One of the unique benefits of having active volcanoes in the Hawaiian Islands is the unusual black sand beaches that dot the Big Island’s southern coastline. One of the most famous and easily accessible beaches on the island is Punalu’u Black Sand Beach. While the water can often be treacherous at the southern end of the Big Island of Hawaii, the sheltered bay of Punalu’u provides a relatively calm and safe swimming area. The area has a bath house, picnic tables and even a small snack shop that is open in the summer months. A fresh water wading pool on the south side of the beach is also available here. You can often see the large Green Hawaiian sea turtles swimming here in the sheltered waters of this dramatic bay. Just remember not to disturb them since sea turtles are protected in Hawaii and bothering them can get you a huge fine so please don’t harass or bother them in any way.