10 Best parks on the Big Islang range from ocean time to camping to lava trees

With so much gorgeous land worth preserving, the Big Island is loaded with parks. These aren't the kind with swing sets and basketball courts, but unique state parks with waterfalls, lava trees, beaches, and views. If you're on the east side in Puna you can visit the remnants of a generations old lava flow that hardened vertically around trees. In Kona there's plenty of snorkeling and swimming and tanning at beach parks along the sunny coast.

What's great about parks on the Big island is that most of the time you can count on amenities such as bathrooms, BBQ areas, picnic tables, pavilions, showers and camp grounds. If you're looking to spend a few days camping by the ocean, Spencer Beach Park is always a reliable option. Offering some of the best camping on the island, it's located along the sunny Kona Coast with a generally calm beach. For great snorkeling, check out Kahalu`u Beach Park in Kona with its fine white sand and abundance of fish, or Mahukona at the other end of the coast, except there's no sand here.

Over on the east side of the Big Island outside of Pahoa, Lava Tree State Park is home to hundreds of vertical, hollow lava columns that stand to remind us of a lava flow from several hundred years ago. You can have lunch and take a walk around the rainforest park.

Whatever you're looking for park wise, 10 Best has you covered for the ten best parks on Hawaii.

Lava Tree State Park
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt


Yes, trees covered in lava. Well, there aren't trees left in the lava, the lava gathered around them in the shape of the trees and the trees burned away, leaving hollow vertical lava tubes standing all over the park. The trail is just over a...  Read More

North Big Island


Mahukona Beach Park is a highly unique and intriguing place. Contrary to its name, there's actually no beach. It's a cement laden park along the water that blends naturally beauty and history. The underwater world here is one of the best...  Read More



Offering some of the island's best camping, Spencer Beach Park has bathrooms, cold water showers, pavilions, electricity, picnic areas and even tennis courts. You can hang out here for free during the day but over night tent and trailer camping...  Read More

Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park


In times of yore, those in trouble � women, thieves, and escaped prisoners trying to evade capture � could find safe haven within the walls of this sacred burial ground, wherein lie the remains of Keawe, forefather of the legendary...  Read More



A lot of beaches on the Big Island are beautiful, but you can't park anywhere near them. Old Kona Airport beach is attractive AND has lots of parking. In fact, an odd element is that the original airport runway now functions as a parking lot....  Read More

Laupahoehoe Beach Park


Easily offering one of the best vistas on the island, this leaf-like peninsula extends far into the Pacific. In the mid-'40s, tragedy struck the village located here when a tsunami swept across the peninsula and claimed the lives of 24 people. A...  Read More

Kahalu'u Beach Park


Easily one of the Big Island's most popular beaches, Kahalu'u offers parking, equipment rental stalls, a covered pavilion, and a snack bar. A reef far offshore prevents the waters from getting too rough, making a terrific snorkeling opportunity....  Read More

Volcano National Park
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt


Encompassing 520 square miles, this national park is one of the most photographed locales in the Hawaiian chain. For more than 70 million years, volcanic heat and pressure from inside the earth have molded the dramatic landscape, which includes...  Read More



This state park, hidden away in a dense forested area just northwest of Hilo along the gorgeous Hamakua Coast, features two of the Big Island's most majestic scenes: Kahuna Falls and 'Akaka Falls. The former, easily the smaller of the two,...  Read More



Hapuna Beach, nestled between Kawaihae and Puako, is known for being one of the cleanest, most family-friendly beaches on the Big Island. Its smooth, white sands extend far out into the surf, so wading in the shallows is easy on your feet....  Read More


Meet Jade Eckardt

Raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Jade has traveled the world and doesn't intend to stop, yet the Hawaiian Islands are still her favorite place. She spent seven years living on Oahu and...  More About Jade