Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area, Kailua-Kona

(260+ 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.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • My last day in Hawaii I thought I'd try this spot for snorkelling after being at many other great places around the island. It was one of my favorite spots. I read that charters drop people off in the...  more »
  • every time we visited we saw turtles on the beach and in the water. park rangers and signs encourage a viewing distance that doesn't bother the turtles.  more »
  • This is definitely more of a local park but has great water access and beach. Picnic tables and restrooms are good. There is plenty of parking since the old airstrip is where you park. When you want a...  more »
Google
  • Go to the end of the runway and walk a short 100 ft to the beach. A great spot to snorkel from, see the sunset, watch cruise ships pass and chill.
  • Most favorite beach in the world. So much childhood memories playing in the tide pools! Great place to hang out and have a picnic with family and friends in tranquility.
  • Lots of parking and close to town, good facilities. The beach is okay, but there's a nice community garden with a long, flat walking path. It's the place to go for a good run or walk.
  • A park the homeless and cats, but I still like it. We need to do better.
  • This place has become way nicer than the first time I visited... Like... 20 years ago. Really nice beach, picnic tables, playground for kids.