Kahaluu Beach Park
Kahaluu Beach Park

Kahaluu Beach Park

Free admission
Kailua-Kona, Big Island of Hawaii, Hawaii, 96740

The basics

Kahaluu Beach Park may be small, but it has easy ocean access. That being said, don’t show up expecting glistening white sand—this is a volcanic black-sand beach. If you’re snorkeling, it can be a little tough on your feet, but you’ll get over it as soon as you see a sea turtle (which Kahaluu is known for). Surfers flock here, too—beginners in the summer and experts in the winter, when the waves swell with rage.

Note: If you haven’t invested in your own snorkel gear, you can rent equipment just across the road from the beach at Kahaluʻu Surf and Sea. They also offer fantastic surfing lessons.

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Things to know before you go

  • Use reef-safe sunscreen. Many sunscreens contain chemicals known to cause coral bleaching and will damage the very reef you’re enjoying.

  • Overflow parking can be found on Makolea St., directly across from the parking lot entrance.

  • Always check ocean conditions before getting in the water. The Hawaii Beach Safety website will have all the information you need to know.

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How to get there

Since it’s about 5 miles (8 kilometers) south of Kailua-Kona, most people arrive at Kahaluu by car, but you can also hop on the Kona Trolley, ride your bike, or walk here along the scenic Aliʻi Drive, if your accommodations are close by. Snorkelers should park in the lot on the south side of the bay, next to the bathrooms; surfers should park along the northern end of the bay, aka the ocean-facing side of the road.

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Trip ideas


When to get there

In a word: early. After 10am, it can be difficult to find parking—or even a spot on the sand. If you do nab a parking spot in the on-site lot, note that non-residents have to pay a fee. High season lasts from November to May; outside those months, you should have a bit more elbow room.

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A snorkeling tip

The black sand—made up of eroded basalt—can be rough and craggy, hurting your feet. To make getting into the water easier, carry your gear in one hand as you walk over the rocks. You’ll soon see a sandy area where you can stand in a few inches of water and put on your gear. Keep a mark on this spot as you’re snorkeling so you can use the same method upon your return to land.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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