Ten miles north of Kona, down an easily traveled but rugged lava road, is Kekaha Kai State Beach Park, nestled inside of Mahaiula Bay. It is the most beautiful strip of the whitest sand you’ll ever see. Trees line the back of the beach, offering nice, cool shade. With water so clear and blue, it’s spellbinding and coconut palms fringing the beach on either end this is certainly a tropical island escape. When the surf is big, you’ll see surfers out at the point to the north. Because of the steep slope of Kekaha Kai Beach, waves crashing on the sand can be dangerous. There is no lifeguard.
To find Kekaha Kai Beach, turn left after passing mile-marker 91 as you’re headed north on Queen Kaahumanu Hwy. You can’t miss the big green state sign as you approach. Drive 1.5 miles through the lava field, and you’ll come to an intersection with a small parking area off each side of the road. You can keep going straight until you reach the coast, but Kekaha Kai Beach is accessed via a trail north from this intersection.
Bring proper footwear because this trail through the lava can get rough, especially past Kekaha Kai Beach. The parking area at the end of the road has toilet facilities and picnic tables. Kekaha Kai State Park is a treat because it offers coastal hikes to explore as well. The trail to the north goes all the way to Kua Bay. Taking the trail south from the intersection will lead you to the only black sand beach on the Kona side. The only bad thing about this beach park is that the gate is closed on Wednesdays.