Hapuna Beach: Hawaii Island’s Largest White Sand Beach

By Karen Rose

Hapuna Beach, Hawaii Island. Photo: jenkinson2455.

White sandy beaches are coveted on the Island of Hawaiʻi. The youngest of the Hawaiian Islands, this young island is noted for its abundance of black lava. Yet, while rocky coastlines may be the norm, Hawaiʻi Island is also home to the white sands of Hapuna Beach, one of the top-rated beaches in the world.

Hapuna is the largest white sand beach on Hawaiʻi Island and is a must-see for visitors.

Perfect Day at the Beach

Hapuna Beach, Hawaii Island. Photo: David J. Laporte.

Located on the western Kohala Coast, Hapuna Beach is a glorious oasis with a stellar reputation. With plenty of parking, food vendors and picnic areas, it has everything needed for a perfect day at the beach. From sunbathing, snorkeling and bodyboarding, it’s an ideal spot for families wanting to enjoy a day of surf and sun.

Sunny and Warm

Hapuna Beach

Hapuna Beach, Hawaii Island. Photo : 5D*Guy.

Hapuna Beach stretches ½ mile along the Kohala coast and is almost always sunny and warm. With offshore trade winds and only 10 inches of rain annually, the weather is almost always perfect. For extra warm days, Hapuna has a large picnic pavilion to cool off and enjoy some shave ice.

Popular for Snorkeling

Hapuna Beach, Hawaii Island. Photo: Lindley Ashline.

Hapuna Beach is popular for snorkeling, especially when the water is calm. Snorkelers will enjoy exploring the small rocky cliffs at the northern and southern points of the beach. These points boast a variety of colorful, tropical fish and coral formations.

Because the calm-looking water can be deceiving, it’s recommended that snorkelers never go out alone as the snorkel locations are not within sight of the lifeguards.

Arrive Early

Hapuna Beach, Hawaii Island. Photo: Phil Gibbs.

Being a perfect beach also means Hapuna can become quite crowded. It is recommended to arrive early as to secure a good parking spot and a nice shady tree to set your beach chairs. During whale season, beach-goers may even get a glimpse of breaching whales in the distance.

Directions to Hapuna Beach

Sunset at Hapuna Beach, Hawaii Island. Photo: Roger Gerbig.

Hapuna Beach is located off Hwy 19 north of Kailua-Kona around mile marker 70. Turn toward the ocean at the sign for Hapuna Beach State Park and continue 1/4 mile to the large parking lot. The beach is open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. There is a small entrance fee of $5 to help maintain the park.

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