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

How to get to Hapuna Beach

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.

Things to do in Hapuna Beach

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 fun for a perfect day on the beach

Snorkeling Fun

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 at 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 at Hapuna

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

Eating venues at Hapuna

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.

Parking at Hapuna Beach

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.

Additional reading on Big Island attractions

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.

Ocean reef protected sunscreen – You’ll need this in Hawaii to get in the water and it’s required usage for Hawaii reefs and ocean. Get it in SPF 50 or SPF 30 here

Rash guards for water fun – a great way to protect yourself from the elements and water fun. Check out these women’s rash guards and men’s rash guards here for reference.

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

Best beaches to visit in Hawaii

Must visit Big Island Waterfalls

Free of cheap things to do on the Big Island

Top things to do in Kona

A family friendly visit to the Big Island

Kona snorkel and cruise experience

kahalu’u beach park for snorkeling fun

Enjoy a hike and beach at Makalawena Beach

Hiking to the gorgeous Pu’u wa’a wa’a up country

Visit Pololu Valley

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

Thanks for checking out this post on A perfect day Hapuna Beach Big Island. If you visited Hapuna Beach, please share your experience or some fun tips below.

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Noel Morata this Hawaii Life

Meet Noel Morata

Noel Morata is the creator of This Hawaii Life along with a small team of contributors. Living on the Big Island and traveling regularly to the neighbor islands, Noel and team actively search and share the latest information and updates to Hawaii travel, food, adventure and various lifestyle activities on the islands for your planning and vacation. Aloha and enjoy This Hawaii Life.