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Big Island Sights

Kekaha Kai State Park—Mahaiula Side

  • Hwy. 19 Map It
  • Kailua-Kona
  • Beach–Sight
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 01/06/2014

Fodor's Review

It's slow going, down a 1.8-mile, bumpy, mostly unpaved road off Highway 19 to this beach park, but it's worth it. This state park encompases three beaches (from south to north, Mahaiula, Makalawena, and Kua Bay, which has its own entrance). Mahaiula and Makalawena are beautiful, wide expanses of white-sand beach with dunes; there's a lot of space so you won't feel crowded. Makalawena has great swimming and boogie boarding. From there, a historic 4½-mile trail leads to

Kua Bay. If you're game, work your way to the top of Pu‘u Ku‘ili, a 342-foot-high cinder cone whose summit offers a fantastic view of the coastline. However, be prepared for the heat and bring lots of water. Gates close promptly at 7 pm, so you need to leave the lot by 6:30. Watch out for rough surf and strong currents. Amenities: toilets. Best for: sunset; swimming; walking.

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Sight Information


Hwy. 19, turnoff is about 2 miles north of Keahole–Kona International Airport, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, 96740, United States

Map It


808-327–4958; 808-974–6200

Updated 01/06/2014


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