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The Best Kid-Friendly Beaches on the Big Island

Updated: Apr 1

The Big Island of Hawaii is a tropical paradise renowned for its stunning beaches, but when you're traveling with little ones, not all shores are created equal. As a car rental agency in Kona, we often get asked about where to take the keiki.

To make your family vacation unforgettable and stress-free, we've compiled a list of the top kid-friendly beaches in this coastal haven. From gentle waves and soft sands to an array of exciting activities, these sun-kissed spots offer the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure for children of all ages. Let's dive into the enchanting world of the Big Islands' best beaches for kids, where the sun, surf, and smiles never cease.

  • Spencer Beach (Kohala): Experience the serene allure of natural tree shade and gentle waves, just a stone's throw away from your car to the sandy shores – a unique gem you won't find elsewhere! Enjoy the convenience of warm rinse outdoor showers, picnic benches, and a charming sitting tide pool nestled beneath the trees on the north side, providing shelter on breezy days. For me, Spencer Beach on the Big Island stands as the ultimate family-friendly beach.

  • Mau'umae Beach: a hidden paradise, awaits at the southern end of Spencer Beach. Simply follow the meticulously maintained Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail for approximately 10 minutes, a stroll even my 4-year-old and 7-year-old accomplished, and at the end you will find a beach that is sure to make your instagram followers jealous.

  • Keiki Ponds (Pine Trees): boasts a protected pool, a mere 3-minute walk north of the main break, where little ones can safely frolic while parents catch the waves at Pine Trees break. Keep in mind that access to the pool depends on tides and weather conditions, but with perfect timing, it's an excellent spot. The beach also offers plenty of fun with its inviting climbing trees. Although there are no showers available, portable toilets are conveniently stationed in the vicinity.

  • Mauna Lani Resort Beach: If you're looking for another beautiful beach experience, Mauna Lani Resort Beach is accessible to the public with free parking. The friendly staff welcomes you as you park in the hotel lot, and your kids can be entertained by the koi fish in the ponds en route to the beach. One evening, we relished sushi and a delightful happy hour at the restaurant while the kids ran around in the grass, climbed trees, and played in the sand – an absolute win! Additionally, there's access to a smaller beach just beyond a bridge, with more enchanting ponds filled with fish. The waters here are gentle, and you'll likely have the whole beach to yourself.

  • Beach 69 (Waialea Bay): As you step onto this picturesque beach, veer left towards the milder waves and the cooling shade of the trees near the charming rope swing, suitable even for 4-year-olds. This beach is a perfect place to spend a leisurely morning, as the surf gently laps at the lava rock tide pools. Snorkeling opportunities are decent, and you might spot little turtle heads bobbing up. Since the parking is quite a distance away, be sure to bring everything you'll need for a delightful beach day, and there are refreshing outdoor showers available on your way out.

  • King Kam Beach: situated just behind the King Kamehameha Hotel in the bustling heart of Kona, holds a special place in my heart and is a top pick for my children and me. We've been frequenting this beach since my daughter turned one, drawn by its gentle waves, absence of sharp rocks, and the added bonus of being within walking distance to a delightful snow cone shop – a true paradise for kids. If I were to offer a piece of advice, I'd suggest arriving early, as this beach's family-friendly charm tends to attract a crowd rather swiftly.

The Big Island of Hawaii offers an array of stunning and kid-friendly beaches, each with its unique charm and attributes. Whether you're seeking calm waters for your little ones, exciting tide pools to explore, or the convenience of beachside amenities, this island has it all. From the peaceful sanctuary of Mau'umae Beach to the wonderland of King Kam Beach, there's no shortage of family adventures waiting to unfold in this tropical paradise. So, pack your sunscreen, beach toys, and a sense of adventure – your unforgettable family beach vacation on the Big Island awaits. Whether you're building sandcastles, snorkeling with curious fish, or simply basking in the sun, these beaches are bound to create cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Aloha!

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