The Beautiful, Less-Crowded Hawaiian Beach Best For Fun Water Activities

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A Hawai'ian vacation seems like just what the doctor ordered. You don't need a passport; there are plenty of islands to explore and sceneries to die for. Unfortunately, overcrowding can be an issue when seeking the perfect Hawaiian beach for sunbathing or relishing a gorgeous coastal environment. This is because Hawai'i isn't exactly an off-the-beaten-path, and visitors tend to discover lesser-known, stunning places quickly. 

If you're looking for a place that's not too crowded, it's a good idea to ask locals where they like to go on weekends. Instead of going there during peak hours, try visiting on a weekday when most residents are likely to be at work. This way, you can avoid the crowds and enjoy a more relaxed experience.

One beautiful beach to try this tip, which, fortunately, isn't particularly well-known to tourists, is Manini Beach on the Big Island of Hawai'i. It is a locals' haven, offering unparalleled views and thrilling water activities. Here's all the information you'll need to check out this hidden gem: where to park, what you can do, and what amenities it has.

All about Manini Beach, Hawai'i

Manini Beach is right on the Big Island in the town of Captain Cook. The beach sits across from Kealakekua Bay and near the Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park. The area has been a gathering place for centuries, and it's easy to see why. It features black lava rocks poking out of turquoise water, impressive waves when the conditions are right, and a lovely and extensive grassy area with picnic tables shaded by Monkeypod trees. 

Parking can be a bit of a pain on the weekends, so get there early if you can (we recommend visiting on weekdays when it's serene and less crowded). Bring your lunch, though remember to pack everything in and out. This isn't a tourist beach, so there aren't a ton of amenities. That said, it's a little nicer that way. Sure, you have to deal with a porta-potty as your restroom, but it's a small sacrifice for tranquility. 

Since the beach itself has a small shore and is primarily made up of lava rocks and coral, it's a good idea to bring swim shoes with you. Make sure to bring reef-safe sunscreen like Sun Bum Mineral SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray, which complies with the state's ban on certain chemical ingredients.

Water sports at Manini Beach

Water sports are a big draw at any Hawai'ian beach, and Manini Beach is no exception. Do note that kayaks are banned here, as are SUP boards (standup paddle boards). Swimming is lovely when the water is calm. That said, it can get a little rough sometimes, so if you're seeing a lot of waves, maybe skip the swim and enjoy the sun instead. Lava rocks don't feel great when you get shoved into them. However, the waves are perfect if you're an experienced surfer. 

Snorkeling is also a great Manini Beach activity, especially if you catch a glimpse of a green sea turtle. Going out a little from the shore is a good idea if you want to do that because the freshwater springs here can impede visibility. If you do stay close to shore, note the outcropping of lava rock and sand with channels on either side. Stick to the right side of the channel for the best near-shore snorkeling. Scuba is big here as well, a bit further out.