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Big Island Beaches

The Big Island of Hawai‘i is the youngest of the eight inhabited islands, and is still forming. Wave erosion and ongoing eruptions from Kīlauea, the world’s most active volcano, has resulted in black and white sand beaches all around the Big Island, and many shorelines are composed of small, smooth ‘ili‘ili stones. No matter where you are on the island, you’re bound to find an awe-inspiring shore. Read on for info about some of the Big Island’s best beaches!

Big Island Beach Weather

All of the Hawaiian Islands are mountainous, which results in a dry side (leeward) and a wet side (windward). Generally, the sunny sides are on the south and west shores, while there are more frequent rains on the north and east sides. You can drive from wet areas to dry, so even if it’s pouring rain where you are staying on the Big Island, you can usually escape to the other side for an idyllic day on Hawai‘i’s Big Island beaches.

Big Island Leeward Beaches

The leeward side beaches on the Big Island are the best for great snorkeling, swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, and of course, sunset watching. Some of the more popular spots on the west shore include Hāpuna Beach, Honokōhau Beach, Hoʻokena Beach, Spencer Beach Park, Wawāloli Beach, Makalawena Beach, Kīkaua Point Park, and Kamakahonu Beach. On the south side, the gorgeous black sands of Punaluʻu Beach and Mahana Green Sand Beach are a must-see.

Big Island Windward Beaches

Almost all of Hawai‘i’s Big Island beaches on the windward side are black sand, or a mixture of black and white. On the east side you’ll find picturesque Lele’iwi Beach Park, historic Laupāhoehoe Beach, and the remote, enchanting Waipi‘o Beach.

Play It Safe

When spending the perfect day at the best beaches on the Big Island, please remember to heed all posted signs regarding ocean swimming and safety.