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Beaches



All beaches are listed from South to North to make them easier to find on a map. Surf tends to be up more in the winter. Best snorkeling areas are Kahaluu and City Of Refuge. Best pure sand beaches are up north at Waikaloa. Beaches with an "untouched" or "undeveloped" feel are between Kona and Waikaloa.



Kona & Vicinity

Most of these beaches are within 20 minutes of the Ranch.


Kahaluu just before the five mile marker, south of town on Alii Drive, is a great snorkeling area - especially good for beginners as it doesn't get more than six feet deep and is several hundred feet long and wide. Don't let the crowds scare you away. This place is loaded with a wide variety of fish and is generally quite calm. You can actually walk most of it and just stick your head in the water. It is also home to quite a few green sea turtles. It is illegal to feed the fish and please do not walk on the coral. Toddlers, Snorkel, Wade, Swim, Turtles, Shade, Bathrooms, Showers.

White Sands between the three and four mile marker, south of town on Alii Drive, is a popular boogie boarding and body surfing beach. It is a very short paddle to the breakers and a high-energy ride. Our choice for boogie boarding. Boogie Board, Bathrooms, Showers.

King Kam (Kamehameha) Hotel right downtown at the harbor is the favorite beach for locals and visitors with young children. Protected from the more common north swells and convenient to shops and stores, it boasts a fabulous view of downtown and the island as it slopes to the south. It is almost always calm and good for wading. Bathrooms and showers by the harbor guard. Toddlers, Snorkel, Wade, Swim, Shade, Bathrooms, Showers.

Kona Bay Estates has a nice beach right on the ocean with protected pools good for children and toddlers. It is a favorite of locals. Enter at the palm trees across the athletic field behind the county gymnasium (by the old airport) and follow the public access path. The entrance is behind the left (south) football field goal post. Walk on the lava along the ocean and enjoy the million plus dollar homes. The beach is usually not crowded except weekends and holidays. The pictures were taken on a holiday. Toddlers, Wade.

Honokohau Harbor has a long (1 mile) sand beach off the north end of the harbor. Enter by the yacht club or by the charter boat slips at the harbor's edge. There is a shallow area for wading on the south end, which is protected, and good for swimming. The north end has good surf and is long and panoramic and very picturesque with no man-made structures. It is somewhat like the isolated beaches of the Pacific Northwest. This beach is usually not very crowded and always has turtles, often on the beach or in the very shallow water eating algae. Bathrooms between inner and outer launch ramps, ten minutes from the beach and back from parking. A brackish pond behind the beach on the north end is home to a variety of birds.Snorkel, Wade, Turtles.

Pine Trees has a wild and woolly flavor to it with trees, dead coral, lava and live coral along its shoreline. Take the turn-off to the Natural Energy Lab about one mile before the airport. Go about a half-mile until you reach the ocean. Where the paved road doglegs to the north, take a left onto the dirt road leading South. Although the road is doable with two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive or high clearance is recommended as there is a stretch for about a quarter of a mile that is quite rough. The rest is not bad. The beginning of the beach is less than a mile. The beach is a favorite for campers, fisherman and surfers. The south end of the beach, about a mile and a half from the turn-off, has several good wading and tide pools that are completely protected from the surf. There are bathrooms along the shoreline. The beach has good vistas towards the north to Keahole point and towards Honokohau Harbor to the South. Toddlers, Wade, Boogie Board, Surf.

Natural Energy Lab has a large protected area for wading, good for toddlers. There are bathrooms and showers on the north end of the beach. Take the Natural Energy Lab turnoff about a mile before the airport and stop when you reach the ocean. Bathrooms, Showers, Toddlers, Wade.

Ke Kahakai State Park (formerly Kona Coast State Park) is about two miles north of the airport and a mile and a half off the highway on a dirt road that is easy access for two-wheel drive and rental cars. It has a large parking area and bathrooms spread along the beach. It is very scenic. The southern beach is unprotected from the surf and is more of a fine pebble beach. The northern beach (Mahai'ula Bay) is fine sand and has shade and good snorkelling, swimming and good advanced surfing. It is not good for boogie boarding as the beach comes up fast. The beach stays uncrowded. The beach was the set for the short-lived series "Wind The On Water" starring Bo Derrick. The house is still there at the north end of the beach. This is our choice for soft sand, swimming and sunbathing with shade option. Snorkel, Swim, Surf, Boogie Board, Shade, Bathrooms.

