When friends or family come to visit me on the Big Island of Hawaii I always take the time to be a tourist with them and enjoy all the things the Big Island has to offer.
Just recently one of my friends came and was eager to do everything and especially see the volcano. We left Waikoloa Beach Resort at about 10 am and went along the north part of the island. We stopped at Akaka Falls to enjoy the waterfalls there. We got to Volcano National Part at about 2 pm and hiked around for a while. I had been there before so it was not anything special to me. Around 4 pm we left Volcano National Park and headed to the area where you can walk in and see the lava flowing into the ocean. We took about a hour hike in across lava rocks and reached an area where it was roped off and a lot of people were watching the lava flow into the ocean from the distance. We decided we would take our chances and hike in down by the ocean. Once we hiked about 15 minutes further and got down by the water I was pleasently surprised to see a beautiful black sand beach down there. We were probably about 25 feet from the lava and the ocean water was a warm. As we decided to come out we found dozens of people coming to see the beautiful site.
Since then they have predicted that some of the land around their may break off soon so I would not recommend getting too far in or reasearch it first. I would also recommend taking water, pants, hiking boots, and a flash light.