Here’s a good article by Melissa Mahoney for Only In Your State, on Hapuna Beach on the west side of the Big Island. The best way to enjoy the water is a snorkel tour with the professional staff at Sea Paradise.
Every year since 1991, beach expert Dr. Stephen Leatherman, otherwise known as “Dr. Beach,” posts his highly anticipated list of the country’s best beaches. Using a set of 50 criteria including cleanliness, size of waves, currents, condition of sand, amenities, and views, he makes his decision. This year (2021), the number one spot goes to a beach located on Hawaii’s Big Island: Hāpuna Beach State Park, and we couldn’t agree more.
Hāpuna Beach State Park is a 61.8-acre landscaped park with a wide beach located in Waimea by the Hapuna Prince Beach Hotel. It offers many amenities in addition to the gorgeous stretch of white sand.
Dr. Beach is a coastal scientist as well as a professor and the director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University. As a world-renowned beach expert, he has reviewed and rated beaches around the world.
The crystal clear water of Hāpuna Beach State Park and ideal conditions for swimming, bodysurfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving during calm seas are just a couple of reasons why this beach is so popular.
During high surf times, there may be a rip current and waves over three feet, making it too dangerous to swim for most people. Highly trained lifeguards with a solid safety record are present at the beach which Dr. Beach also uses as an evaluation measure for his best beaches list.
Hāpuna Beach State Park bans smoking, another metric Dr. Beach looks at and another reason why this particular beach in Hawaii is top-rated.
Aside from the crystalline waters and pristine sandy beach, the park has picnic areas, pavilions, showers, restrooms, plenty of parking, and hiking trails. It’s the perfect place to relax and laze the day away or enjoy your favorite outdoor recreational activity.
If you want to stay overnight at Hāpuna Beach State Park, you can rent an A-frame shelter that can accommodate up to four people. The shelter is a screened room with wood sleeping platforms. Picnic tables and comfort stations with cold showers and restrooms are available for those who spend the night.