Top Five Family Friendly Beaches on the Big Island

Many beaches on the Big Island are a bit more, shall we say, adventurous. And don’t get me wrong – we LOVE those kinds of beaches. We’re talking about the hard-to-find spots, with lava rocks going out into the water and a rocky shoreline path and no bathrooms in sight. But now, with a baby, we’ve been seeking out the more accessible spots and thought we’d share a few of our Top Five Family Friendly Beaches on the Big Island!

We consider all of the spots listed below to be family-friendly beaches. What makes a beach family-friendly to us?

  • Easy walking access

  • Bathrooms and showers

  • Ample parking

  • Excellent swimming

Most Family Friendly Beach – Hapuna Beach

Pros:

  • A massive beach with tons of space that makes it easy to find your spot in the sand, even on a busy day.

  • Soft sand, perfect for building sandcastles or sensitive little feet to walk on.

  • During non-winter months, incredible swimming with calm water and little to no rocks in the water.

  • Tons of parking.

Cons:

  • There is almost no shade on the beach. Bring an umbrella or popup tent.

  • The water can be downright dangerous in the winter months, with big waves that crash into very shallow water and strong riptides.

  • $10 parking for non-residents (have cash ready for the attendant)

  • At midday, the sand can be scorching hot to walk on.

  • Top-rated beach, so expect crowds all the time, any day of the week.

Beach 69

Pros:

  • Lots of shade due to the trees that line the beach.

  • Excellent snorkeling when the water is calm.

  • Shallow tidepools near the shoreline are great for young kids to play in.

Cons:

  • $10 parking for non-residents.

  • The parking lot is small and tends to fill up very early in the day. Plan to arrive early!

  • The water has a fair amount of rocks in it.

  • It is not a very large beach and is a popular one with locals, so expect some crowds, especially on the weekends.

Anaehoomalu Beach – *Our personal favorite Family Friendly Beach

Pros:

  • Very convenient location near the Queens Marketplace, Marriott Hotel, and Hilton Waikoloa Village.

  • Nice, clean bathrooms.

  • Calm water is great for swimming.

  • There are a few beginner-friendly snorkeling spots near the rocky side areas.

Cons:

  • Not a lot of shaded spots.

  • It’s near a popular restaurant (Lava Lava Beach Club), so it gets crowded around happy hour and dinner time.

  • Expect lots of stray cats hanging around the bathroom area.

Spencer Beach

Pros:

  • Clean, new, and big restrooms.

  • Calm water pretty much year-round.

  • Lots of free parking.

  • It has a few picnic table areas that are great for a beachside lunch!

Cons:

  • The shaded areas go quickly. Bring a beach umbrella in case you can’t nab a shady spot!

  • Gets crowded with lots of families, especially on weekends.

  • A bit further of a drive from the Waikoloa resorts than the other beaches listed.

Mauna Kea Beach

Pros:

  • Free parking!

  • Similar to Hapuna Beach, just a bit smaller.

  • Great swimming during non-winter months.

  • Gorgeous, soft sand.

Cons:

  • Minimal parking and the gate guards aren’t always the friendliest. Plan to arrive early (as close to sunrise as you can manage) or late in the afternoon for your best chance to get in. Have a backup beach just in case.

  • The walk down to the beach, while paved, is long and might be challenging for the youngest or oldest in your group.

  • Not the cleanest bathrooms around. Expect lots of stray cats hanging around the bathroom area.

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