Experience Paradise at Hapuna Beach: Discover the Best Activities and Attractions on Hawaii’s Big Island (updated 2023)

Welcome to a tropical haven and amazing Hapuna Beach which will captivate your senses and leave you breathless with its natural beauty and crystal-clear waters. Nestled along the stunning coastline of the Big Island, Hapuna Beach sits with gorgeous soft sand, aqua colored ocean and palm trees lining the beach area. Get ready to soak up the sun, feel the soft sand between your toes, and immerse yourself in the vibrant marine life of this enchanting destination.

Whether you’re seeking a tranquil escape, thrilling water adventures, or simply a place to unwind and reconnect with nature, Hapuna Beach promises to be an idyllic retreat that will leave you longing for more.

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.

The beach at Hapuna is perfect white sand that stretches 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 Big Island?

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

Weather and best time to visit Hapuna Beach

Hapuna Beach, located on the Big Island of Hawaii, boasts a delightful tropical climate that attracts visitors year-round. The weather remains pleasantly warm and sunny throughout the year, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit (mid-20s to low 30s Celsius). However, it’s important to note that rainfall can occur, especially during the winter months.

The best time to visit Hapuna Beach is during the dry season, which typically spans from May to September. During this time, you can expect minimal rainfall and optimal beach conditions for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying water activities. The summer months, in particular, offer the warmest temperatures and the calmest ocean waters, making it an ideal time for snorkeling, diving, and other marine adventures.

It’s worth noting that Hapuna Beach tends to be more crowded during the peak tourist season, which coincides with summer vacations and holidays. If you prefer a quieter and more secluded experience, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring (April and May) or fall (October and November). During these times, you can still enjoy favorable weather while avoiding larger crowds.

Overall, Hapuna Beach’s inviting weather and stunning beauty make it a year-round destination. Whether you choose to visit during the peak season or opt for a quieter time, you’ll have the opportunity to bask in the sun, swim in crystal-clear waters, and create unforgettable memories on this picturesque Hawaiian beach.

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 inside and outside the resort grounds.

Find out more information about a stay at the Westin Hapuna resort here for more details and booking an overnight stay or longer.

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

More tips to a fun beach day at Hapuna

Sun Protection: Don’t forget to pack sunscreen with a high SPF, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and beach umbrellas or tents to provide shade during your beach day. The sun in Hapuna can be intense, so protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is essential.

Beach Gear: Bring beach towels, comfortable chairs or mats, and beach toys for a fun-filled day. Snorkeling gear is also recommended to explore the vibrant marine life just off the shore.

Picnic Essentials: Pack a cooler with refreshing drinks, snacks, and a delicious beach picnic. Fresh fruits, sandwiches, and light snacks are perfect for enjoying a meal with a view. Remember to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day.

Water Activities: Take advantage of the calm waters at Hapuna Beach by engaging in water activities such as swimming, bodyboarding, or stand-up paddleboarding. If you’re new to these activities, consider renting equipment and taking lessons from local operators.

Beach Walks: Take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline and admire the stunning scenery that Hapuna Beach has to offer. Explore the beach’s length and take in the captivating views of the turquoise waters and surrounding landscapes.

Snorkeling Adventure: Dive into the underwater world and discover the vibrant marine life that inhabits the coral reefs near Hapuna Beach. Snorkeling is a popular activity here, so bring your gear or rent equipment from nearby shops.

Wildlife Observation: Keep an eye out for dolphins, turtles, and other marine creatures that frequent the area. If you’re lucky, you may spot them swimming in the clear waters or basking on the rocks.

Beach Safety: Before entering the water, familiarize yourself with any posted beach safety guidelines and pay attention to any warnings or advisories. Be mindful of strong currents and always swim within designated areas.

Leave No Trace: Help preserve the natural beauty of Hapuna Beach by leaving no trace. Properly dispose of trash, avoid disturbing marine life or coral reefs, and respect the beach environment.

Capture Memories: Don’t forget to bring a camera or smartphone to capture the stunning scenery, beautiful sunsets, and precious moments spent at Hapuna Beach. These memories will be a lasting reminder of your unforgettable beach day.

By following these tips, you’ll ensure a fun-filled and enjoyable beach day at Hapuna. Embrace the beauty of the surroundings, relax under the sun, and let the serenity of the beach wash away your worries.

    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.

    Final Thoughts to visiting Hapuna Beach in Hawaii

    Spending a day at Hapuna Beach is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Hawaii’s Big Island. With its pristine white sand, turquoise waters, and stunning views, Hapuna Beach offers visitors a true paradise experience. Whether you choose to relax on the beach, swim in the crystal-clear water, or explore the nearby attractions and activities, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen, water, and snacks, and respect the environment and marine life. With its natural beauty and endless recreational opportunities, Hapuna Beach is truly one of Hawaii’s most breathtaking destinations.

    Conclusion to A perfect day Hapuna Beach Big Island now

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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.