Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area, Kailua-Kona

(4/5 based on 240+ reviews on the web)
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
  • This area can be a bit hard to find if you do not know where it is. It is at the end of the road, very near to many shops and restaurants. The beach is rocky and beautiful. There are picnic areas and ...  more »
  • Converted old airport to gardens and walking paths...lots of people jogging and exercising in area and some beach areas where locals hang 
  • A .7 mile loop paved trail thru grounds landscaped with Hawaiian plants. Also a sanctuary for feral cats taken care of by the Avocats group thus no dogs permitted. Lots of parking adjacent to trail on...  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.