Onekahakaha Beach Park on the East Side of the Hawaii Island

Onekahakaha Beach Park on the East Side of the Hawaii Island

Photo Courtesy of Ekaterina Chizhevskaya on iStock

If you are looking for a place to relax and snorkel on the East side of Hawai’i island that the whole family can enjoy, this 13-acre beach park is for you. Onekahakaha Beach Park is a large, sand-bottomed area for snorkeling that is protected from the ocean swells and currents by a lava rock seawall.  

Water Sports:

The protected pool is a great spot to have a leisurely snorkel and relaxing swim. The calm, protected area offers respite from the often-rough ocean on this side of the island. There are some tidepools away from the protected area, but caution is recommended due to large waves and strong currents that can be dangerous. You’ll often find turtles swimming and basking here as well. There are lifeguards on duty.


There are a variety of trees in Onekahakaha Beach Park that offer a good amount of shade. Popular with locals and visitors alike, this park can be crowded on weekends, so plan to arrive early, or visit during a weekday. 


There is no food available at the park, though keep an eye out for Enzo’s Ice Cream Truck, and if you see it, be sure to try the banana split. Nearby Hilo town offers many options for eateries.

Directions and Parking:

There is a large parking lot, along with showers, restrooms, pavilions and picnic tables. Park hours 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.

What’s in a Name:

The name Onekahakaha means “drawing pictures sand”, and references the drawing of images using sand as the medium in ancient times.

Check out this video on YouTube by BC Big Island

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