Makalawena (Pu'u Ali'i Bay) is one of the most scenic beaches on the West Hawaii coastline with smooth white sand and California-type sand dunes behind it. It is good for wading and swimming. Follow the directions to Kona Coast State Park and take the dirt road to the north from the parking lot. You will come into the north beach of the Park. At the north end of the beach is a path through the a'a lava to Makalawena. The beach is quite isolated and picturesque. If you want peace and quiet and no crowds, this is the beach. It is about a twenty minute hike from the parking lot and about 10 minutes across the a'a lava. Sneakers or hiking sandals are recommended. A'a is sharp lava and you risk ankle/foot injury or sore soles with thongs. Swim, Boogie Board, Surf.

Kua Bay is a small and uncrowded beach with very soft sand, past the cinder cone north of the airport and just before the Four Seasons; four-wheel drive is needed. It is about two miles past the Kona Coast State Park turnoff. It has good boogie boarding when the surf is up and very pretty snorkeling when it is down. Note that the pictures were taken on a very high surf day.Swim, Boogie Board, Snorkel, Turtles.

Kiholo is an upscale development area north of Kua Bay and the crater that borders Kua Bay. Drive in to the guard shack and tell them you want to go to the beach and they will give you a pass. This is a great spot for toddlers as the walk is only 5 minutes from the parking lot and is paved. There are bathrooms, showers and shade. The near area is a large wading pool with a breakwater at some distance which generally protects it and keeps it calm. More to the north is an uprotected ocean-facing beach. Lots of weddings are done here and it is a nice sunset area.Wade, swim, bathrooms, showers.





Waikaloa Beach Resort & Vicinity

These beaches are within 35 minutes of the Ranch.



Anaehoomalu the beach at the Outrigger at Waikaloa Village is protected from wind, lots of sand and good for swimming, snorkeling and windsurfing. An ancient sacred area used to raise fish. At the stop sign by the Kings Shops, go left to the beach parking and it is only 100 feet or so to the beach. Later on finish the day with a tour of the Hilton just down the road. A great way to spend the day. Toddlers, Wade, Swim, Snorkel, Windsurf, Bathrooms, Showers, Shade.

The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel has a very nice and protected beach for wading and swimming. The walk between the Orchid is very scenic. Park over at the Orchid at the beach access public parking and walk south. Bathrooms at hotel. Toddlers, Wade, Swim, Snorkel, Bathrooms.

The Orchid At Mauna Lani has a gorgeous pool and two nice beaches - one especially good for children. A lava breakwater protects the one. Experienced boogie boarders/surfers can swim out and get good action. The walk south to the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel is very scenic (see Mauna Lani Bay pictures). You must park in the beach access area to the North (Holoholokai) and walk along the waters edge and past the property to the beaches. You can continue south to the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. Bathrooms at hotel. Toddlers, Wade, Swim, Snorkel, Bathrooms.

Waialea also known as Beach 69 is a small, gently sloping, nice sand beach that is generally protected from the surf and swell. Take the Puako Road just before the mile 70 marker and the first right about a half mile in. Park by pole number 71 (or drive in a ways) and follow the path to the beach. The sign designates the area as government property. There are large driftwood pieces and lava outcroppings, making the area very picturesque. Snorkeling can be good on the north end. Wade, Snorkel, Swim, Shade, Bathrooms.

Hapuna is a long and wide sand beach, and is generally considered the most picturesque beach on the West Hawaii coast. It has a vendor, greenery and covered areas behind the beach. With strong undertow and currents, it is not a place to be in the water when the surf is up. Wade, Swim, Boogie Board, Bathrooms, Showers.

Mauna Kea Hotel has a long sand beach, is protected from the wind. Only 30 visitor cars are allowed per day so get there early. The secondary waves make great boogie boarding for kids as the water depth stays shallow for a hundred feet or so. The south end has good snorkeling when surf is down. The five-minute walk is a paved path. Wade, Swim, Snorkel, Boogie Board, Bathrooms, Showers.

Spencer Beach Park just south of Kwaihae, is a nice, protected beach with a gentle slope and lots of sand and picnic tables. It is on the south edge of Kawaihae just before town. This is a very safe beach for small kids. Toddlers, Wade, Swim, Bathrooms, Showers, Shade.