The beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii are as picturesque and popular as the beaches found in the state’s other islands. Travelers staying on the Kona side of the Big Island have three distinct beaches they should plan to visit. Three Big Island beaches worth soaking up the sun’s rays at are Anaehoʻomalu Bay, Hapuna Beach, and Punalu’u Black Sand Beach Park.
Anaehoʻomalu Bay stretches along the west coast of the Big Island. A section of the Bay connects to the Waikoloa Resorts, including the Hilton Waikoloa Village and Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa. With portions of Anaehoʻomalu Bay being attached to the Waikoloa Resorts the Bay is often referred to as Waikoloa Beach. The part of Anaehoʻomalu Bay that is closest to the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa includes an inlet of water. Between the inlet and the Pacific Ocean is a stretch of sand for beachgoers to enjoy. The contrast of the Bay along with the Pacific Ocean and the narrow stretch of sand provides a perfect setting for photos. In fact, the entire Anaehoʻomalu Bay is a great place to view the magical sunsets of Hawaii. Near the beach Anaehoʻomalu Bay has trails that lead through lava rock. Among the lava rock are tide pools and petroglyphs. Any time you see ancient petroglyphs you know you are on sacred land and should not step on those rocks. Enjoy your time at Anaehoʻomalu Bay by strolling through the lava rock trails or relaxing on the beach.
The Northwest coast of the Big Island is home to the Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area. As one of the few actual white sand Big Island beaches, Hapuna Beach is popular with locals and tourists. The white sand is so soft that beachgoers find it hard to leave Hapuna Beach. Since Hapuna Beach is popular arrive early if you want to claim a spot to lounge on for the duration of the day. Besides sand Hapuna Beach offers picnic tables for those who might bring their own food and wish to eat while watching the Pacific Ocean waves. Although the beach now is only for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking the beach has an interesting history. The military conducted training sessions on Hapuna Beach during World War II. Even to this day due to these training sessions sometimes pieces of old ordnance, or artillery, will wash up on shore. Warning signs even great visitors to Hapuna Beach alerting them of the possibility of unexploded ordnance. Sweeps for ordnance occur on a routine basis ever since the military ceased training sessions on Hapuna Beach. If in the rare case that you find a piece of ordnance do not touch it. Contact the authorities by calling 911 and let them handle the ordnance.
Punalu’u Black Sand Beach Park is often referred to as Punalu’u Beach or Black Sand Beach. The Punalu’u Beach is on the southern part of the Big Island. Although not on the Kona side of the Big Island the black sand found at this beach make this a worthwhile drive. The drive from central Kona is an hour and forty minutes. Visitors staying in Hilo can reach Punalu’u Beach in an hour and fifteen minutes. Long ago lava flowing into the ocean created the black sand. Around the black sound is lava rock that extends into the ocean. With the lava rock so prominent once you wade into the water you find that the ground is full of rocks. This makes swimming in the Pacific Ocean here a challenge. Besides experiencing the unique black sand, Punalu’u Beach is home to sea turtles. The sea turtles are an endangered species and protected by state and federal law. This means that people may not disturb the sea turtles. Visitors must stay at least 25 feet away from the turtles. You may take photos of the turtles but do not engage these rare creatures. Leave the turtles to bask in the sun and enjoy the nature along with them.