My Adventures in Hawaii, January 2017: Beaches


I just came back from the most epic 2 week trip on the Big Island, Hawaii Island and wanted to share the beautiful locations we explored!

Beautiful Banyan Trees in Hilo!

We came out for a wedding, and decided to make it a longer trip to enjoy the island. I will list my favorite spots with a few pics and details of what we loved!

You can follow this baby wild boar on Instagram @boaris_humphrey_mcgee


Kiholo Bay, near Kona, HI

This beach had tons of coral and huge chunks of black lava. There are supposedly goats and petroglyphs, but it was our first stop so we didn’t stay long. The black sand was coarse but this beach was charming and beautiful! Not very many people on this beach at all, and awesome camping spots right on the shore.

Kiholo Bay
Flamingo Pose, the real name of this pose is Wind Relieving Pose


The contrast of black and white was very cool

Makalawena Beach, near Puako, Kona side, HI

To get to this beautiful, famed white sand beach, which came recommended from two locals, you have to drive about 7 minutes over some extremely rugged lava road. Potholes and bouncing around everywhere, but we did it easily in our rented, POS local Toyota Corolla! It was worth the drive to get to this peaceful beach. This is where I stumbled upon my second sea turtle!! It actually scared me, suddenly I realized I wasn’t standing next to lava, it was this sea turtle’s back!

The road to paradise is bumpy…an analogy for life.
Makalawena pronounced “Maka-La-Veh-nah”
Makalawena has lots of nice private alcoves between palm trees, very romantic spot!
The sand at Makalawenp has the look and texture of sesame seeds!

Richardson Ocean Park, Hilo, HI

Richardson beach is a beautiful spot that I saw my very first sea turtle. They are supposedly often spotted here. It is a very rocky shore, lots of people snorkeling but it was a little chilly the day we went so we just sunbathed and did some mellow snorkeling in the surf. This beach has a lot of scenic beauty, was pretty packed, but great mellow vibe with lots of beautiful palm trees. The sand was black with flecks of green, pretty coarse but a beautiful spot worth visiting!


Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, near Waimea, HI

This beach was very busy in the parking lot but the huge open soft sandy beach was well worth it. Mellow waves, super soft flour-like sand, this beach is paradise for doing yoga!

This beach parking lot was packed and the beach was pretty full, but the mellow waves and soft sand were worth it.
The sand was soft as flour at Hapuna Beach!

Kehena Beach, Pahoa, HI

This beach was one of our favorites, we came twice! There were many nude free spirits, (clothing optional beach) a super friendly vibe like we were all at a party, but with naked babies. We loved it. We saw a pod of dolphins doing flips for us offshore, was very cool! I hear people have drowned on this beach, the undertow was pretty intense but we loved this beach. A super short easy climb down some lava to get here, anyone could do it with a hand to steady them.

Hippie Haven at the clothing optional Kehena Beach
The coconut that fell from the cliff and tried to kill my man!
The vibe at Kehena was friendly all-age partying, families, couples, beach bums all peacefully enjoying.

Sacred Sands Beach near Kona, HI

The undertow at this beach was no joke! Knocking over adults and kids!
Pretty packed beach because it’s in a downtown area right off of a main road.

Two Step (Snorkeling Spot)

My first real open ocean snorkeling!

Papakolea Green Sand Beach

This beach was a total adventure. For $15 a person, you can get a ride from the locals to this beach, which is one of two green sand beaches in the United States. The hike there is long, hot, dusty, difficult to navigate, unshaded and takes over an hour, so we decided to take the 4 wheel drive ride with the locals. They all had fucked up dinged trucks in the parking lot, offering rides to willing locals. We stood in the back of the truck and held on as this local teenager in a huge Dodge Ram got us there climbing over the terrain! This was a cool experience worth it for the ride. The beach was beautiful and unique, but the ride there and the remoteness made it pretty cool. The only thing that sucked is you choose how long you’re gonna stay and you ride back with the driver that brought you, since you pay  round-trip, so we left after 40 minutes and I was like Nooo! The water was warm with big strong waves, this is a very cool beach.

The olive green sand is ground down crystal formed on the lava rock called Olivine. Subtle color but very cool!
The famous Green Sand Beach

Next post: Vegan Food I found on the Big Island!


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  2. Makena Beach About a mile long and 100 feet wide, Makena Beach is also called “Big Beach” and is a favorite of both locals and tourists. This pristine sprawl of sand on the island’s southern shore makes it easy to stake out prime real estate without feeling too close to the next beach towel over.

  3. Andrew K. Smith The second largest Hawaiian island, Maui offers an appealing mix of natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and cosmopolitan flair that keeps visitors coming back for more. In addition to gorgeous beaches and outdoor adventure, there’s sophisticated dining, nightlife, and shopping.

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