8 Great Family Swimming Spots on the Big Island

The Big Island: known for its volcanoes and incredible natural attractions. You’ll have no problem trying to find places to explore and things to do! If you’re looking for great swimming locations to enjoy with the family, however, no need to search too hard. We’ve curated a list of 8 incredible family-friendly swimming spots that you must stop at when you’re vacationing on the Big Island. Grab your towel and beach gear — get ready for these memorable beaches and swimming holes!

Check these out when you’re visiting the Big Island with the family:

Old Kona Airport State Park

Built on the site of an old landing strip, Old Kona Aiport State Recreation Area offers beach life and hiking opportunities! You’ll find plenty of parking near this beach as well as showers, restrooms, and picnic tables perfect for a day on the beach. This is more so known to be a local hangout, but you’ll find a few other tourists making their way to this serene and calm beach. This area also has tide pools and keiki ponds, ideal for children.

Hapuna Beach

With year-round lifeguard coverage, feel free to swim at Hapuna Beach when the waters are a little calmer. Hapuna Beach is also ideal for those snorkel lovers who want to catch views of some underwater sea life during their visit. Teach the kids how to bodyboard or simply lay out by the water. This beach is incredibly clean and offers some of the best sunset views around town.

Mauna Kea Beach

A wonderful beach for more snorkeling activities, Mauna Kea Beach – also known as Kauna’oa – is a family-friendly beach with white sands. Interested in seeing some Manta Rays? Go night swimming to catch a glimpse of these beloved sea animals! Some limited parking, you might want to get here early if your heart is set on coming to this beach. A definite win when it comes to swimming and snorkeling activities.

Spencer Beach Park

This clean beach is a popular one among the families that visit the Big Island. Spencer Beach Park offers an abundance of swimming and snorkeling opportunities as well as plenty of shade! There is also a parking lot as well as showers, picnic tables, and lifeguards. Feel safe while you and the kids play around in the Hawaiian waters. Do not pass up Spencer Beach Park.

Waipi’o Black Sand Beach

A unique sight to see, Waipi’o Black Sand Beach is an experience like no other. Locals surf here as well as swim here, but there are no lifeguards here. Use caution and always check the water conditions before getting in. This beach is mostly a surf spot, but there’s no better feeling than getting into the water and walking along the black sand. This is a wonderful spot for families to go to see something different, but still remain safe.

Rainbow Falls

waterfall at Rainbow Falls in Hawaii

When the weather is dry and the river is calm, the pools above Rainbow Falls are relatively safe for swimming. Don’t go swimming in the pool beneath the falls, as these can be dangerous conditions. Above, however, is a great family activity to indulge in before or after you get to witness Rainbow Falls plunging into the water beneath you. Since there are no lifeguards here, it is always said to use extreme caution — especially when swimming above waterfalls as this.

Umauma Falls

Head to your next adventure at Umauma Falls! This waterfall experience can range anywhere from swimming to kayaking. With all of the private tours that come through here, feel rest assured that you will be safe as you swim with them. Go to the Umama Experience website and see everything laid out for you that you can explore and then buy the whole family a round of tickets. This is Hawaii’s triple-tier waterfall experience that no one will want to miss.

Onomea 6 Tons Bridge

A lot of people don’t know so much about the Onomea 6 Tons Bridge. On the Old Mamalahoa Hwy, you’ll spot this beauty with a little waterfall and swimming hole. As you pass the Kawainui Stream is when you’ll spot the little wooden bridge that leads to Hawaii’s best-kept secret. Use caution here as there are no lifeguards. This waterfall spot is one of the most scenic and mesmerizing views to swim in on the island.

Whether it’s the abundance of beaches or little waterfalls with swimming opportunities — the Big Island is full of opportunities lurking in every corner. Take note of each of these locations and head over for a great swim. You and the family will be grateful that you got to experience some of the best swimming on the island!