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Kona Magazine - Snorkeling, Kona, Big Island, Hawaii
Kona, Hawaii   Ai'opio Beach
Take Highway 19 north of Kona and turn left between Mile Markers # 97 and 98. This road leads to the Honokohau Harbor. Bear to the right and go to the north parking lot. Take the short trail to the beach.
Lovely sandy beach, Usually calm water, perfect place for swim, snorkeling and picnic. Many turtles often gather here. Great views of the west coast and sunset. Trail to Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park. No lifeguards, No fresh water, Paved parking at Honokohau Harbor, north lot. Restrooms located on trail to beach.
Kona, Hawaii   Alula Beach
    Go north from Kona on Highway 19. Turn left between Mile Marker #97 and 98 on Harbor Road. Go to the south parking lot of the harbor and park. Walk the short distance south to the beach.
Small beach, sand and rocky areas. Protected providing some safe swimming most of the year. Good scuba and snorkeling. Large collection of colorful fish can be viewed here. No facilities at the beach. No lifeguards. Some shade. Restrooms and other facilities located at the harbor.
Kona, Hawaii   Anaeho'omalu Beach
Take Highway 19 north from Kona toward the Kohala Resort Area. Turn left at Mile Marker #76. Turn left at the road across from Kings' Shops. Parking for the beach is at the end of this road.
Salt and pepper sand beach, perfect for swimming, diving and snorkeling and is fairly well protected from strong surf due to the offshore reef. Great place for take sunset photos. Resort facilities, shopping center, restaurants nearby. Picnic areas. No lifeguards on duty.
Kona, Hawaii   Hapuna Beach
Take Highway 19 north from Kona. Turn left at the access road just before Mile Marker #69. Go to the end of the road, turn left and then take an immediate right. Follow this road to the parking.
Wonderful sandy beach. Crystal water and beautiful scenery. Good swimming and boogie boarding, snorkeling is great at the south end of the beach where the fish are varied and there is a coral reef. Full facilities, picnic tables, picnic pavillion, food concession, equipment rental. A-frame tent cabins available. Lifeguard sometimes on duty.
Kona, Hawaii   Honaunau Bay
The bay is located 20.6 miles south of Kailua-Kona, accessible via State Highway 160.
Honaunau Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii has some of the best underwater sights. Rare fish and sea turtles can be seen with colorful coral reefs. Especially location for swimming, snorkeling, diving and Kayaking. Lifeguards aren’t always on duty. Restrooms, showers and beach shops are located further back along the shore.
Kona, Hawaii   Honokohau Beach
Take Highway 19 north from Kona. Turn left between Mile Markers #97 and 98. Park in the north lot of Honokohau Harbor and take the trail to this beach, past Ai'opio Beach.
This sandy beach is located further north of Ai'opio Beach off the trail to Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park. Swimming is fair but snorkeling is good along the reef. Great views of the west coast. No lifeguards. Restroom off the trail.
Kona, Hawaii   Honomalino Bay
The trail begins at Miloli'i Beach Park between the yellow church and the restrooms. The trail leads along the coast. Keep in mind that some areas here are private property, so stay on the trail. If you come across a fork on the trail, go right to avoid trespassing. A few homes are located near the beach.
Honomalino Bay is accessible via a 20-minute walk along a trail that begins at neighboring Miloli'i Beach Park. It is gray sand beach and never crowded. Good swimming and snorkeling conditions when the ocean is calm.
Kona, Hawaii   Kahalu'u Beach Park
Take Ali'i Drive south from Kailua-Kona. This beach is located at Mile Marker #5, south of St. Peter's Catholic Church.
Kahalu'u Beach Park is dark-grey sand beach, next to St. Peter's Catholic Church and Ku'emanu Heiau. Great snorkeling, surfing, boogie boarding place. A reef lies just offshore, good swimming inside the reef. Outside this area tuna, marlin, and dolphin can often be seen jumping. Facilities: Picnic tables. Rental concession. Lifeguards. Restrooms. Showers.
Kona, Hawaii   Kamakahonu Beach
Located in Kailua-Kona where Palani Road turns into Ali'i Drive.
Kamakahonu Beach is small sandy beach overlooks the 'Ahu'ena Heiau in Kailua Bay. Shallow water and usually calm ocean. Canoe, paddle boat and snorkel gear rentals. Great views of coast and sunset.
Kona, Hawaii   Kapa'a Beach Park
Take Highway 270 north from Kawaihae. Turn left at the road just past Mile Marker #16 to the beach parking area.
Kapa'a Beach Park is a rocky beach is good for snorkeling and scuba diving. The water is clear and usually calm. Offshore there are good views of the neighboring island of Maui. Sunsets are great. Facilities: Picnic tables. BBQ grills. Restrooms. No lifeguards.
Kona, Hawaii   Kauna'oa Bay
Take Highway 19 north from Kona. Turn left at Mile Marker #68. Follow the road to the end of the road for public access and limited parking.
This beautiful beach is located in front of the Mauna Kea Resort. Good swimming, snorkeling, and boogie boarding. Manta rays sometimes frequent the area at night. Facilities: Volleyball court. Showers. Restrooms. Limited parking at resort. No lifeguards.
Kona, Hawaii   Kealakekua Bay


