Must-Visit Beaches on The Big Island, Hawaii

hawaii2012_146.jpg

A (sort of) Secret Beach 

Out of respect to the locals I won't reveal the name of this beach online, but I will say it's one of the most beautiful and private beaches on the island. We found this beach suddenly just because we had a feeling a quite rough road through a lava field must lead you somewhere nice. And as always we were right and very lucky. This beach became our own spot for the rest of our vacation. We loved it there so much. Basically we were alone on the beach all day every day. A couple of local families would spend some time on the beach during the afternoon and that's it. Well, we had few more friends swimming with us - adorable turtles! They basically were our hosts there. 

Directions: It's a secret. You need to earn this place with your own curiosity and feeling for adventure ; )

 

Ho'okean Beach

I loved this family-friendly beach a lot. The road that goes to the beach is so beautiful especially in the early morning. It goes through a huge green ranch. We even met two cute horses on our way. The beach is big and the sand is a mix of lava sand and fine gray coral. The view is just spectacular. Great beach for swimming! It's a local's favorite beach for camping as well with lots of shade under the trees. 

Directions: Heading South on Hwy 11, the turn off is between mile markers 101 and 102, just past Ho'okena Elementary School. Follow Ho'okena Beach Road about 2 miles downhill. 

 

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach

I have never seen such black sand before. It's beautiful, especially in combination with blue water, green palms and silver sky. It was quite a ride by car to reach this place but the road was stunning, plus we stopped for lunch at the place called Hana Hou (The Most Southern Restaurant in America.) The comfort food menu was really delicious. We tried have a dozen dishes, cole slaw, potato salad, pulled pork with gravy, chicken salad stuffed papaya, etc. Everything was fresh and could have been being served in a much more upscale setting. We agreed the potato salad was the best either of us had ever tasted (sorry, moms.) It was a great treat of the day! Anyway, the Black Sand Beach is a beautiful spot but in the middle of nowhere... So if you forgot your picnic basket, you are screwed. We didn't bring food with us, so we looked around a little and left, but the place worth staying for a few hours for snorkling and turtles on a sunny day. 

Directions: Hwy 11 between Pahala and Naalehu.

 

Manini Beach Park

Manini Beach is a small beach on Kealakekua Bay, on the opposite side of the bay from Captain Cook monument. It's the first beach we visited on the island. Beautiful little spot and very close to the place where we stayed, Tara Cottage! Most of the park is covered by grass and a few picnic tables. Also, few luxury rentals are located here. It's a great place to bring a picnic, a book, and to spend a few hours. But please note that locals do not like when tourists occupy their picnic tables. We didn't push our luck and just stayed in the shade of a monkeypod tree. There is a small sandy area with entry into the water but it's not for swimming until you get past some rocks. This place is great for snorkeling because the bay itself is filled with dolphins, turtles, and tropical fish. 

If you are not a snorkeling fan, you should visit this place at least for the outstanding view. 

Directions: At the bottom of Napoopoo Road, turn left and travel south and take a right onto Manini Beach Road.