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Top Rated Attractions in Hawai'i (Big Island)

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Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area

Among Big Island's white sand spots, this one stands out and is regularly ranked among the top beaches in the world. The sand is sugar-fine, warm and clean and stretches as far as the eye can see. The waves are deep blue in the distance, foamy when they hit the shore. The half-mile strip also has great facilities like a paved walkway leading from the parking lot, which is a rarity in Hawaii!

Kekaha Kai State Park

This is one of the Big Island's best places to swim, sunbathe, picnic and bodysurf. A dirt road off Highway 19 (aka Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway), leads out to Mahai'ula Beach, where a picturesque crescent of golden sand meets the head of a protected bay. Kua Bay, located about a four-mile hike north from the beach, is a good place for more activities. Divers frequently visit the underwater tunnels and the shipwreck off shore. In vehicles that aren't four-wheelers, drives down the one-mile unpaved road to the beach will be a difficult one.

Dolphin Quest Hawaii

Located inside the Hilton Waikoloa Village, this dolphin habitat draws visitors from up and down the big island of Hawaii. Dolphin Quest Hawaii offers a variety of programs and encounters for everyone from children to couples. Guests and visitors have the chance to learn about these extraordinary creatures through fun and educational programs. See their website for more information.

Ocean Sports

All manner of marine and aquatic activities can be enjoyed via this full-service charter company. The company's fleet includes luxury craft, a racing catamaran and a glass-bottom boat. Marine excursions include sunset sails, snorkel sails, two-tank scuba dives and glassbottom boat rides. Private charters are also available. This is also the right place to contact about sailing or windsurfing lessons. The Ocean Sports hut on Anaeho'omalu Bay rents kayaks, snorkel equipment, body boards and more.

Anaehoomalu Bay

One of the few superb beaches along the Kohala Coast, this is certainly one to put on top of the must-see beaches on the Big Island. The clear warm waters and the soft gold sand are just the beginning. Located in the Waikoloa Resort, Anaehoomalu Bay fronts the Marriott Waikoloa Beach Resort and comes complete with tidal pools, gentle waves and lots of sun. This life-guarded beach comes along with free parking, picnic tables, restrooms and showers. Bring a picnic lunch, spend the day under any one of the countless palm trees and enjoy safe swimming in the warm waters.

49 Black Sand Beach

A black sand beach in the town of Waimea, 49 Black Sand Beach is a great place to relax and unwind while on the island. The beach is isolated and seldom packed with people, which makes it great spot spread out a sheet and bask in the warm sun and gentle breeze or take a healthy walk along the stretch of sand. Gentle waves and consistent winds also make it a center for surfing and parasailing, while the coarse black sand is a perfect volleyball pitch.

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