Kohala coast

Kohala coast

The Kohala Coast is everything ….and nothing….that you want Hawaii to be.  Pristine white sand beaches, luxurious resorts, warm, usually calm water….and endless lava fields devoid of any life except at the water’s edge.

When we want a “Hawaii beach day” we drive the one hour to “the other side.”  We have a few places we prefer, and I will only discuss here the beaches we have been to.

At the top of Highway 19, where it meets Kawaihai harbor, is Spencer Beach. Lovely beach, nice setting and popular with families due to the calm water. We find the water a bit too murky for us…..

Kaunaoa Beach,  a bit further south, is accessed through Mauna Kea Resort.  Only 25 cars are allowed to park at any one time….get there early! This beach has white sand, calm clear water, decent snorkeling near the rock outcroppings. The bay is a favorite feeding ground for manta rays, and at night the resort shines lights out on the bay to attract plankton, on which the manta feed. But….it is a resort beach.  Kids. Vacationers.  Go during the week….

69 beach (aka Waialea Beach) is one of our favorites. Secluded, calm, great snorkeling, lots of sun and also shade…..we have never seen it crowded.

Near Waikoloa Beach Resort is Anaehoomalu Beach (A-Bay).  It is popular. It is crowded. We have NEVER enjoyed a day there…..murky water, windy and crowded…..go if you must….

Kekaha Kai State Park is actually two beaches.  After a LONG drive down a 4wheel drive ONLY road, you reach Mahai’ula Beach. It is a large and beautiful, but the water is rough and the entry very rocky. A 15 minute walk north takes you to  Makalawena Beach. Here the water is calm, clear and the beach, except for the feral goats, mostly unoccupied.

Though we have never been in the water there, Kiholo Bay is a must see (in the winter) just for whale watching.  They were too numerous to count.  The shoreline is not sand, but pebbles. Thorny trees form a canopy about 50 feet back from the surf, and provide protected camping areas. There are freshwater springs forming pools in lava tubes. Beautiful….and cold!