Hapuna Beach State Park
Hapuna Beach is one of the few white-sand beaches on the Big Island’s west coast. The state park covers 61.8 acres (25 hectares) of the island and is a great destination to hike, swim and snorkel. The park is also home to the popular Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, sister hotel to the famous Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.
Hapuna Beach is long and expansive, and there is more than enough room even on a crowded day. Stretch out your towel and enjoy the best of Hawaii’s sun, sand and surf. The water here is shallow and often quite warm in summer. The protected section at the northern end of the beach is perfect for swimming with children.
While lifeguards patrol the beach, large swells are known to reach the beach and riptides may form, with waves of 3 feet (1 meter) or higher, especially during winter. Familiarize yourself with the conditions before venturing into the water.
Jump from the cliffs at the south end of the beach into the ocean, an activity popular among the locals. In ancient Hawaii this act was a popular sport called lelekawa, with the aim being to make the smallest splash upon entry.
Hike part of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail that runs through the state park. This trail follows the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island for 175 miles (281 kilometers) linking a number of ancient Hawaii’s significant cultural and historical sites.
The Hapuna Beach State Park is a particularly popular location for its wide range of amenities. There are restaurants, bars, small food vendors, equipment rental companies, restrooms and picnic tables. The area also has six shelters for overnight lodging available for rent via the Hawaii State Park website.
Hapuna Beach State Park is located on the Kohola Coast, approximately 32 miles (51 kilometers) north of Kailua-Kona. The park is best reached by car, with ample parking available. Some charter buses serve the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel; however, they are not always available for day visitors.
The beach is open daily and a small entrance fee applies.