Beaches of West Hawaii
As it rains, sleets and snows from now till subsequent May, think about your self, mendacity below cerulean blue skies bathed in therapeutic daylight on a heat golden sand seashore, enjoying in bath-water temperature water and snorkeling amongst brightly-colored, tropical fish and placid, however wonderful sea turtles. Sound too good to be true? In West Hawaii, this soothing day dream is our day-to-day actuality. Lying in the rain shadow of two monumental volcanoes reaching from sea degree to nearly 14,000 ft in the sky, the climate 12 months spherical on the west coasts of the Big Island are universally beautiful, reliably heat, indescribably scrumptious. Our seashores vary from vast, mile-long golden swaths of sands bounded by turquoise waters on one aspect and stands of palms and mangroves on the different to wee, tiny patches of white sand plunked down in the center of city the place everyone gathers to chill off in the afternoon and stare upon West Hawaii’s unbelievable sunsets. Let’s take a fast tour of only a sampling of the unbelievably fabulous, romantic, stress-free, stunning seashores of West Hawaii. Our journey begins on the north finish of the Kohala Coast and proceeds south to the southern finish of the Kona Coast.
Always rated in the Top 10 of American seashores, Hapuna Beach is the premiere seashore vacation spot on the Island of Hawai’i. Long, vast and phenomenally sandy, it has all the things one desires of in a Hawai’ian seashore: considerable solar, surf, clear, clear and quiet snorkeling water, shade and well-maintained services. There are lifeguards, a number of pavilions, barbecues, picnic tables, restrooms, showers and a small café. The middle of the seashore lend themselves effectively to wave play and boogey boarding, the north and south coves are quieter, fostering snorkeling or light floating.
Waialea Beach (Beach 69)
An ideal crescent of golden sand backed by considerable shade at the fringe of the seashore makes this a really perfect, although little recognized, household seashore. After about 10 in the morning and on windy days the water in the bay is a tad murkier than supreme for snorkeling, however most of the guests to this seashore do not appear to thoughts. A sequence of tiny islands and pinnacles leads northward to crystalline water and an extended coral reef for a few of the most outrageous snorkeling and shore diving anyplace in the state. A path over the north headland results in a secluded (typically clothes optionally available) cove after which onward to Hapuna Beach. Although most of the shore is comparatively freed from currents, solely skilled snorkelers who’re robust swimmers will wish to snorkel round the north finish of Waialea, previous the cove and the reef, previous the sea arch and on to Hapuna–a lengthy, however rewarding swim with a few of the most unbelievable underwater vistas accessible to the snorkeler in the world. Take the Puako Road exit from the freeway and switch north towards Hapuna. Near Pole 71, an apparent newly paved highway and parking zone point out the begin of the quick path to the seashore. Restrooms, picnic tables, water and showers spherical out the services.
The most photographed sundown view on the Island of Hawai’i, Anaeho’omalu Bay is the icon of what most guests envision Hawai’i to be like earlier than they get right here…swaying palm timber, a clear seashore fronting heat, protected, swimmable ocean and hordes of keen seashore boys bearing giant, tropical drinks with comical names like “Malahini Wahine Wahoo”. Here at the bay, one could lease snorkel or browsing gear, sign-up for crusing journeys, snorkel excursions, windsurfing classes or scuba dives, order meals and drinks, or simply lounge pleasantly in the niumalu (shade of the coconut palms). Named for the historical fishponds behind the seashore from the phrases anae (“mullet”) and ho’malu (“to protect”), Anaeho’omalu Bay is called “A”-Bay by locals. In addition to swimming, snorkeling, diving, windsurfing and simply plain hanging-out, the space round A-Bay can also be wealthy with archaeological websites, together with part of the Ala Ali’i (King’s Trail), fish ponds, heiau and petroglyphs. Walking the path south from A-Bay to Kapalaoa Beach will take one alongside not solely vistas of incomparable magnificence and wildness, but in addition reveal quite a few rarely-visited petroglyphs. There is sweet snorkeling alongside the farthest south pocket of sand on Kapalaoa Beach. One can comply with this tail a number of miles all the manner south to Pueo Bay and Ke-awa-iki Beach alongside lava flows and shoreline, however it’s a lengthy, scorching hike with no water for ingesting accessible. Walking north alongside the path (sneakers required) over sand, lava and coral, to the Hilton Waikoloa Resort is an unforgettable sundown stroll, and a superb introduction to the wild fantastic thing about the Kohala Coast. There are quite a few tidepools, a pair with resident Honu, Hawai’ian Green Sea Turtles. Follow the Mauna Lani Resort highway to the left flip clearly marked Anaeho’omalu Bay, flip and proceed to the finish of the highway. Facilities and companies can be found at A-Bay and on the Resort Grounds.