Kealakekua Bay is located about 30 minutes south of Kailua-Kona. The only access by car is to Napo'opo'o Beach, which is located on the bay's eastern shoreline. From Kailua-Kona, take Hwy 11 south to the Napo'opo'o turn-off (about 18 miles), then turn right and drive 4 miles to the bay. Ka'awaloa Cove, at the bay's northern end, can be accessed only by boat, and a number of dive tours operate in the area.
lakekua Bay settled over a thousand years ago, the surrounding area contains many archeological and historical sites such as religious temples, and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places listings on the island of Hawaii in 1973 as the Kealakekua Bay Historical District. The bay is a marine life conservation district, a popular destination for kayaking, Scuba diving and snorkeling.
Kona, Hawaii   Ke'ei Beach


Ke'ei Beach located just south of Kealakekua Bay. Coming from State Highway 160, make a turn into Ke'ei Road and follow the road to the ocean.
Small beach near Kealakekua Bay, one of the best-kept secrets on the Big Island's Kona Coast, Poor swimming conditions, but good fishing, surfing and snorkeling. Nice surrounding scenery and views. No facilities. No lifeguards.
Kona, Hawaii   Kekaha Kai State Park


From Kona, take Highway 19 north. Between mile markers 91 and 90, make a left turn onto the rugged, semi-paved road. Drive straight ahead for 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to the beach. Four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended, but most regular cars can handle it as well. The parking area is at an unpaved lot a short walk (5 minutes) from the beach. Note: There is a gate, which is open daily from 9 am to 7 pm, but is closed on Wednesdays.
Kekaha Kai State Park on the Big Island's west coast encompasses a handful of secluded bays and sandy beaches. The most beautiful ones are Mahai'ula Beach, Makalawena Beach and Kua Bay (also known as Manini'owali). Coastal trail connects the beaches. Good place for a variety of water activities: Swimming, snorkeling, diving, bodyboarding, surfing, kayaking. Facilities: Picnic tables, Restrooms. No lifeguards.
Kona, Hawaii   Kiholo Bay


From Highway 19, turn on the public access road between mile markers 82 and 83.
Kohala Bay has beautiful sights, fascinating wildlife, tide pools, ancient ponds and rock formations. A mini-island made of lava rock right at the heart of the bay. Turtles can often times be seen here. Good for swimming, snorkeling,surfing and fishing. No facilities, No lifeguards.
Kona, Hawaii   Kikaua Beach


From Kailua Kona, drive north for about 14 miles (22.5 km) on Highway 19 (Queen Ka'ahumanu Hwy). Turn left at Kukio Nui Drive (located just south of mile marker 87). Drive toward the gate house and tell the guards that you want to visit the beach. Ask for public beach access. Note: Since there are only 27 parking lots, plan to come here early in the day and preferably on a weekday. Otherwise, the guards may not let you in if the parking lot is full. From the parking lot, it's a 5-minute walk to the beach on a paved path.
Kikaua Beach is a pretty small, protected white-sand beach. Ideal for novice swimmers and children, good snorkeling. Facilities: showers, restrooms, drinking water, parking.
Kona, Hawaii   Kua Bay


The park entry road is located between Mile Markers #88 and #89 on Highway 19. Note: The gate is open from 9 am to 7 pm and is closed on Wednesdays.
Kua Bay (Manini'owali) is part of the Kekaha Kai State Park, salt-and-pepper coastline. Swimming and snorkeling conditions good during calm days . Diving, bodyboarding, surfing are good. Facilities: picnic tables, showers, restrooms. No lifeguards.
Kona, Hawaii   Kuki'o Beach


On Highway 19 near Mile Marker #87, drive into the Hualalei Four Seasons Resort and then make a left turn at the public beach access road. This road leads to a parking area. From here, there is a paved path to the beach.
Kuki'o Beach is a pretty white-sand beach, is not a good swimming beach as rocks make it difficult to enter the water. But good for fishing, snorkeling and kayaking. A few small brackish-water ponds are located near the beach. No lifeguards.
Kona, Hawaii   Lapakahi State Historical Park


Located 12.4 miles (20 km) north of Kawaihae, near mile marker 14.
Lapakahi State Historical Park was once an ancient Hawaiian fishing community, Koai'e, which dates back to the 14th century. The site features a wide array of historical artifacts, natural wonders and archaeological remains (such as old ruins, huts and temples). No sandy beach here, but good snorkeling in a small beach cove. No lifeguards. Facilities: Visitor kiosk with interpretive displays, restrooms, no drinking water.
Kona, Hawaii   Mahukona Beach


