Tips to Experience the Perfect Big Island Beach Day
We want to Help You Have the Perfect Big Island Beach Day!
A highlight of any Hawaiian vacation, dedicating a full day to lounging and playing on the beach is a must-do for visitors to the islands. Especially on Hawaii’s Big Island, the western coast is famously warm and sunny, perfectly suited for a long day of sun tanning, swimming, snorkeling, and boogie boarding. But there are a few things about hanging on Hawaiian beaches you’ll want to know to make the experience the best it can be.
Bring Plenty of Sunscreen
World famous for its beaches, Hawaii is also known for another sun-related phenomenon: sunburns. It’s not uncommon to walk through the resort areas on the Big Island and see some pretty wicked sunburns. Even if you’ve got a healthy head start on your tan, the UV index in Hawaii is considerably higher than most everywhere on the U.S. mainland, so stock up on a high SPF sunscreen and apply a generous layer every hour or so. If you’re going to spend a full day on the beach, you probably want to pick up a good sun shirt and bring an umbrella and hat. If you’re going to one of the many fantastic snorkeling areas, consider using reef safe sunscreen to help keep the fish and reef healthy.
Plan a Picnic and Bring Water
While eating a tasty meal on the beach doesn’t have to be complicated, planning ahead and shopping around the local farmer’s markets and small groceries will reward you with excellent ingredients from which you can pack the perfect beach picnic. Fresh fruit is readily available and makes for a great beach snack. Many grocery stores offer pre-made sandwiches and salads. In a pinch, even grabbing a pizza works well to feed a horde of hungry boogie boarders. Many of the beach parks have barbecue grills so you can even bring fresh fish or burgers and cook them up right at the beach. Swimming and playing in the water can certainly take a lot out of you, so stocking up and bringing plenty of water will be a key component of a day at the beach.
Get Geared Up
Make the most of your beach day by adding a few water toys, chairs, towels, a cooler and an umbrella to your arsenal! A well-equipped party is a fun one, so don’t forget your boogie boards, floaties, snorkeling gear (remember the defogger), sandcastle buckets, and beach balls. If you’re renting a vacation home, many of them have these items around for you to use or there are rental shops that rent beach gear by the day. The local Costco (Kona side) is a great spot to snag most of these items at a good price. Buying beach items may seem like a bit of an investment, but if you plan to spend a lot of time at the beach, it will be worth it and you can always ship them home, pack them, or donate them before you leave.
As beautiful and serene as the ocean may seem from the beach, there’s an inherent danger in swimming in the open water. Rushing tides and sudden larger waves can pull swimmers out to sea or crash them into the shore or rocks, so if you plan to venture out, don’t do it alone and don’t turn your back on the ocean. If you aren’t an experienced ocean swimmer, consider wearing a life vest or going to one of the beaches that have lifeguards on duty, it will ease your mind and help ensure a safer trip. Always keep an eye on children and make sure no one ventures out further than their swimming ability allows.
Be Aware of Private Property
The beaches in Hawaii are open to the public, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t private areas you should be aware of. The properties surrounding many of Hawaii’s smaller beaches and the resort properties near many of the larger beaches are privately owned so keeping your eye out for signs and warnings will help you avoid any issues.