If you’re looking for the best snorkeling spots on Big Island, then you’ll want to check out our guide to the top 15 places. One beach that stands out is Beach 69, which is popular among both locals and visitors. This beach is unique compared to others on the island, thanks to its combination of shade, easy ocean access, and protection from swell. It’s a great spot for couples and families to relax, and you can easily spend an entire day here. The snorkeling at Beach 69 can be quite good, as it is relatively protected from swells. While the visibility may be low, it is still a fantastic beach for those staying in the nearby hotels.

Heading to Beach 69, also known as 69s, is a great choice for a beach day. With plenty of shade from the trees that hang over the water, you can stay cool while enjoying the ocean. This beach offers a shallow and calm swimming experience, making it perfect for floating around. Showers and restrooms are conveniently located, and parking is free right next to the beach. Although visibility may not be the best, the unique features such as underwater trees and good coral make up for it. Keep in mind that this beach can get crowded, so it’s best to arrive early to secure a spot.

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About Beach 69

Beach 69, also known as 69s, is a popular snorkeling spot on Big Island, Hawaii. Located within Hapuna State Park, just south of the famous Hapuna Beach, Beach 69 offers a unique experience compared to other beaches on the island. It is well-loved by both locals and visitors alike for its combination of shade, easy access to the ocean, and protection from swell, making it an ideal spot for couples and families. While it can be a bit of a walk to reach the beach, once you find your own little nook in the trees, you can easily spend an entire day here, relaxing and enjoying the stunning surroundings.

Location of Beach 69

Beach 69 is situated at mile marker 69 on the highway, hence its name. As part of Hapuna State Park, it is conveniently close to Hapuna Beach, which is known for its beautiful white sand. The beach is located about 45-50 minutes away from Kona, making it a rewarding destination after a scenic drive.

Unique Features of Beach 69

One of the standout features of Beach 69 is the abundance of shade. In Kona, where the sun can be brutal, having shade is a blessing. At Beach 69, large trees hang over the water, allowing you to stay in the shade even while you’re in the ocean. This unique feature provides a cooler and more comfortable experience at the beach, especially for those with lighter skin who are more prone to sunburn. The beach is also relatively shallow and has minimal waves, making it perfect for floating and leisurely swimming.

Where to Snorkel on Big Island Guide: Beach 69

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Shade and Accessibility

Beach 69 is known for its ample shade, provided by the trees that line the shoreline. This makes it an attractive spot for sun-sensitive individuals and families with young children who need protection from the intense Hawaiian sun. You can set up your beach gear, such as a hammock or inflatable, under the shade of the trees and enjoy a relaxing day on the beach.

In terms of accessibility, Beach 69 does require a medium walk from the car. While this may be a downside for some, the overall experience at the beach makes it worth the effort. The walk allows you to disconnect from the outside world and fully immerse yourself in nature, creating a sense of adventure and anticipation as you approach the beach.

Tide Considerations

When setting up at Beach 69, it’s important to consider the tide. The water may come up higher during high tide, potentially soaking your belongings if they are located too close to the shoreline. To avoid any inconvenience, keep an eye on the tide and move your belongings to higher ground if necessary. By being mindful of the tide, you can ensure a hassle-free day at the beach.

Snorkeling Conditions

Beach 69 offers decent snorkeling conditions, although the visibility is usually low. On a typical day, visibility ranges from 15 to 25 feet, which may not be as clear as other snorkeling spots on the island. However, what sets Beach 69 apart are its unique underwater features, such as trees and vibrant coral. These elements provide a unique snorkeling experience, allowing you to see marine life that you may not encounter in other locations. The beach is relatively protected from southern swells in the summer and partly protected from northwest swells in the winter, providing a safe and enjoyable snorkeling environment.

Recommended for Certain Hotels

Beach 69 is recommended for those staying in Waikoloa up through Mauna Lani and Mauna Kea Hotels. These accommodations are in close proximity to the beach, making it convenient for guests to visit and enjoy the unique features of Beach 69. If you’re staying at any of these hotels, Beach 69 is a must-visit destination for snorkeling and relaxation.

Advantages of Beach 69

The advantages of visiting Beach 69 include the presence of showers and restrooms, providing convenience and comfort during your beach trip. Additionally, the ample shade allows for a more enjoyable experience, protecting you from the harsh sun. The beach is also suitable for children, as the shallow waters and easy shore entry make it safe and accessible for young swimmers. The presence of underwater trees adds to the overall appeal of the beach, creating an enchanting snorkeling experience.

Disadvantages of Beach 69

Despite its many advantages, Beach 69 does have a few drawbacks to consider. The beach can get crowded, especially during peak times, which may affect the level of privacy and tranquility you desire. Additionally, the visibility for snorkeling is often poor, making it more challenging to fully appreciate the underwater environment. Lastly, the beach is a medium walk from the car, which may be inconvenient for those seeking a more easily accessible beach.

Distance from Car

As mentioned previously, Beach 69 requires a medium walk from the car. While this distance may be seen as a disadvantage for some, it also adds to the overall charm and seclusion of the beach. The walk allows you to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and fully embrace the natural beauty of the surroundings. Additionally, the walk provides a sense of adventure and anticipation, making the arrival at the beach even more rewarding.