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Does hiking to go to a beach sound like your kind of Hawaii vacation?!

Then the Big Island just may be the perfect Hawaiian island for you!

But don’t worry, if hiking to go to a beach is more effort than you want to put in on a vacation, you’ll find beaches on the Big Island that you can get to with a short walk from the parking lot too.

But, in the case you want a beach hike for at least one day of your Hawaii vacation, you have a few to choose from!

 

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best Big Island beaches. Best Big Island hikes. Best things to do on the Big Island travel guide itinerary vacation ideas for first trip. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

What’s a beach hike in Hawaii?!

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Best hikes. Best things to do on the Big Island travel guide. Hawaii travel blog

 

For the purposes of here, it’s a beach in which hiking can be a great way to get to it!

In some cases there might be alternate ways to get to the beach.

But because of the locations of the beaches, access is more limited than simply driving your car up to a beach parking lot and then taking a few steps to get to the beach.

As a result, for all of the beaches on this list, hiking is a popular way to get there… if not the only way.

And with access more limited, it can also often mean it’s a less crowded beach too.

 

Best of all, all of these hikes and beaches are FREE!

 

Now…

First, the quick list of the best beach hikes on the Big Island.

Then, a bit more about each of these hikes and beaches!

 

 

 

 

7+ best hikes on the Big Island that lead to beaches

The order is going around the island. From the Kona coast, and onwards south, making a loop.

 

1. Makalawena Beach hike

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii - Makalawena Beach hiking trail from Mahaiula Beach in Kekaha Kai state park, Kona white sand beach. Best beaches. Best hikes. Best things to do on the Big Island travel guide. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

2. Captain Cook Monument Trail to Kealakekua Bay

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii - Captain Cook hiking trail to Kealakekua Bay, Kona coast snorkeling beach. Best beaches. Best hikes. Best things to do on the Big Island travel guide. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

3. Honomalino Bay beach hike

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii - Honomalino Bay beach hiking trail, Kona coast beach. Best beaches. Best hikes. Best things to do on the Big Island travel guide. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

4. Pohue Bay beach hike

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii - Pohue Bay beach hike. Best beaches. Best hikes. Best things to do on the Big Island travel guide. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

5. Papakolea green sand beach hike

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii - Papakolea green sand beach hike. near south point cliff. Best beaches. Best hikes. Best things to do on the Big Island travel guide. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

6. Kaimu black sand beach trail

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii - Kaimu black sand beach trail hike. Puna near Hawaii volcanoes national park. Best beaches. Best hikes. Best things to do on the Big Island travel guide. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

7. Waipio Valley beach hike

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii - Waipio valley hike. Best beaches. Best hikes. Best things to do on the Big Island travel guide. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

8. Pololu Valley beach hike

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii - Pololu valley hike. Best beaches. Best hikes. Best things to do on the Big Island travel guide. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

And for another great hike on the Big Island, be sure to see the Kilauea Iki Crater Trail. This doesn’t involve a beach, but it’s in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and it means a hike into a former lava lake! Also in the national park, there’s a short petroglyphs trail.

 

Now more below on about the Big Island hiking trails that lead to the ocean!

 

 

🌴

 

 

 

Now…

A little bit more about some of the best beaches and best hikes on the Big Island

aka some of the best things to do on the Big Island!

 

 

Makalawena Beach hike

Hike through lava fields to a white sand beach!
Driving from Kailua-Kona to Makalawena Beach trailhead might be around a 30 minute drive.

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails to white sand beach. Makalawena Beach, Kekaha Kai State Park, things to do in kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

 

This is located in Kekaha Kai State Park (formerly Kona Coast State Park), just north of the Kona airport. This means it can be a perfect beach to start off your Hawaii vacation, end your Hawaii vacation at!

There’s more than one entrance at this state park, and you’ll want to take the Mahaiula entrance to get to the trail to Makalawena Beach.

You’ll first walk to Mahaiula Beach. Even to get to this beach is a short trail from the parking lot through lava fields, actually!

