Hapuna Beach State Park, Big Island, Hawaii
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Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area

Top choice in South Kohala

Hapuna Beach is world famous for its magnificent half-mile sweep of white powder sand and fabulously clear waters. In summer, waves are calm and allow good swimming, snorkeling and diving. When the surf's up in winter, bodyboarding is awesome, thanks to reliable swells from the northwest. Lifeguards are on duty, but waves over 3ft should be left for the experts, as drownings do happen. Bring sunscreen because there's virtually no shade.

To get here, take Hapuna Beach Rd just south of Mile 69 on Hwy 19. Arrive early to snag a parking space ($5 for nonresidents) and a good spot. The restrooms and picnic area at this state recreation area can be crowded and, at worst, grungy.

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