This itinerary will take you to black sand beaches where you can snorkel and swim with the sea turtles and a hike to the green sand beach at Papakolea. This itinerary basically takes you around our side of the island and could be a 1 day, 2 day or 3 day one
First Stop: There is a beach just a short 10 minute walk from the house. You have to walk through some property and the beach is a black sand beach with a sugar processing plant ruin nearby, but it’s secluded and nice. Ask Guy how to get there if you want to go.
Second Stop: Surfing at Honoli’i Beach! We’ve never surfed, but we watch the surfers a lot at Honoli’i beach just 5 min drive away on the way to Hilo from our house. Apparently it’s some great surfing and it looks it. Lots of surfers there, especially when the surf is up. It’s fun just sitting there watching.
Third Stop: Richardson’s beach. This beach is a short hop, skip and a jump away by car (10-15 min). It’s not a big beach but never too crowded. It’s a black sand beach. We enjoy it because the water is great, it’s beautiful, there are tables and restrooms, it’s protected from waves (so good snorkeling or good for kids), there is some good snorkeling (though no coral reef, lots of colorful fish) and if you are there in the late afternoon/early evening when people start drifting home, the sea turtles will swim right up to shore and you can swim with them (though please don’t disturb them.. ie. definitely don’t grab them or ‘ride’ them).
Fourth Stop: Take a drive (2 hours) and a hike to Papakolea Green Sand Beach. Great hike, great beach, cool color .
Fifth Stop: Hapuna Beach is on the Kona side, but it’s worth the 90 minute drive to spend the day there. It’s often listed as one of the best beaches in the state, if not the world . We love spending a day sunning, reading, eating there. You can rent chairs and umbrellas, boogie boards, and more.. food, etc.
Sixth Stop: SNORKELING. The best snorkeling is on the other side of the island (calmer water, better reefs), but as said above, Richardson’s on our side is good. But if you are going to the other side anyway, you might want to check out one of these three sites!
That’s a lot of water, surfing, snorkeling, sunbathing, etc. Then again, we are on an island