OK. Let's say you're staying at King Kamehameha's Beach Hotel. Right in between the Ahu'ena Heiau and the Kailua pier, there is a small beach with easy access into the water. It is small, but one could easily launch a small canoe or kayak from here, or venture out for scuba. There is more water traffic here, so be aware. There are facilities here for beach goers, and it is apparent that it is used often. We were there when it wasn't such a "beach going" weather day, so it was empty.
This may be the finest beach on the island. Soft white sand, dunes, clear water, turtles swimming, and few people. It could be one of your best experiences on the island. The one catch is that it takes some effort to get there.
There are no facilities at the beach.
To get there, first go to Kekaha Kai State Park, north of the Kona Airport. It is a rough road across a lava field from hwy 19 to the parking lotat Mahai'ula Bay. Continue north of the beach along a footpath for about 20 minutes to reach Makalawena Beach. This path has no shade, and is over a lava field; wear good shoes or sandles and bring water with you.
This beach, very handy to my hotel, offers a very pleasant place to lie on the beach. I'm also told it's an excellent place to go snorkeling. But even for those who aren't snorkeling, it's fun to look at the bright fish in the water. It's also a good place to see sea turtles. One warning: the rocks off the beach are very sharp. Be sure to bring beach shoes if you want to wade.
Kealakeua Bay south of Kailua is famous (or infamous) as the site where Captain Cook, the legendary English explorer, lost his life in a skirmish with the natives. An monument now stands at the site, although it is inaccessible by car. The best way to get there is to rent a canoe or kayak, put it in and paddle across the bay. You may even see a playful dolphin on the way across. You can also take a tour boat there, but it's certainly not as fun. The waters around the monument is clear and teeming with tropical fish, perfect for snorkeling.
THere is a great beach at Mahai'ula Bay in Kekaha Kai State Park. It is not far from Kona, just north of the airport. The road to the beach off highway 19 is very rough and unpaved over the lava field.
For another, less crowded (not that this one gets too many visitors) and perhaps even better beach, take a hike 20 minutes north to Makalawena Beach. More about this in my other beach tip.
White Sands Beach Park or officialy known as La'aloa Beach Park.
It was my fave beach, I just LOVED it!
This is a favourite body boarding spot, but recommended for experienced boarders only (yea right, but you can boogieboard as well). Everybody here's so simple and friendly. The best I found the locals. Most of them just sat on a beach, drank beer, smoked marijuana & cigarettes and played volleyball. Every day. LOL!
This beach, known as "White Sand Beach," really doesn't have sand that's terribly white. If you've ever been to the Gulf of Mexico coast, you will be disappointed. Still, it's nice and scenic. I think the footprints in the right-hand side of the photo are mine. :-)
One of the easiest (and one of my favorite) activities was to look at sea turtles. In this case, I was simply able to look over the railing of my hotel's veranda, and view them. As luck would have it, my first night was the best night for spotting them. Beginner's Luck, perhaps?
One warning: Though you're welcome to watch them, be sure not to touch or otherwise bother them. It's not very nice, and it's also illegal.
Lovely smaller beach a little bit south of the center of Kailua-Kona town. Free parking! Also known as White Sands Beach, one of the few such in the Kona region. "La'aloa" mean "very sacred" - and yes, this is a special place.
This is my overview of the North Kona/Kohala beaches.
Spencer Beach. This was a rather mundane looking beach. The water was clear but not turquoise. The water appeared to be protected and there was little wave action, leading me to conclude that it is a good swimming beach.
Beach 69/Waialea. I like this beach. Never had any problems with the people here. The sand is not pure white but not salt and pepper either. Small waves are usually present. Water is a little cloudy because of wave action. Off the island/rock there is good snorkeling if the water is calm and the sand settles. I’ve been here twice and each time the water was cloudy. A very peaceful place to swim or play in the water. Too protected for boggie boarding.
Beach at Muana Kea. This is possibly the best beach on the Big Island if you can get to it. It is long, white and beautiful. When I was last there, the waves were small to nil making it an excellent beach to swim and play.
Hapuna Beach. This is another beautiful white beach. As with the Mona Kea beach, the water is clear and picturesque. There is large parking lot and tons of people. The waves were moderate, good for boogie boarding or playing in the surf.
Beach at Mauna Lani. There is a man-made beach in front of the hotel that is nothing but the boathouse beach about a .33 mile from the hotel is very nice. It is a small u-shape bay with white sand for the beach. The water is very clear and the further out you go, the more fish you will see. This is a good swimming and play beach with some snorkel possibilities. My only concern is the water quality during the high season. I can say in late-October it was pristine.
A-bay. Abay is not a bad beach. It has tons of people and nice sand. Somewhat rocky in the water. The water quality is just ok, a little cloudy. Looks very protected from waves so more of a play and swim beach. It a safe and a good place for kids to play.
Beach of Kona Village. The water quality is good because of excellent circulation. The sand is salt and pepper not as pretty as the Muana Kea and Hapuna. There is an excellent entry point at the beach shack but there is a lava shelf that parallels the beach to the south. This is an excellent beach for swimming and snorkeling. During times of high wind the bay does get cloudy as do most of the beaches. This and the beach at Mauna Lani are the best for swimmers. Hard to get to but not impossible. Best snorkeling of all the BI northern resorts.
Beach at Four Season. There is no true safe ocean access at the Four Seasons. There is an ocean pool that was bulldozed out of the rock and which the ocean feds which has sand around it. It is perfect for cooling off or even a short swim. The Four Seasons also borders Kukio Beach to the south. It is a 17 minute walk from the FS fish pool. Kukio is a white sand beach with lot of rocks and ledges in the northern half. Semi-protected good for swimming, ok for playing in the water, not great for boogie boarding. Still relatively unknown.
Kua Bay. One of my absolute favorite beaches. Excellent for boogie boarding, maybe the best boarding on the island. Fun place to play in the surf but moderate waves can come in on you so, not the best for kids. It has the best sand, fluffy and white and the water pure turquoise. It can be crowded on weekends and weekday afternoons. Easy access. One note, it is easy to be seduced by the beauty of this beach but there is a north-south current and if you are playing in the surf on a moderate wave day and get caught, it is not fun swimming to terra firma. No lifeguard! Use caution during the winter season. Lots of boogie boarders here because of the waves.
Kakaha Kai, Mahaiula. This beach is a short walk from the parking lot after the awful drive down the Kakaha Kai Park road. Just an ugly drive. Beautiful half moon beach. Semi-protected. White sand and exquisite water. Lots of rocks in the water. Looks to be a good beach for swimming and for children. I liked the beach, don’t like the drive.
National Park beach just north of the harbor. Some very protected areas here for children. It is seldom used. I usually hike here but there are some swimming and beach play possibilities especially by the canoe hut. Because of sheltered nature of the area, no boogie boarding.
On the Big Island you will find a few volcanoes. During eruption there is lava coming out. Due to this lava Hawaii has been created. This lava makes a rocky coastline. I think it is a pretty face to see the rocky coastline and the water splashing into this.
Mauna Kea is one of the nicer swimming beaches on the island. The wide crescent swath of fine white sand runs down meet the turquoise waters.
Proof of being swept off of your feet while in Hawaii. An activity I highly recommend :)
Leaves you feeling aloof, tingly and warm.
This was a nice little beach area in town right by the main drag of restuarants and shops. There were sevearl kids playing in the water here as well as some boggie boards in the surf.
When you walk along the shore, there is a chance you can find turtles swimming in the water. Some are trying to find some food from the walls.