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Kamakahonu Beach

big island/kailua kona

Kailua-Kona, 96740

Kid Friendly, Swimming

Hours of Operation:

Kid Friendly, Swimming

Kamakahonu Beach

The Turtle Eye On The Big Island

Kamakahonu Beach, which gets its name from the Hawaiian phrase "Ka Maka Honu," meaning "the turtle eye," is a delightful coastal destination that brims with history and natural beauty. While the rock that originally inspired its name has been concealed by the Kailua pier, this beach holds its own unique charm.

Situated to the right of the iconic Kailua Pier, right in front of the Court­yard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, Kamakahonu Beach offers some of the gentlest and safest waters on the entire island. In fact, the tranquility of its waters is akin to soaking in your hotel bathtub, making it an ideal spot for all, especially families with children who relish frolicking in the calm waves. The presence of freshwater springs, though occasionally causing a slight chill, adds to the allure of this coastal haven.

The historical significance of Kamakahonu Beach is undeniable, as it served as the chosen residence for King Kamehameha during the twilight years of his remarkable life. In front of the beach, you'll find the Ahu‘ena Heiau, a sacred site that bears witness to the island's rich cultural heritage.

The beach may not boast a vast expanse of sand, but its shallow waters make it perfect for leisurely swims. For those who venture a little further from the shore, you'll notice a private ocean entrance to the right. This path leads to a residence that once belonged to billionaire Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft. Its stunning location by the beach is evident in the property's history, as it was purchased for $11 million in the 1990s and later sold for a whopping $43 million in 2021.

Explorers and history enthusiasts may be intrigued to learn that a recently discovered map suggests this area might be the resting place of Kamehameha, the great Hawaiian king. However, any remnants of such historical significance may have been altered during shoreline modifications in the 1950s.

As you soak in the serenity of Kamakahonu Beach, you may spot schools of fish congregating on the far side of the heiau, adding a touch of marine wonder to your visit. If you require beach amenities, a convenient concessionaire at Kamakahonu provides rentals for various beach equipment, albeit at standard prices. It's a brief 300-yard stroll from the public parking lot to the beach, so you might consider dropping off your beach gear and a companion at the pier before parking.

Kamakahonu BeachThe Turtle Eye On The Big IslandKamakahonu Beach, which gets its name from the Hawai ....

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