 

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails to white sand beach. hiking trail to Mahaiula Beach, Kekaha Kai State Park, things to do in kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Mahaiula Beach, Kekaha Kai State Park, things to do in kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

 

And then off to the right side of the beach (as you’re facing the ocean), you’ll find a trail to continue on to Makalawena Beach. It’s a hike through lava fields!

 

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails to white sand beach. to Makalawena Beach from Mahaiula Beach, Kekaha Kai State Park, things to do in kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails to white sand beach. to Mahaiula Beach from Makalawena Beach, Kekaha Kai State Park, things to do in kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails to white sand beach to see lava fields. to Mahaiula Beach from Makalawena Beach, Kekaha Kai State Park, things to do in kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails to white sand beach to see lava fields. to Mahaiula Beach from Makalawena Beach, Kekaha Kai State Park, things to do in kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails to white sand beach to see lava fields. to Mahaiula Beach from Makalawena Beach, Kekaha Kai State Park, things to do in kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Makalawena Beach, Kekaha Kai State Park, things to do in kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Makalawena Beach, Kekaha Kai State Park, things to do in kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Makalawena Beach, Kekaha Kai State Park, things to do in kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Makalawena Beach, Kekaha Kai State Park, things to do in kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

 

You will drive to Mahaiula Beach to start the hike to Makalawena Beach. These beaches are both a part of Kekaha Kai State Park.

See more about this Big Island hiking trail: Makalawena Beach hike

 

If you’d rather not have to hike so much in order to go to a white sand beach with amazing blue water color, then there’s also Kua Bay beach, also at the same state park but different entrance.

And then you could also stay at the Mahaiula Beach that you’ll pass by to get to Makalawena Beach.

With Makalawena Beach requiring the hike, it can mean less people, though! Although driving to Makalawena Beach is also an option, if you don’t mind off-roading with a 4 wheel drive.

Near Kua Bay, you can also do a short hike up to the top of the Puu Kuili hill for amazing views of the Kona coast.

 

Map of Makalawena Beach hike

Best Big Island hikes map: makalawena beach hike trail. beach hikes on the big island. day trip from kona hiking. big island travel blog
Explore the map.

 

 

Captain Cook Monument Trail to Kealakekua Bay

Hike to one of the best snorkeling spots!
Driving from Kailua-Kona to Captain Cook trailhead might be around a 40 minute drive.

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails to snorkeling beach. Captain Cook Monument Trail hike to kealakekua Bay, things to do in kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

 

This isn’t so much a hike to a real beach, but it is a hike to the ocean, and more importantly, a hike to one of the best snorkeling spots on the Big Island!

This makes it a popular snorkeling spot, and the way to get here is by boat, kayak, or foot!

So the free way to snorkel here is by hiking down to the bay!

 

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails to snorkeling beach. Captain Cook Monument Trail hike to kealakekua Bay, things to do in kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails to snorkeling beach. Captain Cook Monument Trail hike to kealakekua Bay, things to do in kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails to snorkeling beach. Captain Cook Monument Trail hike to kealakekua Bay, things to do in kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Kealakekua Bay snorkeling beach on Captain Cook Monument Trail hike, things to do in kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Kealakekua Bay snorkeling beach on Captain Cook Monument Trail hike, things to do in kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

 

The hike to Kealakekua Bay is on the southern side of the Kona coast.

There is a small parking area on the side of the road near the start of the trail.

See more about this Big Island hiking trail: Captain Cook hike

 

If you’d rather go snorkeling at a spot that doesn’t require a hike, then Two Step Beach is another one of the best snorkeling spots on the Big Island. Two Step is right next to a national historical park if you are looking to explore a little bit of Hawaiian culture.

 

Map of Kealakekua Bay hike

Best Big Island hikes map: kealakekua bay hike. beach hikes on the big island. day trip from kona hiking. big island travel blog
Explore the map.

 

 

Honomalino Bay beach hike

Hike through the ocean!
Driving from Kailua-Kona to Honomalino Bay trailhead might be around a 1 hour 15 minute drive.

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Honomalino Bay beach, things to do in Kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

 

Okay, saying that this is a hike through the ocean might be a stretch.

But it does require walking through water for a very short part! So you’ll want to be prepared. This can mean bringing along water shoes or hiking sandals so you’ll have footwear that’s okay to wear through water. You’ll be walking on rocks, so going barefoot isn’t really a good idea.

