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Hapuna Beach, The Big Island, Hawaii

Posted by Jody on November 25, 2011

Hapuna Beach, Hawaii pops up on many a “best beach” list!” The largest of Hawaii Island’s white sand beaches, Hapuna Beach has consistently been rated on numerous international Top Ten lists” ( Also quite impressive is the fact that Hapuna Beach, located on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island, was named the Best Beach in America in 1993 by “Dr. Beach” (Professor Stephen Letatherman of Florida International University).

Although this beach is no well-kept secret, Greg and I both felt like we discovered the ultimate beach paradise when we first laid eyes on this gorgeous crescent of sand. Is it possible that every person feels this way when they step onto the idyllic half-mile stretch of sugar-white shoreline called Hapuna Beach?

Hapuna Beach, The Big Island, Hawaii (©Jody Diehl)

Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area encompasses almost 62 acres of beautiful park land and seashore. It’s a “landscaped beach park with swimming during calm seas, bodysurfing during periods of shore breaks, sunbathing and other beach-related activities, picnicking and shelter lodging opportunities. Dangerous rip currents and pounding shore breaks during periods of high surf! Waves over 3 feet high are for experts–all other should stay out of the water and away from the shoreline! Lifeguard services. Hiking opportunity along the coastal trail” (Hawaii State

Coral from Hapuna Beach, Hawaii

It’s a good idea to check with a lifeguard before entering the waters of Hapuna Bay, or any of Hawaii’s ocean beaches. It’s also quite smart to swim near a lifeguard. Swimming and playing along Hawaii’s shoreline is serious business. The Hawaiian Islands rest in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the largest ocean on earth, and Hawaii’s waves can pull a person under in the blink of an eye.  It’s pretty frightening to be surf-tumbled underwater, not knowing which end is up!  Hawaii Beach Safety is an excellent website, keeping beach visitors informed with current surf conditions and up-to-date ocean advisories.

What will beachcombers find on Hapuna Beach? Interesting and colorful pieces of coral! These beautiful, sturdy chunks of coral can be pretty heavy. Keeping in mind those steep airline luggage fees, it might be a bit difficult to decide which priceless beach treasures you’ll tote home in your carry-on.

Greg and I visited Hapuna Beach in the month of March. There may have been a dozen other visitors at the beach when we arrived in the morning hours. As the day progressed, the parking lots filled up, but the beach never seemed crowded. There must be room for everyone in paradise!

Hawaii is not a state of mind, but a state of grace. ~ Paul Theroux

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