Mommy Needs A Mai Tai

Last Updated on May 4, 2024 by Florabeth Coble

A graphic that reads "Best Beaches on the Big Island, Hawaii" and "www.mommyneedsamaitai.com" with a woman and young boy jumping in front of a small lagoon.

While many people think of the Big Island as rugged and rocky (and while this is true in many ways), it’s also known for its white, sandy beaches.

There are so many fun things to do on the Big Island with kids. And visiting gorgeous beaches is at the top of the list! I’m a mom raising two kids in Hawaii, and visiting beaches with attainable waves, easy parking, and full facilities helps me relax and enjoy a day by the sea. 

These are the best beaches on the Big Island for kids.

Kikaua Point Park Beach (Kona)

Kikaua Point is a well-kept Big Island secret and our favorite beach to visit with toddlers! All beaches in Hawaii are open to the public, and this one is accessible from Kukio Golf Resort

Drive to the resort entrance and ask the security guard for a beach parking pass. They will open a gate that leads to a parking lot and a paved path to the beach. (I always rent a wagon on vacation to help schlep all of our stuff.)

We love the shallow lagoon with crystal clear water. Try to get there before 9am because the parking lot fills up fast!

Kikaua Point Park has clean restrooms and the most fantastic beach park showers I’ve ever used. There is no lifeguard on duty. 

A mom holding hands with two kids at sunsest at King Kam Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii

King Kam Beach (Kona)

Sometimes referred to as “kid’s beach,” this is a small, protected cove in front of the Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. This is also an excellent spot for snorkeling and watching the sunrise

Kona Boys Beach Shack is located on the beach and rents kayaks and snorkel gear

King Kam Beach is located in the heart of Kailua-Kona and is walkable to/from many things on Ali’i Drive. If you have trouble finding parking, use the paid parking lot at the Marriott’s Kona Beach Hotel. Restrooms and outdoor showers are available.

Old Airport State Recreation Area (Kona)

This beach has a semi-rocky shoreline and is popular with skilled surfers. The southernmost part is also referred to as “Keiki (kids) Beach” because it’s free from waves and has a lot of little tide pools and ponds to explore. Use caution if the tide is high, which can make the pools fill quickly.

This was once an airport that closed in 1970. The old runway is now a parking lot with ample, easy parking.

Old Airport State Recreation Area has restrooms and showers. There is no lifeguard on duty.

Onekahakaha Beach Park (Hilo)

This is one of the most popular beaches on the Big Island for kids. Located at the end of Onekahakaha Road is a sheltered, sandy lagoon protected by a lava rock wall and free from waves. This is a great place to snorkel; chances are high that you will spot some green sea turtles.

There are pavilion picnic areas and lots of room to spread out and enjoy the day away. Restrooms and showers are available, and parents can rest easy knowing a lifeguard is on duty. 

Spencer Beach Park (Kohala)

This is a white, sandy beach park that’s perfect for families. The waves tend to be small, the facilities are great, and the parking lot is paved and close to the beach. This is an ideal place to picnic, and camping is allowed at Spencer Beach Park with an overnight permit

Restrooms and showers are available, as well as a lifeguard on duty.

A mom walking hand in hand with two kids to Hapuna Beach on the Big Island.

Hapuna Beach Park (Kohala)

A gorgeous, crescent-shaped beach with bigger waves that are perfect for bodyboarding, surfing, and bodysurfing. Hapuna is repeatedly ranked the number one beach on the Big Island.

Because of its popularity, this beach can get crowded fast, especially on the weekends. And there is a $5 per person entrance fee and a $10 per vehicle parking fee

Restrooms and showers are available, as well as a lifeguard on duty. 

Magic Sands Beach Park (Kona)

This convenient beach is three miles south of Kailua-Kona’s downtown area and next to Magic’s Beach Grill. It has small, smooth waves and is a great place to teach kids how to body surf or body board for the first time. Magic Sands gets its name from the disappearing beach when the high tide rolls in. 

Use caution in the winter months, as this is when it usually disappears and can expose sharp lava rocks beneath the surface.

There are restrooms, showers, and a lifeguard on duty.

A beautiful beach sunset at A-Bay Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii

Anaeho’omalu Bay (Kohala)

Anaeho’omalu Bay, commonly known as “A-Bay,” is one of the very best beaches on the Big Island for water activities like standup paddleboarding, kayaking, and snorkeling. Gear rentals are available on-site, and a beautiful hiking trail is at the southernmost point. 

The Big Island is home to many incredible restaurants and Lava Lava Beach Club is at the top of our list. It’s located at the southern end of A-Bay and is the perfect place to sip on a mai tai as the sun dips into the ocean.

A-Bay Parking is free. Restrooms and showers are available. There is no lifeguard.

Punalu’u Beach (Ka’u)

While this is not an ideal place for swimming, Big Island’s most famous black sand beach is still worth mentioning. Most people visit on their way to Volcanoes National Park from Kona.

You may want to stop at Punalu’u Bake Shop before coming, as this is an excellent place to picnic. This beach is famous because you are almost guaranteed to spot large green sea turtles on the shore. But please give the turtles space. And don’t take any sand back with you (it’s bad luck)!

Punalu’u Beach is easily accessible with ample parking, and camping is available with a permit.

Restrooms and showers are available, as well as a lifeguard tower. 

Helpful Resources

Big Island With Kids: The Ultimate Guide

Flights: Expedia

Rental Cars: Discount Hawaii Car Rental

Baby Gear Rentals: BabyQuip

Big Island Babysitting Service: The Nanny Connection

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Picture of Aloha, I'm Florabeth Coble

Aloha, I'm Florabeth Coble

Most people call me Flo. I'm a busy mama raising two young boys in Hawaii. We share our adventures, travel tips, itineraries, and honest reviews so that you can plan your own family-friendly trip to Hawaii.