Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area

Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, Puako: Tickets, Tours, Address, Phone Number, Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area Reviews: 4.5/5

Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area

Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area
4.5
About
One of the nicest sand beaches on the Kohala coast.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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4.5
2,675 reviews
Excellent
1,970
Very good
601
Average
80
Poor
20
Terrible
4

CalgaryTravellers
Calgary, Canada228 contributions
Very disappointed by increased fees at this beautiful spot
Nov 2021
I hardly ever write unfavorable reviews, but I'm hoping the State Park Service reads this one.

We've been coming to this beautiful beach every year for the past twenty years, having only skipped last season due to Covid.

It is a truly spectacular location, as many other reviewers have described in detail.

In past years, we were more than willing to pay a $5 out-of-state parking fee to use the beach with our family. Previously, this was always collected by a Park employee at the gate, either by cash, or more recently, by credit card only.

On our recent visit in November 2021, we discovered that the fee system for visiting the beach here had significantly changed. To our dismay, we discovered a Park employee standing beside a credit card only parking machine down at the rear pavilliion of the park, directing people to pay fees for out-of-state visitors. We watched as a family of five paid a $10 parking charge, plus an additional fee of $5 per person, amounting to $35 for a family of five tourists to visit this beach for the day. My wife and I then paid our requisite $20 fee, as we watched other groups walking down to the beach, not paying any fee at all. Presumably, they were all Hawaiian residents. However, I do not have any sense of what sort of enforcement was going on, had I decided not to pay the fee, or perhaps decided not to pay for everyone in my party, if I was so inclined.

I feel badly for the Park employee stuck with implementing this ill-conceived cash grab. I know that the past year has been extremely difficult for the State of Hawaii and its parks system, but a 300% increase in fees for a couple to visit this beach for a couple of hours is out of line, and is a real disappointment to long time visitors to Hawaii.

I would suggest perhaps considering a $10 per visit parking fee per vehicle, which would represent a 100% increase from the pre-Covid era. Alternatively, consider a weekly State Park entry fee, at a more reasonable cost, to encourage out-of-state families to spend time here on their vacation. Also, please stop asking an unfortunate employee to stand in the heat all day, monitoring a parking machine.

In the meantime, I'm quite sure that knowledgable visitors will choose to spend more of their beach time elsewhere, as there are several other free options we have enjoyed over the years.
Written December 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Amyandfamily2015
Bainbridge Island, WA16 contributions
Beautiful warm water and expansive beach!
Oct 2021
A lovely spot to spend the afternoon. Restrooms and ample parking - there is a fee for the car and each person so be prepared. Not a lot of shade so a beach umbrella would be a good idea.
Written November 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

DDM137
Columbus, OH142 contributions
Watch For Strong Currents and Winds
Sep 2021
The only large white sand beach we visited while on the Big Island. Strong currents here and a large lava rock formation that requires caution while swimming. Used one of the many picnic areas for lunch. The wind is very strong in this area so if lunching, be certain to weight down snack and lightweight items as they easily will be blown away. The wind took our peanut butter lid which we never did locate. On of our older friends had an incident while swimming when knocked down by a wave and was caught in the current. She had trouble getting back up due to the current and constant break of waves. A nearby strong young man came to her rescue and helped her up and out of the current. Not certain what happened to the supposed on duty life guard. He never appeared with assistance. Just keep your eyes open and do not turn your back to the waves.
Written October 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Brandy P
Rowlett, TX14 contributions
Good family beach
Oct 2021 • Family
Good beach, super fine sand. No rocks. Good waves. Note: $10 per car and $5 per person fee for a all day pass. The water was off do to construction but you will want to shower off at this beach,
Written October 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Denise B
Shelbyville, KY208 contributions
Popular Beach
Sep 2021
Be aware that unless you are a resident there are parking and entry fees and it's card only, no cash. Needless to say, the wifi signal is weak so be patient for your card to process. During the week, it was the honor system but for us it was worthwhile to support this beach. There is a large parking lot but get there early as it fills quickly. The beach is beautiful with more than enough room to spread out. The waters were crystal clear and we were able to clearly see the reef fish. There was even a sea turtle feeding off the reef. As we went multiple times, the waves ranged from calm to boogie board worthy. The winds also varied and there were times we had to take down our umbrella. This is a very clean beach. Visitors were very good about taking out everything they brought.
Written September 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Greg S
Olympia, WA215 contributions
Pleasant Day at Hapuna Beach
Sep 2021
Hapuna Beach is a beautiful, spacious white sand beach about 25-30 minutes north of the core Kailua-Kona commercial area. There is a $5 per person entrance fee and a $10 per vehicle parking fee. There was plenty of controlled parking area when we visited. It is under state management with state employees on site so this provides a certain degree of security. I didn't notice a rental place for beach umbrellas, chairs, etc., but most people had brought theirs. You may wish to rent these in advance. We spent a wonderful 3 hours walking the beach and enjoying the gentle surf.
Written September 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Erika H
18 contributions
Beautiful beach and snorkeling!
Sep 2021
Hapuna Beach is about 45 minutes north of Kona and worth the drive if you intend to spend at least half a day here or longer. It is remarkably challenging to find large, white sandy beaches on the Big Island with water that is peaceful enough for swimming, and this one ticks all the boxes. Even better, right in the middle of the beach and close to shore, there is a small set of rocks that provided some of the best snorkeling we saw on the island! The water was crystal clear and the brightly colored tropical fish plentiful. We even saw a large green sea turtle swimming languidly close to shore. With a cool breeze coming off the water, our afternoon on Hapuna Beach was picture-perfect.

There are plenty of picnic tables, bathroom and shower facilities (with warm water) available, but no other services (no food for purchase, no snorkel gear to rent, etc.), so plan ahead and bring your own.

The only reason I gave this 4 stars instead of 5 is that although Hawaii residents do not have to pay for access, everyone else has to pay a $10 per car fee plus a $5 per person fee. This was the only beach we encountered on the island where we had to pay, so it stood out for us.
Written September 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

James
Hilo, HI165 contributions
Quiet White Sand Beach
Sep 2021
Nice beach to spend the day if you visit the Big Island of Hawaii. Most of the time the waves are calm and the water is crystal clear. Small rock areas in the water have some fish for snorkeling. Good beach for people of all ages. Very pretty clear water.
Written September 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Angelique R
Kailua-Kona, HI16 contributions
White Sandy Beach
Aug 2021
Beautiful sandy beach that is fun and great for everyone. Lifeguards on duty to keep public safe. Great place to relax and enjoy!
Written August 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Milocat007
Santa Cruz, CA277 contributions
BIG sandy beach can handle a LOT of people
Aug 2021
Huge sandy beach with lots of parking. No one was taking money the day we went. Only shade is in pavilions at the back of the beach well off the sand. Even with a lot of people, the beach handled the crowd. Short walk from parking. Good mix of all kinds of visitors. You don't have to get there at the crack of dawn to find parking but like all beaches conditions are best before noon
Written August 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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