If you love beaches, Kekaha Kai Sate Park is the place for you. There are actually several beaches that make up Kekaha Kai State Park and it spans over 5 miles in walking distance, which all of it is not made up of beaches. Kua Bay is another one of the popular beaches that make up Kekaha Kai State Park, but since it has its own access and is so popular we included it in another post.
While Kekaha Kai State Park is home to some great beaches and very popular, the access to it leaves a lot to be desired. We do not recommend driving in if you are in a car. If you are in a jeep or SUV you can drive in, but with caution. Roughly 75% of the road is not paved, is rocky, and is not very flat, which can cause a flat or your car bottoming out. It is a fairly long walk in so if you choose to walk, make sure you have on walking shoes. If you want to walk the entire trail and visit all the beaches, then we recommend starting at Kua Bay because it is easier to get into with a car.
Once you reach the ocean, there is a nice area with small bathrooms, picnic, tables, and grills. There are handicap parking stalls and a limited number of stalls, but plenty of other places to park. This area is called Mahai’ula Beach. The water is good for swimming when the waters are calm. There is some shade, but not a lot so a beach umbrella is always nice.
If you walk north from Mahai’ula Beach you will reach Makalawena Beach. This is one of the nicest beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii, but since it is relatively secluded there typically are not many people there. It is a very popular place for surfers, especially in the winter months. Here you will find a lot of white sand as well as nice waters for swimming. The land located behind the beach is private property so make sure to stay on the beach.
Along the way you will see what appears to be an old home. While you can not go on the property, it is an area that makes for some really nice pictures. Just in front of this house is one of the best places for swimming.
If you walk south of the main entrance to Kekaha Kai State Park, there is a nice, small black sand beach. It is a nice area to visit, but we recommend the other beaches. This technically marks the end of Kekaha Kai State Park on the south end of the park.
Kekaha Kai State Park does not just offer beautiful beaches, but also due to being secluded you can often find different wildlife such as goats or different species of birds. If you are the adventurous type, you can easily spend a full day checking everything out. We recommend bringing sandals and the sand can be hot and difficult to walk in with shoes. You will also want to take shoes as the terrain between the beaches is not great for sandals. As with any beach in Hawaii we recommend taking plenty of water.