Hawaii 2024: 2) Beaches

Hawaii 2024: 2) Beaches
Two Step Beach

Exploring the beautiful beaches should be an essential activity in Hawaii. The Big Island boasts a variety of stunning beaches, each with its unique charm. What impressed me most was the excellent preservation of these beaches. However, this realization was bittersweet, as it might underscore the significant role that money plays in maintaining their pristine condition.

Kikaua Point (Private) Beach

Kikaua Point Beach Park is perfect for family time, offering a cozy and calm environment thanks to its private status. Located within a private residential area, the beach has limited visitor access, with a small parking lot accommodating around a dozen cars. Passes are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the security gate (no reservation available).

To find the gate, take a right turn from Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway onto Kaupulehu Drive; the gate is just a short distance from there. I arrived around 9 am and received pass number 9, so it would be best to arrive early, preferably no later than 9:30 am. After obtaining the pass, drive along Aina Kaha Place to reach the parking lot. Be aware of the numerous security cameras and gates along the way—access to Aina Kaha Place is restricted without a visitor pass.

Two Step Beach

Two Step Beach is the nickname of Honaunau Bay. It is called "Two Step" (though I heard it from somewhere in YouTube videos) because the beautiful snorkeling spot is just two steps away from the shoreline. Despite my deep-sea phobia, I tried snorkeling there once and found it incredibly rewarding. Though it was challenging, I created a wonderful memory, captured both in my mind and on my GoPro.


As with many places in Hawaii, it’s best to visit early in the morning. We arrived around 8:30 a.m. and found plenty of parking spaces available for $5 per day. While the beach is one of the most beautiful in Hawaii, it lacks some facilities, with only a few portable toilets and no showers. Bringing towels and fresh water for a quick wash is advisable.

Hapuna Beach

Hapuna Beach is a popular destination and represents the quintessential long white sand beach, much like Waikiki Beach on Oahu. We had a delightful afternoon there, though we were surprised because we couldn't find any food trucks or concessions during our visit; it would be a good idea to bring your own food or snacks. The beach isn't free; parking costs $10, and there's a $5 fee per person, both payable at the park's parking kiosk.

Punaluʻu Black Sand Beach

We visited Punalu'u Black Sand Beach early in the morning, around 10 am, hoping to see the turtles. True to its name, the beach's sand was a deep black, with grains that looked more like tiny jewels than typical sand. Although we were initially worried about missing the turtles, there were plenty, making them impossible to miss.

Ka Lae: Southernmost Point of the United States

Ka Lae Point, the southernmost point of the United States, left a memorable impression with its powerful gusts—it felt like we were in the midst of a hurricane. While the road to the point was fine, parking was less organized, so you'll need to be cautious when finding a spot.