Hapuna Beach Park

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The ocean at Hapuna Beach is calmest during the northern hemisphere’s summer. Winter surf is great for boogie boarding and body surfing and lousy for snorkeling. Be wary of surf conditions in winter when waves are their highest and surf is the strongest (video). Lifeguards are on patrol most of the year.


The state has recently initiated a $5 per vehicle parking fee for non-residents (ignore the sign on the map above). Arrive early if you want a parking space close the paths to the beach. The road to handicapped parking (also a drop off place close to the beach) is located at the makai end of the larger parking lot.


A rental shop is located at the entrance to the beach area. A snack shack is located next door (cash only).  Restrooms, showers, and party pavilions with charcoal barbecue grills are scattered throughout the area. Arrive early if you want to stake out a pavilion for a party.


The best snorkeling is at the north end of the bay. The entry is a gradual sandy slope and the coral heads start about 70 feet out from the beach and run parallel to the beach. There is also good snorkeling at the south end of the bay, but it is less protected.


A toe of lava juts into the ocean a little north of mid-beach. The section of beach just north of the lava toe is usually shady until noon. The north end of the beach between the toe of lava and the hotel is usually less crowded, but there is no lifeguard service there.


Be prepared for a steep and hot hike back to the parking lot at the end of your day. Take time to rest in the shady spots. Cold refreshments are available at the snack shack (cash only).


The nearest shave ice is at Anuenue Ice Cream in the Kawaihae Shoping Center or at the Queens’ Marketplace in the Waikoloa Beach Resort area.

 

Specific Information

Aerial photo courtesy of Google Maps.

Kohala Coast Beaches

  1. Anaeho’omalu Beach

  2. Mauna Lani Beach

  3. Pau`oa Beach

  4. Holoholokai Beach

  5. Wailaea Beach

  6. Hapuna Beach

  7. Mauna Kea Beach

  8. Spencer Beach Park

Kona Coast Beaches

Windward Beaches


Beachgoer’s Checklist

Essentials to pack:


  1. Bulletbeach bag

  2. lightweight day-pack

  3. sunscreen

  4. Hapuna Beach (2:01)hat

  5. shapeimage_5_link_0polarized sunglasses

  6. Bulletsand mat

  7. Bulletbeach towel

  8. Bulletumbrella

  9. Bulletchair

  10. Bulletsnacks

  11. Bulletbook, Kindle or iPad

  12. Bulletunderwater camera

  13. Bulletsnorkeling gear

  14. Bulletzip-top plastic bags

  15. Bulletplenty of drinking water


  1. Whale Watching

  2. Bring compact binoculars if you are on the beach between November and April. Besides ogling other beachgoers, you can use them to spot breaching humpback whales on the horizon.


  1. Be Sun Safe

  2. The tropical sun can be brutal. Even in the shade of a beach umbrella, reflected sunlight can burn unprotected skin. You wouldn’t want to spoil your vacation on the first day, so we advise that you wear sunscreen (factor 45 or 50 is appropriate for most beach activities) and reapply it at least once during your time at the beach. Be sure to sunscreen the tops of your feet and the tops of your ears.
 

Getting There


From Kailua-Kona and Waikoloa Resorts: Take the Queen Ka`ahumanu Highway north from Kona. Turn left  onto Hapuna Beach Road at the marked intersection just before Mile Marker #69. Drive to the end of the road, turn left and then turn an immediate right into the parking area. It is about a 45 minute drive from Kailua Kona and a 15 minute drive from the Waikoloa Beach Resorts.


From Waimea: Take the Kawaihae Road west from Waimea to the Queen Ka`ahumanu Highway. Turn south (towards Kailua-Kona) onto the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway at the marked intersection. Turn right onto Hapuna Beach Road at the marked intersection just past mile marker #69. Drive to the end of the road, turn left and then turn an immediate right into the parking area. It is about a 30 minute drive from Waimea.


From Hilo: Drive north from Hilo on the Mamalahoa Highway to Waimea. In Waimea, turn right at the stop light, then veer left onto the Kawaihae Road. Take the Kawaihae Road west from Waimea to the Queen Ka`ahumanu Highway. Turn south (towards Kailua-Kona) onto the Queen Ka`ahumanu Highway at the marked intersection. Turn right onto Hapuna Beach Road at the marked intersection just past mile marker #69. Drive to the end of the road, turn left and then turn an immediate right into the parking area. It is about a 2 hour drive from Hilo.

Hapuna Beach (2:01)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgDYEFOpZTQhttp://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/xgDYEFOpZTQ?fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0%22%3E%3C/param%3E%3Cparam%20name=%22allowFullScreen%22%20value=%22trueshapeimage_5_link_0
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