Hapuna Beach, Hawaii (fun, snorkel and perfect beach time)
Hapuna Beach is just one of the most popular Kohala coast beaches on the Big Island that everyone loves to go to. Family friendly and easy to drive to on the Kohala Coast, Hapuna Beach is easy, fun and a wonderful beach day getaway for locals and tourists alike to enjoy.
What you’ll find at Hapuna Beach State Park is a perfect white sandy beach that is almost a half mile long. The ocean is that gorgeous aqua color that transitions to deep blue ocean Further out.
Why visit Hapuna Beach on the west side?
Hapuna Beach is probably the nicest and longest stretch of beach along the Kohala coastline on the west side of the Big Island. Always mentioned by popular travel and lifestyle magazines as one of the top visits to enjoy in all of Hawaii, Hapuna Beach is exactly that. Nice soft sand and sandy soil in the water, warm and azure colored ocean water and later in the day some small waves for boogey boards and body surfers to enjoy on the beach. Hapuna beach is a popular local beach but visitors to the island also love to come and do an entire beach day here and also experience a lovely sunset here on the west side of the island.
You’ll love spending some time on this beach in Kohala, here’s a fun walking tour below
Directions to Hapuna Beach, Hawaii
Hapuna beach directions are pretty straightforward from Kona or Waikoloa area. Located at Mile Marker 70 on the Kohala coast, Hapuna Beach is located about 31.8 miles from Kailua Kona. Take Hwy 19 to the Kohala coast and make a left at the Hapuna Beach sign and follow directions to the parking lot. From Waimea the drive is about 12.6 miles on Hwy 19 and drive down all the way towards Kawaihae and make a left at the Highway 19 East junction up to the Hapuna Beach sign and make a right turn at Mile Marker 70 and down into the parking lot area.
Entrance – Parking is $10 for visitors and free for Hawaii residents with a valid ID to show. Parking is plentiful but very busy on the weekends.
Fun things to do at Hapuna Beach, Hawaii
Swimming is fantastic on the sandy beach and bottom at Hapuna with mostly calm waters and small water breaks on the beach. Later in the day the waves pick up for body surfing and boogey boarding fun. There are lifeguard stations on site to watch for any activity on the beach area.
Hapuna Beach is mostly a swimming beach but towards both ends of the beach where it’s rocky with cliffs, there is good snorkeling in these areas Visibility is lower due to the sandy bottoms at the beach area, but you can still see okay. Just note that you should have someone watching you since the areas around the cliffs and rocks are not closely monitored by the lifeguards on site.
Here’s a look at snorkeling in the waters of Hapuna
Picnic and Barbeque
There are some nice covered pavilions with barbeque pits and wonderful views of the beach from above. Perfect for larger gatherings to have a potluck or spread out your food in the covered tables, Hapuna beach has it covered for picnic gatherings on site.
Stroll the beach
You have your choice of strolling alongside the paved area next to the or walking right on the shoreline and getting your feet wet if you are in to mood to wade around for a bit. The nice long sandy beach is fun to stroll from one side to the next or do a work out with a fast walk or jog on the beach itself.
Watch a gorgeous sunset
If you’re not coming for beach time early in the then come in the late after to enjoy more of the beach when people are leaving and you can also admire the fantastic sunsets from the beach looking out on the waters to the horizon. Even better if you can actually catch that green flash when it happens right at the horizon line and you’ve experienced something on Hapuna Beach that only few have actually seen.
Drive down to the Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area site aka beach 69
If Hapuna is all full, drive down to the next beach area further down the Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area which is also known as beach 69. Access and parking are free at this beach with toilets and shower facilities but no lifeguard on duty. The beach area is lined with shade trees that give excellent cover from the overhead sun and heat.
Camping at the A frame sites are available at Hapuna Beach.
Reservations are required for camping at Hapuna Beach at the 4 person A frame sites. Check out this website for availability and current rates to booking a reservation.
Here’s a look at the A frames on Hapuna Beach
Food near Hapuna Beach
There is a café located close to the main parking lot that sells sandwiches and local foods along with renting out snorkeling equipment and boogie boards.
At the Hapuna Westin resort at Naupaka Beach Grill, the poolside café serves easy sandwiches and burgers with covered eating looking out at their gorgeous pools.
Outside of the Hapuna beach entrance, there sometimes are food trucks that are next to the highway that you can stop and pick up some local food or even a nice cold drink.
Want to stay next door at the Westin Hapuna?
A luxury resort right on the beach at Hapuna the Westin is elegant, modern and beautiful
Here’s a fun walking tour of this gorgeous resort
You can have a really nice meal at their restaurants or bars at Hapuna Beach
Things to do near Hapuna Beach
Here’s some fun activities to explore close to Hapuna Beach area:
You can go camping or really sleep in the A Frames close to Hapuna Beach.
If Hapuna Beach is full there is an extension you can drive to further down called Beach 69 but also part of Hapuna Beach State Park
The Westin Hapuna resort is also located right on the beach if you want to drop by for a poolside lunch or even a nicer meal at the the luxe restaurant called Meridia
For more shopping or dining venues in the area, check out the Mauna Lani shopping center which is just a short drive from Hapuna.
Another fun and beautiful beach area that is a short drive from Hapuna Beach in Kohala is the gorgeous Spencer beach park that you can also camp at and has full beach amenities on site.
More details to visiting Hapuna Beach
Hours are from 7am to 8pm daily
Cost: $10 Per car but free for Hawaii residents with valid Hawaii ID
Full amenities located on site
Check out more details on the Hapuna Beach website here for information, conditions and updated news.
Sunsets are fantastic and a great way to end the day at Hapuna Beach
Amenities at Hapuna Beach
Hapuna beach has all the full amenities on the island to include restroom with shower facilities, lifeguard stations, picnic tables and barbeque areas, a large parking area, on site food vendor and shady areas along the beach to hide out.
Camping is allowed at the A frame 4 man sites with reservation above.
Must bring packing and essentials for the beach
You can’t go to the beach without some of these essentials to enjoying your beach time.
Cell phone water proof case – if you want to take some underwater pictures, get one of these easy and cheap water proof cases.
Cooler backpack – the perfect picnic and drinks carrier to the beach or any outdoor fun on the islands.
UFT 50 sun hat for men’s or women’s sizes – essential head protection wear at the beach and a sport look
Additional reading on Big Island attractions
Enjoy a hike and beach at Makalawena Beach
Hiking to the gorgeous Pu’u wa’a wa’a up country
Enjoy a beach day at Kua Bay
Enjoy a beach day on a white sandy beach at Magic Sands Beach
Explore the farmers markets around Kona area now.
Conclusion to A perfect day Hapuna Beach Big Island now
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