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Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, Big Island Hawaii

Hapuna Beach

Hapuna Beach is the largest white sand beach on the island and is utterly gorgeous. The body surfing’s pretty decent (especially when the wind picks up) and when we went on weekday mornings it wasn’t crowded. Rated the “Number one beach in America” by Conde Nast Traveler, Hapuna Beach is a long stretch of pristine white sand and every guest room as a view of it. There is a little cove nearby where the waters are sheltered and clear. But according to this tally, Hapuna Beach is the site of the most spinal cord injuries (read — getting pounded into the sand head first) in the Aloha State. Sandy’s ranks right up there and so does Waikiki, which actually doesn’t surprise me that much.
Hapuna BeachIt is not spectacular here, but decent, expect minor patches of coral and fish unless you are prepared to swim further than most. The south end has little coral or fish unless you leave the protection of the beach area and head out along the rocky coast. What I didn’t expect was the rats that ran all around the cooking pavilion. It’s a shame, because it would otherwise have been a nice facility, with a fridge, stove, sink, and lots of tables. We had great expectations for this hotel. The beach was beautiful and lived up to all the previous reviews!

The half-mile strip also has great facilities like a paved walkway leading from the parking lot, which is a rarity in Hawaii! The beach is also shallow pretty far out, so it’s a good place to bring small kids, and walk out and swim around. Waves can get strong at times, and lifeguards leave in the early afternoon; I got several breaking waves to the face, and y’know, didn’t really enjoy it, but that’s the beach. The beach restaurant and bar at the Prince are more oriented to the pool, and are a moderate walk from the beach.

Kathy reading on Hapuna beach with Hapuna Prince Hotel in background

You can be busy from morning to night, or if you choose you can relax and soak in the rays on the long white sand beach. In addition, guests may also elect to play at the world famous Mauna Kea Golf course, rated one of the best courses in the state. However, you can still clearly see it has miles of golden sand and deep blue seas. Not without reason is Hapuna beach one of the most popular beaches on Hawaii Island. Its smooth, white sands extend far out into the surf, so wading in the shallows is easy on your feet. During summer months, the beach is at its widest and stays crowded from sunup to sunset; in contrast, winter months bring unfriendly waters with deadly riptides.

No swimming - Hapuna Beach, (except if you're in the water)

The windward (eastern) side of the island receives a lot of moisture. Hilo’s monthly averages are above 8 inches. The Big Island is a study in contrasts and natural diversity. The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park contains one of the world’s most active volcanoes, which continues to pour into the sea adding to the shoreline. The blue-gray slate flooring throughout the hotel was imported from China, along with artisans who taught Big Island tile-layers how to cut and install it. The result is spectacular.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Suzanne December 9, 2008, 11:54 am

    I was impressed with Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park on the Big Island, also. It didn’t seem like much from the road, but when we got to it, we were quite impressed.

  • Kanilea December 10, 2008, 12:33 am

    Aloha!
    I couldn’t agree with you more that Hapuna Beach is the big island’s most gorgeous and beautifful white sand beach. My family and I lived there in Waikoloa for more than 3 years and we had many family beach days there at Hapuna. Thanks for sharing your photos.
    Mahalo,
    Kanilea

  • zam December 10, 2008, 1:58 pm

    the beaches of hawaii do not seem as attractive as that of the carribeans…it is nice turquoise water but the sand is rough, not white and not powdery..like that of mexico

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