If you read my blogger bio you know that I was born and raised in Hawaii. You may also know that as a Families.com travel blogger I promised that I would share tips on the Aloha state’s must-see attractions. Well, today I intend to keep my promise by highlighting one of the most beautiful spots the state has to offer. It is a beach that has been voted the best in America. Located about 90 minutes from where I grew up, it was once a popular spot frequented primarily by local residents, but it is now a destination for travelers worldwide. If you are planning a trip to Hawaii, a visit to Hapuna Beach State Park should be at the top of your to-do list.
Located on the western side of the Big Island of Hawaii, Hapuna is the island’s largest white sand beach. It is more than a half-mile long and almost 200 feet wide during the summer months. The sand is so fine that people often say it is like walking on sugar. It is perfect for making sand castles and other sand sculptures. In addition, the beach is so well manicured that I never have to worry that my young daughter will trip on a rock, stick or foreign object.
Swimming conditions are excellent. The water is usually calm, making it ideal for wading with younger kids. When the wind picks up the conditions for body surfing are more than decent. The water is crystal clear and warm. Snorkeling is great at the south end of the beach where there is a coral reef, home to a variety of fish. (It is not unusual to catch a glimpse of a sea turtle or a Manta ray.) And from December through March the beach provides great views of migrating whales.
Hapuna also has a fabulous snack bar. I love the fish tacos with fresh homemade mango salsa. While there, try a local favorite: shave ice. It’s similar to a snow cone; only the ice is shaved to a fluffy consistency and you can choose from a variety of syrup toppings that range from passion fruit to root beer. The park also offers restrooms, showers, picnic areas, paved walkways, camping facilities and on-duty lifeguards.
While palm trees line the landscaped park area, there is little to no shade on the sand. It is a good idea to bring a beach umbrella or you can rent two chairs and an umbrella for $10 at the beach’s equipment rental shop. To beat the crowds, hit the beach early in the day. Also, try to go mid-week, instead of on the weekends.
For directions on how to get to Hapuna Beach State Park visit: www.hawaii.gov.