Kiholo Bay Area
Snorkeling, nation music historical past historical fish ponds and medical science…what extra may anybody ask for? This exceptional, stunning and sadly well-liked space is accessed in two methods; first, by a gravel highway going oceanward from the freeway instantly south of the Overlook pullout at mile 82. This highway is barely open from eight am. to six pm., however accesses the south finish of the bay, a pebbly seashore terminated in austere a’a flows to the south. The spherical home on the seashore was constructed by nation and western singer Loretta Lynn, however was condemned and brought by the State when it created the seashore park. Swimming and boogie boarding listed here are glorious in low to reasonable surf, however watch out for present and surginess; if the surf is excessive, don’t go in. A path south beneath the massive mansion on the headland leads about three quarters of a mile to a tiny black sand seashore with a tremendous coral backyard. This little seashore is my favourite snorkeling secret on the island. A 4WD highway/path continues north alongside the black pebble seashore and cliffs to Kiholo Bay correct. This a part of the Kiholo Area may also be accessed by way of a newly rebuilt filth highway that leaves the parking zone instantly south of mile marker 81. Along the 4WD path, on the mauka aspect, is a freshwater spring and pond in a lava tube (Keanalele Waterhole), an excellent place to rinse off after swimming or mountain climbing alongside the seashore. Please rinse off extra suncream in the ocean earlier than having fun with this refreshing pool. Also alongside this portion of the seashore are numerous mansions, most notably the Bali House (oh, you may comprehend it if you see it) and the residence of Earl Bakken, the billionaire inventor of the tempo maker. Believe the no trespassing indicators you see right here. Full of turtles, stunning to swim and an exquisite place to study to surf, Kiholo Bay correct has all of it. In addition, the sweat required to achieve it has the added bonus of removing the undesirables. Just north of Kiholo Bay is a gorgeous, turquoise brackish lagoon, all that is still of a 2-mile lengthy fishpond erected by Kamehameha the Great round 1810, which was destroyed by the Mauna Kea lava circulation of 1859.
The website of Kona’s latest seashore park, this can be a beautiful white sand seashore. Although there isn’t a shade to talk of, the swimming and boogie boarding in the crystalline waters is primo. Strong currents and enormous waves name for respect, right here; if the surf is up, do not go in. Also, generally in winter the surf removes the sand to offshore, leaving a rocky shelf that’s much less enjoyable to frolic on than the sandy seashore. Behind the seashore on the north finish is a small, inviting fresh-water pool. Don’t be seduced into rinsing off here-it is bottomed by foul-smelling quicksand and is extraordinarily nasty when you leap in. There are sacred, native Hawai’ian websites and ruins to the north of the seashore; please don’t disturb them. A brief hike brings one to the summit of Pu’u Ku’ili, the 342-foot excessive cinder cone instantly south of the entry highway. Pu’u Ku’ili supplies a romantic spot to observe sunsets and whales, boasting an imposing view of the Kohala shoreline. As of this writing, mountain biking alongside the path up Pu’u Ku’ili is tolerated by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. The journey up is brief however sweaty, however the blast down is effectively value the effort. However, one have to be cautious to remain on the path and be cautious of tearing up the fragile vegetation; the erosion which inevitably follows such abuse will shortly smash this excellent little pu’u. Because of the actions of some thoughtless, ignorant and careless mountain bikers and off-road motorbikers, entry to using this cinder cone could shortly be curtailed-so please be conscious of this when using the trails. Access to Kua Bay is by way of a newly paved highway just lately opened to the public. Park services embody parking, picnic tables, restrooms and water. Wild goats are incessantly seen on this space.
One of the final, giant, wilderness seashores in Polynesia, frankly, Makalawena is the best swimming and snorkeling seashore on the island and the most stunning seashore setting, as well. This is the wonderful seashore you flew over simply earlier than you landed at Kona International Airport. This seashore sports activities a collection of coves, refreshing shade, massive sand dunes and a pleasant freshwater pond to rinse-off in. This seashore is reached both by touring the (extraordinarily) 4WD highway that takes-off the freeway from between mile markers 88 and 89, or by mountain climbing about 15-20 minutes alongside a straightforward path from Kekaha Kai State Park. The path goes over tough pahoehoe and a’a and thru keawe breaks, so sneakers are required. This land fronting the seashore is owned by Bishop Estate/Kamehameha Schools and is slated to be changed into a improvement of condos and resorts; vigilance and protest on the a part of locals and guests are the solely methods we will maintain this final, wild Kona seashore wild.
Kekaha Kai State Park
There is a wonderfully great set of seashores plunked down in one in all Hawai’i Island’s gem parks, Kekahakai State Beach Park; the northernmost and loveliest seashore is called Mahai’ula and the smaller, extra southerly, much less superb one is called Ka’elehuluhulu Beach. The water is ok for swimming and boogie boarding however could also be a bit of murky for supreme snorkeling. There are quite a few small springs alongside the whole seashore making the near-shore water a bit of chilly. The mansion of the unique house owners, The Magoons, can nonetheless be seen on the northern fringe of the seashore. Tours of the mansion have change into scarce to sporadic in recent times; if you’re , contact the Kona Historical Society. Turn makai at the State Park signal, between mile markers 90 and 91; the highway is nasty when dry to impassable when moist. Facilities embody public restrooms and picnic tables, however no ingesting water.
