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‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay

big island/kohala
Beaches/Public Recreational

Puako, 96738

Swimming, Windsurfing

Hours of Operation:

Swimming, Windsurfing

‘Anaeho‘omalu  Bay

The Big Island's Nicest Salt & Pepper Beach

‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay, affectionately known as A Bay, is a stunning Kohala beach that appeals to both locals and visitors alike. This elongated salt-and-pepper sand beach offers a beautiful stretch for sun-seekers. The best swimming experiences can be found in the sandy central area, while snorkeling, although not exceptional, is most favorable on the right side past the sandy expanse. The water may not be as crystal clear as other nearby beaches, but the tranquility of the bay compensates for this.

Protected by an offshore reef, ‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay is generally safe for swimming, except during periods of very high surf. Windsurfing is a popular pastime here. While you enjoy the beach, you may encounter some wild cats living near the restrooms—don't forget to say hello!

The bay is renowned for its two vast fishponds, an integral part of Hawaiian history. These picturesque fishponds were historically reserved for Hawaiian royalty, offering a fascinating glimpse into the island's cultural heritage. The beach also provides a picturesque setting for watching the sunset and capturing stunning Instagram-worthy moments.

An enjoyable paved path on the mauka (inland) side of the fishponds is perfect for a leisurely stroll. Along the path, informative signs provide insights into the fishponds and the surrounding area. You'll also find the remains of an ancient dwelling, believed to be a combination of living quarters, dining space, and a shrine. The pond itself holds brackish water, formed by the convergence of fresh spring water and ocean tide water. In the past, Hawaiians would allow small fry to enter the fishpond from the ocean through a grated opening. Once inside, these fish would feast on algae and small shrimp, eventually becoming too plump to pass back through the grate, making them an easy catch for the Hawaiians who managed the pond.

On the right (northern) side of the beach, there's a hut that rents snorkel gear, kayaks, boogie boards, and more (though it can be a bit costly). If you're feeling hungry, you'll find a restaurant at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott behind the beach, serving burgers and hot dogs.

A fantastic shoreline trail extends north between the two Waikoloa hotels, taking you through sand, lava, and extensive stretches of brilliant white coral rubble. This trail features various tide pools nestled along the shoreline, and you'll often encounter turtles basking in one particular tide pool, just a few feet from the shore. The north end of this trail leads to the Hilton Waikoloa and provides a captivating first impression of the area. A sunset stroll along this path offers an unforgettable experience. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear, and there is an alternative parking location along this route.

A short walk south of A Bay along a narrow ribbon of sand takes you to Kapalaoa Beach, a series of sandy pockets with shade and a delightful cove for snorkeling at the last pocket. This cove is remarkably protected when the surf is not high. Along the way to this beach, you'll pass numerous Hawaiian petroglyphs, a blend of ancient and contemporary markings. For those seeking a more ambitious adventure, follow the lava trail farther south for about half an hour until you reach a lone palm tree standing in the lava, a mere hundred feet from the shore. Here, you'll discover an exquisite spring-fed brackish pool with abundant charm. The pool offers substantial depth in some areas, making it an ideal spot for a refreshing dip following your hike. This hidden gem is rarely crowded, accessible only by foot, and has become a beloved stop for many. The lava trails in this area provide excellent hiking opportunities, although they can get quite hot during the midday sun. The trail mostly follows the shoreline for miles, extending all the way to Ke-awa-iki.

To reach ‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay from the highway, take Waikoloa Beach Road and turn left before the Marriott, where you can park in the lot before the road's end.

‘Anaeho‘omalu  BayThe Big Island's Nicest Salt & Pepper Beach‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay, aff ....

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