail

This 5.2 mile or 8.4 km trail is for a moderate hiker. After about half of the hike, you arrive to a pristine beach where you can relax and enjoy.

The hike brings you through a beautifully dense jungle. You get to see papaya, mangosteen, lilikoi, and coconut throughout the trail.

Akaka Falls State Park

You hike on a paved hiking trail to arrive at a beautiful waterfall! You start through a lush rainforest and it allows for amazing pictures.

It is a beginner option that is only .5 mile or .8 km.

There is a parking fee ($5) and a small entrance ($1) per person. It is worth the cost for sure!

Makalawena Beach Hike

This is a lovely beach hike for all levels. It is mainly surrounded by private property and conservation areas for native birds.

You can take a break and a dip in the ocean to cool off which makes this a fantastic option.

Always check trail conditions as mud and rain can impact if they are available or not.

Surfer in Bali

Big Island Hawaii - Things to Do


Hawaii Volcano National Park is one of the most unique places to visit in Hawaii. This experience makes the Big Island my FAVOURITE!

The park is the home to the volcanoes Kilauea and Mauna Loa and is located on the southern part of the Big Island. You can take a variety of volcano tours to see lava tubes, moon-like craters, spewing sulfur vents and rain forest.

Park Costs:

Vehicle Pass                      $25

Individual Pass                  $12

Motorcycle Pass               $20

Mauna Kea Summit Adventure

The summit is the highest point of Hawaii and provides spectacular stargazing.

You get wonderful service and vehicle transportation up to different elevations for amazing views.

With no light pollution and high altitude it provides for a star gazing experience of a lifetime. I have never seen the sky lit up so brightly with constellations.

You get the option to see the sky with a heavy-duty telescope to get an even closer look. Overall, this is an impeccable tour and a must do if you are going to the Big Island!


If you are a surfer or wan lessons, you can find options on the island.

I am more of a lounge on the beach gal, but my husband likes to surf. It is very entertaining to watch.

Other Hawaii Related Articles:

Get Your Insurance

Being prepared and purchasing insurance is always recommended 😊.

Where to Stay on The Big Island

Near the Volcano Park

Getting your own cottage gives you space. If you are excited for adventure and looking for something close to the National Volcano Park, then this is for you!

This beautiful Hapu’u Makai Cottage gives you the following:

  • 3-bedrooms
  • Kitchen
  • Antique furniture
  • Washing machine
  • 3 minutes from a fantastic black sand beach
  • 6 minutes from Pahala village with grocery stores, pharmacy and family activities

Near Kailua – Kona

This amazing 3-bedroom house has beautiful views and a lovely feel. Sunshine in Kailua is a great family option.

There is a beautiful terrace to lounge on with your morning coffee or evening nightcap. The furniture has a nice beachy feel.

Beautiful Resort - Marriott Waikoloa

The Marriott Waikola is beautiful and has a lot going for it. Here are my favourite things:

  • Oceanfront
  • Full-service spa
  • Offers an outdoor pool and fitness centre.
  • Calm water for swimming

It’s one of the best places to stay on the island for a reason.


Accommodation on the Big Island

Booking.com has many hotels in Oahu, including apartments and resorts. Check these prices.

Flights to Hawaii

Why not check the flight costs right now! Check out these prices.

Rental Cars on the Big Island

If you need a car rental, you can check the car options on the Big Island here.

Tours on the Island

Spend a moment and send me an email with any questions you have at GlutenFreeTraveller.  Follow me on FacebookYouTube and Pinterest.

Cheers, I hope you enjoy your time on the island,

Brett – The Ultimate Gluten Free Traveller

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Brett Duncan Gluten Free Traveller

“Committed to inspiring people with Celiac to travel the world and explore the limitless opportunities to live Gluten Free anywhere.”

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