First time snorkelers said they thought the snorkeling at Honomalino Bay was great, so you might want to bring along snorkeling gear too. (Always have these everyday Hawaii essentials with you no matter what your plan for the day is!)

 

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails to see lava fields. Honomalino Bay beach, things to do in Kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails to see lava fields. Honomalino Bay beach, things to do in Kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails to see lava fields. Honomalino Bay beach, things to do in Kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails to see lava fields. Honomalino Bay beach, things to do in Kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Honomalino Bay beach, things to do in Kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Honomalino Bay beach, things to do in Kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Honomalino Bay beach, things to do in Kona coast. Hawaii travel blog

 

This hike is also on the southern side of the Kona coast.

You’ll park at Milolii Beach, and the trail to Honomalino Bay is just past the basketball court.

 

Map of Honomalino Bay beach hike

Best Big Island hikes map: honomalino bay beach hike. beach hikes on the big island. day trip from kona hiking. big island travel blog
Explore the map.

 

 

Pohue Bay beach hike

Hike through lava fields to a secluded beach!
Driving from Kailua-Kona to Pohue Bay trailhead might be around a 1.5 hour drive.

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails. Pohue Bay Beach hike. Hawaii travel blog

 

This is a pretty tourist-free beach and a tourist-free hike!

There’s a good chance that you’ll see very few people if you go to this beach, if you see any people at all!

Consider going here for a quieter experience on the Big Island.

 

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails. Pohue Bay Beach hike. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails. Pohue Bay Beach hike. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Pohue Bay Beach. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Pohue Bay Beach. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Pohue Bay Beach. Hawaii travel blog

 

See more about this Big Island hiking trail: Pohue Bay hike

 

Map of Pohue Bay beach hike

Best Big Island hikes map: pohue bay hike. beach hikes on the big island. day trip from kona hiking. big island travel blog
Explore the map.

 

 

Papakolea green sand beach hike

Hike to a green sand beach!
Driving from Kailua-Kona to green sand beach trailhead might be around a 1 hour 40 minute drive.

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails. hike to green sand beach, papakolea, south point park. Hawaii travel blog

 

Okay, so the beach doesn’t really appear to be THAT green of a color from far away.

But when you get up close and personal to the sand, you can start to see the green-colored sand, aka the mineral called olivine.

There is a shuttle you can take to get to the beach, but hiking to the green sand beach is the best way to get there. That’s because the green sand beach shuttle might be illegal. (And it kind of costs a lot.)

 

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails. hike or shuttle tour to green sand beach, papakolea, south point park. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails. hike to green sand beach, papakolea, south point park. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails. hike to green sand beach, papakolea, south point park. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails. hike or shuttle tour to green sand beach, papakolea, south point park. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. green sand beach, papakolea, south point park. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails. hike to green sand beach, papakolea, south point park. Hawaii travel blog

 

This is in the area of the southernmost point of the Big Island, of Hawaii, and of the United States!

So it’s easy to pair this with a visit to South Point.

Many people go to the green sand beach and the black sand beach with turtles on the same day.

See more about this Big Island hiking trail: Green sand beach hike

 

Map of Papakolea green sand beach hike

Best Big Island hikes map: papakolea green sand beach hike. beach hikes on the big island. day trip from kona hiking. big island travel blog
Explore the map.

 

 

Kaimu black sand beach trail

Hike to a black sand beach… and ON black sand!
Driving from Kailua-Kona to Kaimu beach trailhead might be around a 2 hour 15 minute drive.

 

Well, you’re hiking to a black sand beach that you can look at from afar.

But the coastal views are amazing here, I think!

Palm trees and lava fields all around, with ocean waves crashing against the shore.

This is a short 15-20 minute walk to the coast on a trail of black sand.

