Big Island Sights

Kaunaoa Beach (Mauna Kea Beach)

  • 62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Dr. Map It
  • Waimea (Hawaii County)
  • Beach–Sight
  • Fodor's Choice
  • Kaunaoa Beach, Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii, USA

    (c) Dmitriko |

Published 09/02/2015

Fodor's Review

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 framed by coco palms. 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 to the east. When conditions permit, waves are good for body- and board surfing also. Currents can be strong and powerful in winter, so be careful. Get a cocktail at the beach cabana and enjoy the sunset. Public parking is limited to a few spaces, so arrive before 10 am or after 4 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.

Sight Information


62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Dr., entry through gate to Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Waimea (Hawaii County), Hawaii, 96743, United States

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Published 09/02/2015


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