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Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area

big island/kohala
Beaches/Public Recreational

Old Puako Rd
Waimea, 96743

Boogie Boarding, Bodyboarding

Hours of Operation:

    7 AM– 6:30 PM
Boogie Boarding, Bodyboarding

Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area

The Big Island's Picture Perfect Beach

Hapuna Beach, a quintessential Hawaiian paradise, embodies the essence of a perfect beach escape. Imagine closing your eyes and conjuring up an image of a pristine, ideal beach — there's a good chance you're picturing Hapuna in your mind's eye.

Stretching half a mile in length and 200 feet wide during the summer, Hapuna Beach is an epitome of beach delight. It beckons beachgoers with its fine golden sand, gradually sloping into the crystal-clear waters of the Pacific Ocean. When the seas are calm, the conditions for swimming are excellent, and the pristine environment sets the stage for a remarkable day by the sea.

For those who revel in water sports, Hapuna Beach offers exceptional boogie boarding when the surf is at a moderate level. The exhilaration of riding the waves here is unparalleled, adding to the beach's allure.

Hapuna Beach's reputation for being one of the finest in the nation is well-deserved. Conde Nast Traveler magazine has often voted it as the best beach in the entire United States. What makes this beach even more remarkable is its accessibility and full range of facilities, ensuring visitors have everything they need for a comfortable and enjoyable beach day.

Weekdays at Hapuna Beach are typically less crowded, allowing for a serene and relaxing experience. However, weekends and holidays tend to attract locals who recognize the beach's greatness and often bring their guests to bask in its splendor.

Hapuna Beach is not just about sun and sand; it also offers captivating snorkeling opportunities. For advanced snorkelers, particularly on calm days, the area directly south of the sand beach is a hidden gem. This spot is usually unoccupied during the week, providing a secluded underwater paradise teeming with vibrant marine life and abundant coral formations. As you explore these underwater wonders, it's important to be cautious, especially when it's not calm, as the unprotected sea can become turbulent.

The beach provides essential safety, with lifeguard towers available. Nonetheless, swimming is not recommended during high surf periods when the waves can be formidable. Keep an eye on the conditions, as the wind may pick up in the afternoon. Seek refuge from the wind at the south end of the beach or relax in the shaded pavilions located behind the beach.

For those with extra energy and an adventurous spirit, consider snorkeling along the rocky coastline to a little black gravel cove located about half a mile down the coast, near a sea arch. You can return on foot via a trail or the dirt road, but it's important to wear water shoes and be cautious of the thorny kiawe thorns.

If you're still eager for more exploration, continue snorkeling beyond the little gravel cove to reach Waialea (Beach 69), a heavenly spot that promises even more underwater marvels. The north end of Hapuna Beach also offers its share of awe-inspiring experiences.

Hapuna Beach is conveniently located 30 miles north of Kailua-Kona, in the northern part of the Kohala mega-resort area near mile marker 69 off Highway 19. Although the restrooms by the parking lot might not meet five-star standards, you'll find better facilities behind the north lifeguard station.

Please note that there is a parking fee of $10, in addition to a $5 entrance fee. The beach is open from 7 a.m. to 6:45 p.m., allowing you to make the most of your beach day.

Hapuna Beach State Recreation AreaThe Big Island's Picture Perfect BeachHapuna Beach, a quintessenti ....

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