Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area, Kailua-Kona

(280+ reviews on the web)
Marina
Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area is a park built on the site of an old landing strip just North of Kailua, Hawaii County, Hawaii.HistoryDuring World War II, a small landing strip was cleared near the end of Kuakini Highway. In 1947, the state approved a small terminal to be built for tourist flights, which was dedicated in 1949. In 1950, of fencing was added to keep out cattle which would wander onto the site. The 1960s brought development of several larger hotels and resorts. Larger aircraft could not take off from the short runway. When the much larger Kona International Airport was built further North at Keahole Point in 1970, the old landing strip was used for drag racing before being turned into a park in 1976.FacilitiesThe facilities on the 103.7acre of the old airport are run by the County of Hawaii. These include baseball and soccer fields, the Kona Community Aquatic Center, and Kekuaokalani Gym, located at 75-5530 Kuakini Highway. A 217acre marine preserve was created off shore in 1992. A day use boat mooring is near the prominent "Shark Rock" toward the northwestern boundary. Water depth at the mooring is about. A reef shelf East of Shark rock creates a small surf break. Snorkelrs and Scuba divers usually enter the water at a protected cove at the Northwestern end of the beach. On Kukailimoku Point Southeast of the park sits a lighthouse to guide ships into Kailua Bay. North of the park is Papawai Bay (meaning "water layer" in the Hawaiian Language). The land there is owned by the Queen Liliuokalani Trust, which also leases some of its property to two large shopping centers, the Kona Commons which opened in 2008, and the Makalapua Center in 1994.
For travelers who use our online itinerary creator, Kailua-Kona holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Some white sand on the beach, but lava flows and rocks abound in the water. There were trees here and there for SOME shade. A very pleasant area to hang out. Bathrooms available and plenty of parking....  more »
  • This one's close to the village of Kailua-Kona. But you may not want to walk there, unless you don't mind walking a mile or two. But it's well worth the effort to get there.  more »
  • We stopped at this park to view one last sunset on our way to the airport It is an easily accessible beach with wonderful sunset views. There were a bunch of surfers that were fun to watch. Nice bathr...  more »
Google
  • There is a lot of good and some bad here. If you want a sunset by the ocean, it's wonderful. It's also a great place for a picnic and a day by the ocean. For the most part, this is not a good swimming or snorkeling location, though some do. The bad is parts of it--especially the parts on the mountain side of the old runway--have been taken over by feral cats and our local homeless population. Stay on the ocean side to avoid all of that.
  • Old Airport area in Kona was turned into a recreational hub! Are you into walking or jogging? There is a beautifully decorated path where you can enjoy an easy stroll or something more challenging. Want to see some wild life? Cute mongoose run can be easily spotted among lush greenery around the path. Nearby beach provides both sand and lava rock experience and there is plenty of parking - old runways provide enough room for everyone.
  • Lots of space, not many people, and plenty of beach. This was a great spot, with only the soothing sound of the waves and only occasional chatter of birds for company. Visited on a Wednesday afternoon.
  • Nice for recreation (lots of space for lunch etc) but not too good for swimming. Many rocks and often strong waves.
  • Wonderful area for activities. Great place to run along the beach. There are multiple soccer fields. There's a pavilion that can be rented for events. The beach is a little rocky though to swim in.