Beaches on the Kohala Coast
Anaeho’omalu Bay: This beach, often referred to as A-Bay, is good for swimming, diving and snorkeling due to its light surf. Once a significant area to royal Hawaiians, it contains numerous petroglyph sites and a large, ancient fish pond. The soft white sand framed by coconut palm trees is an ideal place to lie back and watch sailboats or glorious sunsets. A shoreline trail begins here and ends behind the nearby Hilton Waikoloa Village. This is a clean and well-maintained beach with facilities and plenty of parking. A rental facility is available for beach and water sport equipment or to arrange sail charters. To reach the parking lot, take the beach access road across from the Kings’ Shops at the 4-way intersection on Waikoloa Beach Drive from Highway 19.
Hapuna Beach State Park: Hapuna is a long, wide sandy beach accompanied by grassy park areas with picnic tables. It is suitable for a variety of water sport activities including swimming, snorkeling, boogie boarding and, at certain times, surfing. Facilities include restrooms and showers, a food concession stand, an equipment rental booth, and ample parking. Scenery looking out to the sparkling water along the South Kohala horizon is spectacular. Hapuna is frequently listed among the top best beaches in America. It is approximately 10 miles north of Waikoloa Beach Resort on Highway 19.
Spencer Beach Park: Spencer is a great family beach featuring shaded picnic areas with barbeque grills, a covered party pavilion with electricity, good-sized restrooms and showers, and, on weekends, a lifeguard. A large reef protects the beach from strong surf. It’s ideal for swimming, diving or snorkeling. Sea turtles may be spotted among coral reefs in the far northwest portion of the water by the more adventurous snorkeler. Spencer Beach also allows camping, by reservation, in the outlying wooded sections. This beach is close to quaint little shops and restaurants in the town of Kawaihae. Driving north on Highway 19, take the Highway 270 / Kawaihae turn-off. Drive approximately two miles and look for the Spencer Beach Park access road on the left.
Holoholokai Beach Park: Tucked behind the Fairmont Orchid in the Mauna Lani Resort, Holoholokai is an isolated rocky beach with very little sand. Although it is not suitable for swimming due to dense lava rock surrounding the waters, it nevertheless has much to offer in the form of hiking or sunbathing. There are beautifully landscaped park areas with several picnic tables, a couple of barbeque pits, restrooms, and many parking stalls. It’s a fine place to snorkel with caution when the water is calm. A historical walking trail is located right next to the beach. Take the Mauna Lani exit and turn right at the center turnabout onto North Kaniku Drive. Drive past the condominiums towards the Fairmont and then veer right. Follow the road to the end to reach beach parking.
Kauna’oa Beach, one of the most pristine beaches in Hawaii, may be found adjacent to the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. The downside is its limited parking, and only a certain number of passes are allowed to lucky visitors who arrive before 9 a.m. If you are among them, you’ll see why Kaunaoa was named one of the U.S.’s top ten best beaches by Traveler magazine. A long stretch of warm sand bordered by tropical vegetation makes it a favorite, fairly secluded sunbathing spot. Swimming, snorkeling, boogie boarding and other activities are welcome in the gentle waters. There is also a volleyball court and complete facilities. Driving north on Highway 19, turn left at mile marker 68. Follow to the end of the road for public access.