Kona Coast or Kekaha Kai State Park is 1,600 acres of beautiful sand and pristine blue waters. There are actually several beaches in the park which is accessed via a partially paved 1.5 mile road (caution: driving on unpaved roads may be in violation of your car rental agreement) located between the 91 and 90 mile markers on Highway 19 north of Kona. There are two beaches here and access to a third much more secluded one called Makalawena Beach. Once you reach the first parking area you can take the path to your right and north to Mahai'ula Bay a lovely crescent of white sand and clear waters. This is a popular beach with people and honu who choose nice warm spots to sun bathe. (Remember: do not touch or get to close to the honu). Many freshwater springs bubble up through the sand and sometimes form small pools. The mixture of salt and freshwater can sometimes make the water cloudy and therefore undesirable for snorkeling. The swimming however is fine and there are plenty of shady spots to spread out a beach blanket. Just be mindful of strong currents and monitor ocean conditions.
If you wanted to you could have headed straight for the second parking area to another patch of sand called Ka'elehuluhulu Beach which is considerably rockier with plenty of ground seashells and coral which makes it rough on the feet. There are restrooms and picnic tables available in the area. No lifeguards are on duty. You may want to download our larger PDF Kekaha Kai - Kona Coast State Park Map as well before attempting to access these locations.