Spencer Beach on the Big Island. Photo © Bree Kessler.

Visiting Hawaii’s Big Island with Kids

When along came baby for author and Hawaii travel expert Bree Kessler, so too did a deeper understanding about what makes for a fun, stress-free outing for everyone. Here’s what she’s learned about beach-going, hiking, dining out, and where to stay on the Big Island with kids in tow.

cover Moon Guide Big Island of Hawaii

Moon Big Island of Hawai‘i

Expert traveler Bree Kessler covers the best sights and adventures that the Big Island has to offer, from soaking up the sun on Kona’s iconic white sand beaches to sampling local delicacies at Hilo’s popular farmer’s market. Kessler also offers one-of-a-kind trip ideas, including Eat Your Way Around the Island, Big Island on a Budget, […]

Waves crash on the rocky, volcanic shorline of Wawaloli Beach.

Kona’s Beaches: South of the Airport

Kona’s beaches south of the airport are a motley crew. Worth a visit if you’re in the area looking for sand, you’ll find plenty of picnic areas and one or two spots to get in the water for snorkeling, swimming, or boarding. Here are directions, the best activities for each beach, and amenities.

A cyclist on the last leg of the 2007 Ironman in Kona.

Hiking and Biking in Kona

Hiking and biking in Kona are two vastly different experiences. There are a lot of moderate trails that are almost always the means to getting to some awesome beach, but as home to the famous Ironman World Championship, Kona takes biking seriously.

Three separate multistory buildings of the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort and Spa face the water; one faces inland for mountain views.

Kona Accommodations $150 and Up

In Kona you’ll find two resorts that offer a range of amenities. Both are fairly luxurious, full-service resorts, with very little need to venture off the grounds if sun, sand, and relaxation are your goals.

View of an interpretive sign at the edge of Kealakekua Bay.

Beaches in the Big Island’s Captain Cook Area

Beaches near Big Island’s Captain Cook Monument are all excellent for various water sports, including rental kayaking, and two have great amenities for a full day at the beach with a packed picnic lunch. All are fairly busy beaches, even the harder-to-reach ones, so plan ahead if you’re looking for solitude.

The sun shines on a sea turtle resting on the sand of Makalawena beach.

The Best North Kona Beaches

Many of the best Kona beaches require some work to get to, and the walk over uneven lava can be difficult for some. There are equal amounts of beaches that don’t require any walking beyond from the parking lot to the sand, so feel free to out of the beaches that require more effort to get to.