Best Beach Bars in Big Island

10 Best Beach Bars on the Big Island for Exotic Cocktails

Cocktails are best enjoyed with good friends or a date, but on the Big Island they can be enjoyed oceanfront, on the sand and in front of the sunset. Big Island bars, restaurants and lounges offer so much more than the classic rum and cola and common beer. You have exotic tropical options such as strong mai tais with dark rum floats, macadamia nut and lychee martinis, and even a wide array of locally produced beers.

The Big Island may not be riddled with clubs that rage all night long, but it has an abundance of casual and high end places for cocktails by the sea, at sunset and well into the night. Huggo's on the Rocks is one of the long standing oceanside bars in Kona. Huggo's has a modern ambiance and unique custom tropical cocktails.

Just down the street is Humpy's Big Island Alehouse. A casual Big Island staple, they offer a huge array of beers, cocktails and Pacific Rim bar food, right across from the ocean. Live music is offered throughout the week, and the sand bottom volleyball court outside completed the beach bar feel.

For upscale beach side cocktails and dining, the Beach Tree can't be beat. Sit on the sand and have the best seat on the island for the sunset. Watch the sunset over the ocean, relax local style, and make sure to try something new.


If days spent lounging in the warm waters of the Pacific and the Fairmont Orchid's pool prove too strenuous, take heart – you can get away from it all at the hotel's eminently pleasant Kahakai Bar Oceanfront. Featuring a thatched roof and a floor of sand, this bar is the definition of casual and relaxed. Even the honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles) think so; they frequently come to laze along the shoreline near the bar in the afternoons. If you're hungry, order something tempting from the pupu menu. People looking to quench their thirst will love the fruity Sunset Cocktail.

Recommended for Beach Bars because: Resting right along the ocean, the Kahakai Bar can't be beat when it comes to the need for ocean side cocktails.

Jade's expert tip: Bring a camera, the views can't be beat.

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The pub at the Big Island's most famous brewery (choices are slim, but fame is fame, right?) is a terrific place to wind down after shopping. Brewery tours are quick and personal – an added bonus is that visitors over 21 get to sample the products. Kona's on-premises brewpub serves cold mugs of the brewery's top sellers, including Fire Rock Pale, Pacific Golden Ale, and Longboard Lager, and the cozy setting easily pulls you in, making it difficult to leave. Great Hawaiian influenced pub grub – pizzas, salads, and sandwiches – is also available. Just a short walk from the beach, the brewery's atmosphere is still all beach.

Recommended for Beach Bars because: Kona Brewing Company brews delicious local beers, and serves quality bar style food in a lovely atmosphere.

Jade's expert tip: Go with a brew that's uniquely in season, the rest is always on the shelves.

Read more about Kona Brewing Company: Kailua-Kona Pub & Brewery →

Hilo Bay Café

Don't let appearances deceive you � there are no burgers and fries at this unassuming strip mall restaurant and bar, but you will find dishes like stuffed chicken breast with bacon and pine nuts, and artichoke, garlic, and cream cheese ravioli. Lunch features salads, sandwiches, and comfort food entrees (try the vegetarian pot pie). An even balance of meat and meatless plates keeps everyone happy, and the waitstaff are happy to suggest wine pairings for your meal. There's a full bar here along with local beers. This isn't a wild all night bar but I nice place to stop in and hang at the bar and meet people while enjoying quality drinks.

Recommended for Beach Bars because: Hilo Bay Cafe's new oceanfront location combined with gourmet food and drinks, makes it one of the best ocean side bars.

Jade's expert tip: Always make dinner reservations at this ocean side eatery.

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Any west side morning should start with the breakfast buffet at Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar. This is the place for long, leisurely breakfasts and chit chat over made-to-order waffles and omelets, fresh tropical fruits and juices, healthy whole grain cereals and various delicacies from the pastry kitchen with a cup of Big Island coffee. This is the Mauna Kea's breakfast buffet, with its ocean-overlook and birdsong symphony, and this is what your family will remember. Later on in the day venture to the exquisite crescent shaped white sand beach out front. You won't have to venture any further for great food or beach time.

