United States Hawaii Kaunaoa Beach

Kaunaoa Beach

A crescent-shaped slice of tropical paradise, renowned for its golden sand, clear blue waters, and serene ambiance on Hawaii's Big Island.

Tips from the community

Early risers, this is the beach for you. Like all beaches in Hawaii, Kauna‘oa Beach is public land, but the parking lot belongs to Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and has only 40 spots available to non-hotel guests. Your best bet is to get there around 8 a.m. Here’s your reward for setting an alarm on vacation: a pristine white-sand beach half a mile long that forms a bay around brilliantly blue water. This beach is really the epitome of why you came to Hawaii.
Is your favorite activity on a tropical vacation one of the following: snorkeling, swimming, laying on a floating dock, laying in pillowy sand, stand up paddle boarding, canoeing, or drinking a mai tai with a cocktail umbrella in it? Yes? Ok, this is your beach. You can actually do all of those activities at this beach. It’s my go-to for family vacations on the Big Island because everyone’s interests can be satisfied here. No fights necessary. That early wake up call is worth it not only for the activities at Kauna‘oa Beach, but the limited number of parking spots means this slice of paradise will never be crowded.
If you find yourself here come nightfall, head to the rock outcropping on the north side of the shore. Here, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel will be shining a massive light into the water in hopes of attracting manta rays: one of the most impressive and giant creatures in the Hawaiian waters. Plankton are also attracted to the bright light, which in turn attracts the mantas looking for a tasty dinner. If the mantas show up, you’re in for a show of 12-foot wide creatures doing somersaults in the water. It’s like a free Cirque du Soleil show with giant ocean dwellers. The manta rays are a must-see part of your trip to the Big Island. It’s one of the few places in the world to see these magnificent underwater acrobats.

laurenallain 5 years ago

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