Hands-down one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, if not the whole state, Kaunaoa features a long crescent of pure white sand. The beach, which fronts the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, slopes very gradually, and there's great snorkeling along the rocks. Classic Hawaii postcard views abound, especially in winter, when snow tops Mauna Kea. When conditions permit, waves are good for body- and board surfing also. Currents can be strong and powerful in winter, so be careful.
Public parking is limited to a few spaces, so arrive before 10 am or after 3 pm. If the lot is full, head to nearby Hapuna Beach, where there's a huge parking lot ($5 per vehicle). Try this spot again another day—it's worth it! Amenities : parking (no fee); showers; toilets; water sports. Best for: sunset; swimming; walking.
62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Dr., entry through gate to Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Kohala Coast, Hawaii, 96743, United States