Recommended for Beach Bars because: This eatery serves delicious breakfast foods with an expansive ocean view.

Jade's expert tip: Come in time for sunset.

Read more about Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar →

This restaurant's Pacific Rim-influenced menu boasts a wide range of scrumptious seafood options. Enjoy fresh-from-the-sea mahi mahi marinated in miso sake, savor lemon-pepper scallops grilled and served with wild mushrooms, or delight in flavorful nips of nori-wrapped ahi tempura and ginger-scallion tofu. The scene is equally delightful, and the rolling surf just a few yards away juxtaposes nicely with the large, outrigger canoe hanging over the enchanting outdoor dining area. Located on the beach overlooking the ocean at this high end resort, the atmosphere couldn't be any more romantic for a vacation date night. Make reservations to guarantee a spot.

Recommended for Beach Bars because: Overlooking the beach, CanoeHouse combines gorgeous atmosphere with amazing food and drinks.

Jade's expert tip: Ask for parking validation for complimentary valet parking.

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Blue Dragon Restaurant & Musiquarium

Blue Dragon Coastal Cuisine & Musiquarium is known for giving guests a really good time. Always crowded with locals and visitors alike dancing away the evening and taking breaks for bites of delicious food. The menu is locally based and presents local fish, meats and produce. The menu also notes which items are vegetarian, vegan and/or gluten free. The live music is a big draw here, and often times the place turns into a club like atmosphere. Children are welcome and there's a keiki menu, but it's best to bring them earlier on in the night before the party scene gets going.

Recommended for Beach Bars because: Offering live music and dancing all week long, Blue Dragon is a popular place for fun nightlife.

Jade's expert tip: Check out their website for the week's musical guests.

Read more about Blue Dragon Restaurant & Musiquarium →

Tropical drinks, beautiful scenery, and a short walk to the water – if the world were a fair place, every town would have a joint like this. At the exotic little cabana bar, you can sip your favorite mixed drink (mai tais and margaritas are always the biggest hits), get a bit of sun, and feel the sand between your toes. Since this bar is on the west side of the island, guests will be treated to the best seat on the island for the spectacular sunsets. Dress up or go casual here, either way it's all about the sunsets and the exotic drinks.

Recommended for Beach Bars because: The beach front setting and gourmet drinks make the Beach Tree a top beach bar.

Jade's expert tip: This is one of the best backdrops for a vacay photo.

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"For beer lovers, by beer lovers" is the slogan at Humpy's Alehouse where a huge array of beers on tap and really good bar food make for happy days and fun filled nightlife. Humpy's is the new spot in Kailua Kona for live music and nighttime entertainment. Located on Kailua's main and front street along the ocean, the pub is centrally located to be enjoyed while shopping, at the beach, or eating elsewhere along the strip. It's a popular hangout with both locals and visitors alike so you'll get the best of both worlds. Any night of the week you can stroll in and find a crowd.

Recommended for Beach Bars because: Humpy's offers good beer and food, entertainment, and all with an ocean view.

Jade's expert tip: Check out the website to find out about live music nights.

Read more about Humpy's Big Island Alehouse →

The younger, wilder sibling of the famous seafood eatery next door called Huggo's, this spirited joint is a terrific place to wind down the day and usher in the evening. Indeed, Huggo's on the Rocks is a popular outdoor bar and dance club under a thatched roof whose specialty drinks and beautiful clientele always ensure a great time. A light bar menu features fajitas, salads, sandwiches, and tasty appetizers and offers a cure for the late night munchies. Watch the sunset, and whales jump in season. Located in the heart of Kailua, you can easily walk to other bars and clubs and explore the town.

Recommended for Beach Bars because: Huggo's on the Rocks offers a venue for dancing and music right on the ocean.

Jade's expert tip: Get ready to party!

Read more about Huggo's on the Rocks →


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