Although an absolutely beautiful island with plenty of sights, activities, and adventures, the Big Island’s newer status (comparatively speaking) means rockier beaches and stronger currents than some other islands. Even with our list of the safest beach options, we recommend always checking weather and surf forecast, and keeping an eye on the water for a while after you get to the beach to get a feel for the conditions. Watch other people and never turn your back to the ocean. Set waves can truly seem to come out of nowhere and conditions can change drastically day-to-day or with changing tides. With all those warnings out of the way, we’ve compiled some kid- and family-friendly beaches.
Oh, by the way, “keiki” is Hawaiian for kids. A few beaches on the island go by “Keiki Beach”. Keep an ear out for “keiki friendly” or “good for keiki”.
This spot comes by its name honestly (as the previous Kona airport) and you’ll be able to tell as you drive down the lonnnnng ex-runway. This beach offers stretches of relatively sandy areas with shade and plenty of tide pools for the little ones. The parking is also right off the beach so no schlepping all your gear back and forth like many of the beaches on island.
In front of the King Kamehameha hotel nestled right on Alii drive is a perfect little alcove safe from incoming surf (most of the time, although there can be some splashing during BIG swells, but you’ll know immediately if you’re in Kona during that kind of ocean activity). This also makes for a great lounging centrally-located area so you can switch from beach to lunch without even hopping in your car.
One of the best kid beaches on island, and definitely the best in Hilo. This spot offers amenities from bathrooms to picnic areas to lifeguard services and ample parking. The soft pocket of white sand and very calm bay make it a relaxing and child-friendly option.
To get to this beach you’ll have to snag one of the very few parking passes inside the Kukio gates. Don’t be surprised if you’re turned away, but if you’re not then this is an absolutely lovely beach (after all, it’s in one of the most upscale residential communities on the island) that even has “keiki” in the name.