 

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Kaimu black sand beach in Puna near Hawaii volcanoes national park. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Kaimu black sand beach in Puna near Hawaii volcanoes national park. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails to see lava fields. Kaimu black sand beach trail in Puna near Hawaii volcanoes national park. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails to see lava fields. Kaimu black sand beach trail in Puna near Hawaii volcanoes national park. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails to see lava fields. Kaimu black sand beach trail in Puna near Hawaii volcanoes national park. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails to see lava fields. Kaimu black sand beach trail in Puna near Hawaii volcanoes national park. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Kaimu black sand beach in Puna near Hawaii volcanoes national park. Hawaii travel blog

 

Do this hike in Kalapana when you’re doing a half day trip to the Puna coast near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. There are several black sand beaches nearby!

See more about this Big Island hiking trail: Kaimu beach hike

 

Map of Kaimu black sand beach hike

Best Big Island hikes map: kaimu beach hike. beach hikes on the big island. day trip from kona hiking. big island travel blog
Explore the map.

 

 

Waipio Valley beach hike

Hike on one of the steepest roads in the United States!
Driving from Kailua-Kona to Waipio Valley trailhead might be around a 1.5 hour drive.

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Waipio Valley beach, north coast. Hawaii travel blog

 

There are 2 main ways people get to the Waipio Valley beach – by car or by foot.

By car requires that you have a 4 wheel drive! This is a STEEP road. (Thus the need for a 4wd.)

So plenty of people walk down to this beach. You’ll be walking on a paved road, the same road that the cars take. So it’s also important to use caution!

If you’d rather not hike this one, you can get great views from the overlook without stepping foot on the steep road.

 

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Waipio Valley beach, north coast. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails to black sand beach. Waipio Valley beach, north coast. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails to black sand beach. Waipio Valley beach, north coast. Hawaii travel blog

 

This is on the northern coast. When coming from Hilo, you can make a stop at the most popular waterfalls on the Big Island. You may also consider going for a fun lava tube cave hike before heading for the waterfalls. See more things to do near Hilo. Or you can make it into a one day of hiking to Big Island valley beaches.

See more about this Big Island hiking trail: Waipio Valley beach hike

 

Map of Waipio Valley beach hike

Best Big Island hikes map: waipio valley hike. beach hikes on the big island. day trip from kona hiking. big island travel blog
Explore the map.

 

 

Pololu Valley beach hike

Driving from Kailua-Kona to Pololu Valley trailhead might be around a 1.5 hour drive.

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails. Pololu Valley beach. Hawaii travel blog

 

You can get a small glimpse of the beach from the Pololu Valley overlook, and as you’re hiking down, you’ll get to see stunning coastal views!

 

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails. Pololu Valley beach. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best hiking trails. Pololu Valley beach. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Pololu Valley beach. Hawaii travel blog

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Pololu Valley beach. Hawaii travel blog

 

This is also on the northern coast, but about a 1.5 hour drive from Waipio Valley.

See more about this Big Island hiking trail: Pololu Valley beach hike

 

Map of Pololu Valley beach hike

Best Big Island hikes map: pololu valley hike. beach hikes on the big island. day trip from kona hiking. big island travel blog
Explore the map.

 

 

And there are some of the best beach hikes on the Big Island that can be convenient to add to your Big Island itinerary!

 

Be sure to see more ideas for planning out your vacation by seeing this 7 day Big Island itinerary and more things to do on the Big Island!

 

And for more hikes in Hawaii with amazing views, see the best of hiking on other Hawaiian islands:

 

HAPPY HIKING TO BEACHES ON THE BIG ISLAND OF HAWAII!

 

Best beach hikes on the Big Island Hawaii. Best beaches. Best hikes. Best things to do on the Big Island travel guide. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

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Top things to pack for your Hawaii vacation!

The ultimate beach towel for travel?!
Turkish towels are considered to be more absorbent and lightweight than your average beach towel. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
Possibly among the best Big Island maps for tourists!
The Franko maps of Hawaii have a high level of detail for activities and it's beachproof aka waterproof. There's an "adventure" guide map and a "snorkel/dive" guide map. Plus a wall map for home to get you excited for your upcoming trip to Kona!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phone
You can take underwater pictures with a simple waterproof phone case like this. Touch screen may not work well underwater - try the volume button to snap the pic instead!
Get your suitcase more organized!
Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!
Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're snorkeling.

PLUS...
Be sure to take a look at the reviews of these amazing tours on the Big Island:


ALOHA!