Kekaha Kai State Park
This scenic Big Island beach is actually three crescent-shaped beaches along 3/4-mile of Kona coastline.
There are plenty of shady trees and even a freshwater pool near the dunes that is great for washing off the saltwater. Bodyboarding and surfing are also popular at Makalawena Beach, though it is fairly remote and never crowded. The powder white sand and azure waters make this one of the Big Island’s prettiest beaches. Locals call this beach “Maks.”
Swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, exploring.
Hawaiian green sea turtles are often seen at this beach. The water here shimmers teal and azure near shore and darker over the coral reef shelf offshore. The shallow water coral reef just offshore of the center crescent beach is great for snorkeling including colorful coral, caves, and sea arches.
Need to Know
The walk to the beach takes about 25 minutes along a trail starting at the parking area at Kona Coast State Park and crossing a dry lava bed. Makalawena Beach has an austere, raw beauty about it with no buildings in site. Sunset is a lovely time to visit as the tinted sky colors the beach.
Take Queen Kaahumanu Hwy. (Route 19) to Kona Coast State Park, also called Kekaha Kai State Park, between Mile Markers 89 and 90.