In this video by RetirementLife4Us, you will be taken on a journey to explore the five best beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii. With years of experience on this island, the creators have handpicked these beaches for their uniqueness, beauty, and fun. While there are many other stunning beaches, Kua Bay, Hapuna Beach, Pohiki Beach, Kikaua Beach, and Ho’okena Beach have made it to their top five. From the emerald blue waters against the black lava rock at Kua Bay, to the expansive sand and perfect snorkeling at Hapuna Beach, each beach offers something special. Whether you’re looking to relax, body surf, snorkel, or enjoy a family day out, this video will guide you to the perfect beach for your next visit to the Big Island of Hawaii.

Kua Bay


Kua Bay is located on the Big Island of Hawaii, specifically on the west coast, just north of Kailua-Kona. It can be easily accessed by car and is a popular destination for both locals and tourists.


Kua Bay is often regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii. It features stunning emerald blue water that contrasts perfectly with the surrounding black lava rock. The beach has two main areas – one side is ideal for body surfing, while the other side is more relaxed for those who prefer to simply swim and soak in the water.

Snorkeling is also a popular activity at Kua Bay, thanks to the presence of massive lava rock formations in the water. These formations provide a habitat for various marine life, including turtles, which can be frequently spotted here. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a show from spotted eagle rays during your visit.


Kua Bay offers a range of activities for beachgoers. Whether you’re into adventurous water sports or prefer to relax on the shore, there’s something for everyone. Some of the activities you can enjoy at Kua Bay include:

  • Body surfing on the energetic side of the beach
  • Relaxing and swimming in the calm waters on the other side
  • Snorkeling and exploring the underwater world around the lava rock formations
  • Spotting sea turtles and other marine life
  • Soaking up the sun and enjoying the stunning scenery

Kua Bay is a must-visit beach on the Big Island, offering a perfect blend of natural beauty and recreational opportunities.

Hapuna Beach


Hapuna Beach is situated on the western coast of the Big Island, north of Kailua-Kona. It is easily accessible by car and is a popular destination for families and beach enthusiasts.


Hapuna Beach is often considered the best overall family beach on the Big Island. It offers something for everyone, from its expansive sandy shores to the beautiful blue water that stretches as far as the eye can see. The beach provides ample space for visitors to spread out and set up for a day of fun and relaxation.

Family-Friendly Activities

At Hapuna Beach, families can enjoy a variety of activities together. Some of the family-friendly activities you can partake in include:

  • Snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters, discovering colorful fish and coral reefs
  • Playing in the gentle waves or floating on the water
  • Building sandcastles and playing beach games
  • Catching a few waves for those interested in surfing or bodyboarding
  • Simply relaxing on the soft sandy beach and soaking up the sun

With its family-friendly atmosphere and the range of activities available, Hapuna Beach is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

5 Best Beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii

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Pohiki Beach


Pohiki Beach is located on the eastern coast of the Big Island, near the town of Pāhoa. To reach Pohiki Beach, you’ll need to take a scenic drive along Highway 137, also known as the Red Dirt Road.


Pohiki Beach stands out for its unique features and picturesque surroundings. It is known for its black sand, which was created by the 2018 volcanic eruption at Kilauea. As you enter the beach park, you’ll witness the lava flow from 2018, which came right up to the side of the park.

Scenic Drive

Getting to Pohiki Beach is an adventure in itself. The drive along Highway 137, also known as the Red Dirt Road, offers breathtaking views and many opportunities to stop, explore, and soak in the beauty of the island. This scenic drive is particularly enjoyable in a convertible or open-air Jeep.

Black Sand Beach

Once you arrive at Pohiki Beach, you’ll be greeted by the newest black sand beach on the island. The black sand here is the most vibrant and rich in color. The contrast of the white foam from the waves against the black sand creates a stunning visual spectacle. As the waves recede, they leave a beautiful blue sheen on the sand, adding to the beach’s allure.

Thermal Pond

Adjacent to the ocean at Pohiki Beach is a thermal pond, heated by the thermal energy from the volcano below. This pond is said to have clean and warm water, offering a relaxing experience akin to a jacuzzi.

Pohiki Beach is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of scenic beauty, a black sand beach, and a thermal pond, making it a must-visit destination on the Big Island.

Kikaua Beach


Kikaua Beach is located on the western coast of the Big Island, near Kailua-Kona. It is easily accessible by car.


Kikaua Beach is a lesser-known beach on the Big Island, frequented by locals and those in the know. It is a unique spot that isn’t your typical white or black sand beach. Instead, Kikaua Beach boasts a great sand beach, making it stand out from the others.

Access Requirements

To access Kikaua Beach, you will need to obtain a gate pass from the security gate at the private community it is located in. The beach only allows a maximum of 20 cars at any time, making it an uncrowded and peaceful experience.

Kikaua Beach is worth the effort to access, offering a different kind of beach experience with its beautiful sandy shores.

Ho’okena Beach


Ho’okena Beach is located on the western coast of the Big Island, south of Captain Cook. It is reachable by car but requires a bit of a drive.


Ho’okena Beach is considered a lesser-known beach, often frequented by locals. It offers a unique and special experience that sets it apart from other beaches on the island. This beach stands out with its fantastic golden sand, making it a great sandy beach destination.


Ho’okena Beach provides a range of activities for beachgoers of all ages. Some of the activities you can enjoy include:

  • Body surfing or boogie boarding in the great waves
  • Snorkeling and exploring the vibrant underwater world
  • Exploring the tide pools and discovering marine life
  • Appreciating the soft and fine sand, perfect for building sandcastles
  • Relaxing along the shore and taking in the beautiful scenery

Ho’okena Beach offers a quieter and more off-the-beaten-path beach experience, ideal for those seeking tranquility and a closer connection with nature.


The Big Island of Hawaii is blessed with numerous beautiful beaches, each offering its own unique features and activities. Whether you’re a fan of body surfing, snorkeling, or simply relaxing on the sand, there’s a beach for everyone.

From the stunning Kua Bay with its emerald blue water and lava rock formations to the family-friendly Hapuna Beach, the Big Island has no shortage of incredible beach destinations. The black sand beach at Pohiki Beach and the thermal pond nearby create a memorable experience, while the lesser-known Kikaua Beach and Ho’okena Beach provide their own special charm.

No matter which beach you choose to visit on the Big Island, you’re sure to be captivated by its natural beauty, friendly atmosphere, and the sense of tranquility that only a Hawaiian beach can offer.