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Kekaha Kai State Park, Island of Hawaii

4.6
#28 of 40 in Nature in Island of Hawaii
State Park Nature / Park
Kekaha Kai State Park, formerly known as Kona Coast State Park, is a beach park located along the north Kona coast on the island of Hawaii. The main beach areas are Maniniowali Bay (Kua Bay), Makalawena beach at Puu Alii Bay, and Mahaiula Bay. The park's name originates from the Hawaiian language words ke kaha kai which translate to "the shore line" in English.Park sectionsThe northern section of the park is on Maniniowali Bay located at coordinates. This beach area is popularly called Kua Bay since it is easier to pronounce. A paved road 2.6mi north of Kona International Airport leads to the beach.The wetland area behind Makalawena beach was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1972. The marsh is known as Ōpaeula Pond (Hawaiian for "red shrimp") and was the site of a small fishing village that was wiped out in the 1946 tsunami. The 12acre of wetland provide one of the last remaining nesting grounds of the āeo (Hawaiian stilt, Himantopus mexicanus knudseni), the alae keokeo (Hawaiian coot, Fulica alai), and the only known breeding area for the aukuu (black-crowned night heron, Nycticorax nycticorax hoactli) in Hawaii. The pond is located at coordinates in the privately owned area between the two sections of the state park.
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(Kailua-Kona is the nearest city to Kekaha Kai State Park)

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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
86 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • The beauty: super clean park, nicely maintained comfort station with NO smells or critters, several picnic tables, ocean water is clear to several feet deep with good snorkeling conditions, can access...  more »
  • The husband found this online while looking for things to drive to in our Jeep rental - and so glad we decided to go. The beach itself is accessible through the lava fields, the "paved" road was only ...  more »
  • We read the reviews and thought our non 4 wheel drive car could make it if we went slow but it was much farther than expected so we turned around and left. Very bumpy "road" if you can call it that.  more »
Google
  • Every spot we visited on Hawaii was incredible and this spot is no exception. The intense environment of lava rock was best seen here. The slice of sandy beach was great to walk through while watching waves crash, planes fly close overhead and locals surf. Very neat to get up close with the lava rock.
  • Crazy drive. Very rough road. One mile hike to beach. Nice sand. Mediocre snorkeling.
  • Saw a very beautiful turtle. Great snorkeling out here. Easy to get to and just a stunning beach!
  • Nice beach not good for swimming. Rough ride in to the beach on an gravel lava road but it was fun. Beach is dirty with homemade fishing equipment and other debris.
  • Beautiful​ beach! Well kept and even got brushed by a sea turtle right up close to the beach.

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Where to stay in Kailua-Kona

If you wish to indulge yourself while on the Kona coastline of the "Big Island," book your stay at one of Kailua-Kona's fully furnished beachside villas, offering spa services, free Wi-Fi, and secure parking. You can also try one of the coastline's luxury resorts, featuring tennis courts, fitness centers, and on-site activities like hula lessons and diving classes. Smaller hotels a short drive from the city may not offer beach access, but they provide plenty of privacy at a fraction of the cost of the area's big resorts.
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