Spencer Beach Park
Big Island Beach
If you're looking for a beautiful beach, try Spencer Beach. The white sand, shallow water, and long reef make this beach one of the best on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Overview of Spencer Beach
Spencer Beach offers one of the best beach experiences in Hawaii. Lying just south of Kawaihae Harbor on the Big Island's northwestern coast, Spencer Beach Park provides excellent swimming and snorkeling conditions, ample shade under large native trees, and a calm and quiet atmosphere. Beautiful white sand, warm and relaxed water, and plenty of space for the kids to play make this a beach you will want to visit again and again. We consider this beach one of the most family-friendly beaches on the Big Island.
Samuel M. Spencer served as a Judge and chairman of the Hawaii County Board of Supervisors from 1893 to 1944, long in local politics. Though he never visited the beach park that now bears his name, many infer the town of Waimea postal name Kamuela, which means Samuel in Hawaiian, as a nickname for this important Hawaiian political figure.
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Directions to Spencer Beach
The park sits at the end of Kokololio Beach Road, approximately 45 miles north of Kailua-Kona. To get to Spencer Beach Park, take Highway 19 to mile marker 75. Travel about one mile past mile marker 75, and turn left on Kokololio Beach Road. The road will dead-end at the beach park.
Amenities at Spencer Beach
Spencer Beach Park offers camping facilities, restrooms, showers, and a pavilion for family gatherings and other events. You can also find a lifeguard on duty here. There are also several hiking trails leading to historical sites and natural wonders.
Essential Tips for a Great Visit to Spencer Beach
You can camp on the grounds, but you’ll need a permit to stay overnight.
Having Fun at Spencer Beach
Fun Activities at Spencer Beach
There are many fun activities to do at Spencer Beach, Big Island. For instance, go swimming or snorkeling on the quiet side of the beach, where a reef barrier protects it.
Picture-taking: Take pictures of yourself with beautiful views in the background (such as sunsets). You can also take photos of sea turtles that sometimes appear near the shoreline!
Sunbathing: Spencer Beach is one of the best places to catch rays! Be sure to lather up with sunscreen, so you don't get burnt!
Swimming: The calm waters at Spencer Beach Park are great for snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking. There are no lifeguards on duty here, so use extreme caution when entering the water. The currents can be powerful in some areas, so it's best to stay close to shore.
Snorkeling: The beach has a very shallow reef, making it an ideal spot for snorkelers who may not be confident enough to dive into deeper waters. This area has plenty of colorful tropical fish and sea turtles in its shallow reefs.
Whale-watching: This park is also an excellent spot for whale-watching in winter when humpback whales migrate to Hawaii to mate and give birth. They can be seen playing along the coast in the summer months as they return northward toward Alaska.
Spencer Beach Park Camping: One of the best things about Spencer Beach is its well-maintained camping ground. This area allows people to camp out under the stars and spend days basking in the beauty of their natural surroundings.
Family Activities at Spencer Beach
There’s a lifeguard on duty for added safety. Ultimately, visitors may enjoy swimming, snorkeling, picnicking, and camping at this family-friendly destination.
Build sandcastles, dig holes in the sand or collect seashells. Over a long, shallow reef, swimmers are protected from high waves and currents and often find calm water at Spencer Beach Park.
Nearby Attractions and Sights of Spencer Beach
Sacred sights at Pelekane Beach: Pelekane Beach is in front of the Pu'ukohola Heiau. Many sacrifices were made at this beach. The beach lies a short walk to the north of Spencer Beach. This area is considered sacred to Hawaiian people, so be respectful as you explore the ruins.
Hapuna Beach State Park: Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area offers two miles of white sand beach with year-round swimming, body surfing, and sunbathing. There are expansive lawns for picnicking and pavilions for group gatherings.
Trek the Ala Kahakai: Go the distance on the Ala Kahakai Trail. This 175-mile National Historic Trail stretches along the coast of Hawai‘i Island and is broken up into 15 sections with trailheads at different beach parks. The entire trail isn’t completed yet, but many access points are. The closest ones to Kailua Bay Resort are Puako Beach Park and Spencer Beach Park, both short drive south of Kona.
Anaehoomalu Bay (A-Bay): After enjoying Hapuna Beach State Park, continue north along the coast to Anaehoomalu Bay (A-Bay). Enjoy snorkeling in the clear water over a variety of colorful marine life. A-Bay features calm waters sheltered by an offshore reef — perfect for families with young children.
Pu’u Ku’ili heiau: Pu’u Ku’ili heiau (temple) is also nearby, an ancient Hawaiian temple constructed out of lava rock. There are many other smaller temples on the property that you can explore. If you love history, check out the Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site, which King Kamehameha built in 1790-91 to fulfill a prophecy that he would become king of the islands if he made it.