Last night I woke up in the middle of the night freezing. I had to get up, all in a daze with no sense of balance, and put on more layers. Then I tried to go back to sleep, but all I could think about was how wonderful it would be if I was lying on a beach in Hawaii with nothing but a swimsuit and the sun’s hot rays keeping me toasty warm. That sweet ocean breeze with its smells of salt and fish and sand, the waves rolling back and forth onto shore — now that is a setting I could fall asleep in! And yet, if I have one qualm about going to beaches, it’s the crowds. In my daydreams, I am the only one enjoying the beach and its scenery. But, in reality, most beaches I’ve visited have been populated by more than just me.

Now, it is morning, and I am no longer half asleep and groggy. And it came to me that there is a solution to this dilemma. It may not be perfect. I can’t promise you Hawaiian beaches without another soul present besides yourself. But, I can say that the crowds will be less and the privacy more. What I’m talking about is motorless beaches. Beaches that you have to do some form of walking or paddling or hiking to get to. Yeah there is a little work involved. But, hey, all good things usually require some effort, and your muscle will love the “laying on the beach” part even more after they’ve been exercised a little. 

Accommodations to Suit Any Beach Goers Needs

While taking a daytime nap on the beach can be quite enjoyable, spending the entire night in the sand is a whole new bag of seashells. (Sand can get into the worst of places.) Here again, I have a solution to the problem: Sunquest Vacations. Sunquest has the largest inventory of professionally-managed vacation properties on the Big Island of Hawaii. What makes Sunquest such an excellent option for your motorless beach vacation is its extensive list of rental locations and lodging selections, as well as its proximity to many of the island’s most beautiful and remote beaches. “We have been in the business for more than 27 years, and we have a reputation of maintaining high standards for the properties that we manage,” Mikki Balucan, a spokesperson for Sunquest, says.

Whether you are going with your family and would like the privacy of a rental home or if you are taking a vacation with just you and that special someone and a condo studio would be more appropriate, Sunquest can adapt to any vacationer’s accommodation needs. Plus, these premium properties are affordable, so you can have some extra money for souvenirs, an extravagant dinner, or to rent a vehicle so you can get to the trailheads of all your motorless beach expeditions.

Balucan says that one of the reasons people come to Hawaii for their beach vacations is for the plethora of beaches to choose from. If you want easy access to a beach with nice facilities and excellent snorkeling, you can find it. If you want to hike to an out-of-the-way cove with emerald sand and no sounds but the rustle of palm trees and the undulation of ocean, well then, the Big Island has that too.

Beyond the Road Lies Some Beautiful Beaches

Once you know where you’ll be resting your relatively sand-free body (you can never fully get rid of the stuff), then it’s time to figure out what off-the-road beaches you plan on visiting. No need to applaud… but, once again, I have a resolution. Or, I should say, suggestions, for some beaches you can find that are a little more remote, and hopefully, a little less crowded.

Ki’holo Bay. (Hwy. 19, Mile Marker 81) This remote retreat has three black-pebble beaches, and Lauhinewai Pond, a large spring-fed body of water, at the south end of the bay with Wainanali’I Pond, a feeding site for sea turtles, at the bay's northern end. To reach Ki’holo Bay requires a 20-minute hike on an unmarked road across a vast lava field. Bring plenty of water, food, and any supplies you could want for the day as there are no facilities onsite.

Makalawena Bay. (Kona Coast State Park, between mile markers 89 & 90) After driving on a rough road, you’ll be hiking about 15 to 20 minutes over dried lava beds to get to this magnificent beach. Five coves stretch across nearly a mile of shoreline. Here teal lagoons are cradled by three crescent-shaped white sand beaches, and just beyond the shore there are sand dunes to climb and trees for a shady break. After your day of salt and sand, head a little further inland to a freshwater pool to rinse off in.

Captain Cook Monument. (20 miles south of Kailua-Kona) Make sure you’ve packed everything you’ll need for this journey because you’ll be kayaking back to your car if you forget! At the dock in Kealakeua, you’ll want to rent a kayak to get across the bay to the small cove on the west side of the monument. Here, not only can you playfully jump off the wall next to the monument into crystal clear water, but this area is excellent for snorkeling as well. Try the water to the front and east of the monument. The visability is an amazing 100 feet deep, and the colorful reef extends to more than 80 feet down.

Green Sand (Mahana) Beach. (Hilo, Hawaii, at the base of Pu’u o Mahana) Probably one of the harder hikes I’ve mentioned, you can get to this beach either by following the two- to three-mile trail or obtaining a four-wheel drive permit from Hawaii Homelands. This beach is one of the most astonishing and pretty beaches on the Big Island with a sandy crescent that truly is of a greenish hue from the accumulation of olivine that forms in volcanic eruptions. Be careful swimming, as this removed location can be mighty windy.

A Hawaii beach vacation can be more than just some average hotel with beaches where the overriding sounds are bad pop songs and kids yelling. You can adventure to beautiful beaches where you share the sand with seashells instead of hundreds of tourists. Your accommodations can be one-of-a-kind as well when you choose a SunQuest vacation rental. As winter rears its cold head, and we add layer upon layer to our pajama wardrobe, (maybe you add blankets, to each his own) it becomes apparent that we need something more than cold and snow and pale skin. We need a vacation, and not just any vacation, but a motorless beach vacation -- to keep us warm, happy, and crowd-free.