From Kawaihae, take Highway 270 north. Between Mile Markers #14 and 15, take the road that leads to the ocean.
Mahukona Beach is not a real beach, but an abandoned commercial harbor run by the Kohala Sugar Company. Ocean floor is littered with discarded equipment from old sugar mill that is surrounded by a beautiful coral reef and a plethora of marine life. Good for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, boating. Facilities: showers, restrooms, picnic tables, pavilion, camping area, parking. No lifeguards.
Kona, Hawaii   Makalawena Beach


From Kona, take Highway 19 north. Between Mile Markers #89 and 88 take the dirt road to the left. The first portion of the road is decent, but it later becomes very bumpy. Alternately you can hike to the beach. It takes about 15-20 minutes.
Makalawena Beach is accessible via 4-wheel drive or 20-minute hike. The best place for swimming is in the largest inlet, snorkeling, scuba diving, bodyboarding, winter surfing are also good. An ancient Hawaiian fishing village used to be located here, Opae'ula Pond is located inland, it is an important shoreline bird sanctuary. No facilities. No lifeguards.
Kona, Hawaii   Manini Beach


Coming from State Highway 160, turn onto Manini Road.
Manini Beach has a rocky shoreline consisting of white coral rubble and black lava rocks. Good conditions for snorkeling and diving when the ocean is calm, The surfing conditions are sometimes good here. No facilities. No lifeguards.
Kona, Hawaii   Napo'opo'o Beach Park


From Kailua-Kona, take Highway 11 south. At Captain Cook (near Kealakekua Bay), turn right onto State Highway 160 (Napo'opo'o Road) and follow it to the end.
Napo'opo'o Beach Park located at the southern end of Kealakekua Bay. This is where Captain James Cook first set foot on the Big Island of Hawaii on January 17, 1779. The Hiki'au Heiau (ancient Hawaiian temple site) here, a temple dedicated to Lono, the god of agriculture and fertility of the land. Shoreline is rocky, good for snorkeling, scuba diving and kayaking. Facilities: showers, restrooms, picnic tables, pavilion, BBQ grills, parking. No lifeguards.
Kona, Hawaii   Old Kona Airport State Park


North of Kona take Highway 19 and make a left turn on Makala Boulevard, before reaching Mile Marker #99. At the end of the road, turn right on Kuakini and drive to the old runway. Plenty of parking is available.
Old Kona Airport State Park is old airport turned into a beach park, beach is long and wide, but rocky. Best place for swimming is at the southern end of the beach. Snorkeling, scuba diving and surfing are good. Facilities: showers, restrooms, picnic tables, pavilion, BBQ grills, drinking water, parking. No lifeguards.
Kona, Hawaii   Pauoa Bay


Pauoa Bay is home to one of the healthiest coral reefs in Hawaii, Here you'll find green sea turtles and a large population of reef fish, including eels, rays, puffer fish and butterflyfish. In the winter, you may even spot a few dolphins and whales. The natural seawalls keep out high surf, making the bay calm and perfect for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. No facilities. No lifeguards.
Kona, Hawaii   Puako Bay


From Kona, drive north on Highway 19. Before mile marker 70, make a left turn onto Puako Road. There are six public access trails, located by telephone poles #106, 110, 115, 120, 127 and 137.
Puako Bay on the Big Island’s northwestern coast has a rocky shoreline with many tide pools, inlets and coves. A long and narrow white-sand beach. Good for tidepooling, snorkeling, scuba diving and Fishing. A trail leads from the beach to the petroglyph site. No facilities. No lifeguards.
Kona, Hawaii   Spencer Beach Park


From Waikoloa Village, take Highway 19 north to Highway 270. Continue onto 270. Make a left turn at the access road between mile markers 2 and 3. There is a parking area at the north and south ends of the beach.
Spencer Beach is one of the few white-sand beaches on the Big Island. It is protected by a reef and the harbor breakwater. Sandy, usually calm water, ocean bottom slopes gently, good for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. Facilites: Showers, Restrooms, BBQ grills, Picnic tables, Pavilion, Volleyball, basketball and tennis courts, Camping (with permit), Parking, Lifeguards.
Kona, Hawaii   Waialea Bay Beach


From Kona, drive north on Highway 19. Before mile marker 70, make a left turn on Puako Road and then turn left at the next road. Park near telephone poll 71. The trail to the left leads to the beach.
Waialea Bay Beach is one of the few beautiful white-sand beaches on the Big Island. Ocean bottom drops off gradually, good for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing and kayaking. Facilities: Showers, Restrooms, No lifeguards.
Kona, Hawaii   Wawaloli Beach Park


Located north of Kona Airport off Highway 19. Make a left turn at mile marker #94. You’ll find the beach park where the Natural Energy Lab of Hawaii road curves north toward Keahole Point.
Wawaloli Beach is a small beach and is the sand-filled tide pools, which are protected from high surf by rock walls. Good for snorkeling and tidepooling. Facilities: Showers, Restrooms, Picnic tables, BBQ grills, Volleyball court.
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