This small seashore on the outskirts of Old Kailua Town is a favourite spot for surfers and boogie boarders, but in addition has very good snorkeling and is a superb place to view the sundown and picnic. Remember when going into the water right here, there’s a pretty robust present to the north, so keep in the shallow reef space near the seashore. Parking is positioned on either side of Ali’i Drive, however might be tight right here in instances of excellent surf, and crossing Ali’i Drive might be harrowing and harmful at sure instances of the day. A brand new rest room with working water has just lately been constructed on the mauka (mountain) aspect of the highway.
Loll in sand and solar below swaying palms, watch humpback whales dance in an unique Kona sundown, snorkel amongst rainbow-colored fish on a protected reef or journey surf the place the Kings of Hawai’i outlined the sport a thousand years in the past! Kahalu’u is the selection vacation spot of Kona Coast County Beach Parks. Kahalu’u is the hottest snorkeling seashore on the Island of Hawai’i with good cause; shielded from the open ocean by a seawall, the reef can also be protected towards business aquarium fishing. The snorkeling is in calm, shallow water; there may be an abundance of fish of an infinite selection…maybe the greatest show on the island. Dozens of Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles name this bay residence, consuming the limu and thrilling the snorkelers. Numerous freshwater springs and shallow water bathers make the near-shore snorkeling unpleasantly cloudy, however about 100 ft offshore the water turns crystal clear and the show of coral and brightly-colored fish is nothing in need of wonderful. Outside the seawall is a superb surf break that’s for intermediate or higher surfers and boogie boarders. There is a good present north out of the bay and alongside the coast…swimmers caught on this present ought to calm down and swim with the present, angling in the direction of land. Most days there’s a meals wagon promoting sandwiches, burgers, shave ice and chilly drinks at affordable costs and a vendor renting snorkeling gear and boogie boards.
Two-Step Beach/Honaunau Bay
Some of the best, protected snorkeling and shore-diving on the Island is positioned at Two-Step Beach, adjoining to the Place of Refuge National Historic Park. A wonderland of turtles, coral and fish, with frequent morning visits by dolphins, this snorkeling expertise should not be missed. No swimming is allowed inside the Park, as a measure of respect of the sacredness of the Refuge website; nevertheless, Two-Step Beach presents a handy place to enter Honaunau Bay. One can enter the bay both by merely strolling down the boat ramp, or by stepping off the quick cliff into the water. Two-Step seashore will get its identify from this quick hop. Near the middle fringe of the lava seashore there are two ledges that function steps down into the ocean. At low tide, it is a easy matter of stepping down these steps, “1-2-OCEAN!” At greater tide, one merely leans off the decrease edge and in. Getting out, one merely approaches the steps, places ones arms palms down and waits for an incoming wave to drift you up and onto the backside step–the course of is extra intuitive and bodily simpler than it sounds. Resist the temptation to place fingers into small holes and pockets in the rocks to haul your self out-these are incessantly stuffed with spiny sea urchins. Always lay your arms on the rocks palms down, do not use fingers. The greatest snorkeling is alongside the cliff edges and the shallows. Remember that you simply can’t get out of the water inside the confines of the Park. Remember to not harass or method dolphin or sea turtles; they’re federally protected species.
Ho’okena Beach County Park Brilliant snorkeling, first rate boogie boarding, satisfactory shell amassing and great camping-it’s a surprise Ho’okena Beach just isn’t extra well-liked with guests. Nestled alongside the ruins of Ho’okena Village, this seashore is a superb place to spend a morning or a weekend. Frequented by dolphin, stuffed stuffed with pelagic and reef fish and turtles and boasting crystal clear, heat and calm waters, Ho’okena is a must-see seashore for avid snorkelers and divers in addition to sea kayakers. Hiking south over the hills and thru cow fields brings one to quite a few small, sandy pocket seashores the place ocean present circumstances make shell amassing potential. Hiking north, one finds the remnants of once-thriving Ho’okena Village, as soon as the primary rival to Kailua for steamer visitors, however now all however misplaced to the ravages of tsunami, earthquake and the passing of time. During the winter months, feminine Humpback whales and their infants frequent the waters off this bay. Wonderful seashore tenting, new showers and restrooms, picnic tables and considerable contemporary water make this county park a gem. Camping by allow solely on a primary come-first served foundation.
A real gem of West Hawai’i and infrequently crowded, Honomalino Bay is reached by a 20 minute hike from the south finish of Miloli’i Beach County Park. The hike begins between the bogs and a yellow church and is at all times alongside the proper fork of the path, out and in of the surf line, to keep away from personal property. Snorkeling may be very fascinating on the north aspect in the rocks, when the surf is low. The water, although very clear, is typically fairly chilly resulting from spring discharge in the sand on the seashore.
So…now that you’re armed with all this data and you’ve got had the greatest mid-winter, seashore day-dream you’ve got had in years, I simply must ask…what are you doing sitting there in your chilly, moist, winter distress for? C’mon over to West Hawaii and take in your fair proportion of the rays!