If you are staying in the heart of Kailua-Kona and have young children, Kamakahonu Beach is a perfect and convenient place for loads of shoreline fun. This small, sheltered white sand beach, called Keiki (Child) Beach or King Kam Beach by locals, is a popular spot for recreational swimming, kayaking and snorkeling. Read on to learn more about one of the best beaches in Big Island, Hawai’i!
Kamakahonu was the royal residence of King Kamehameha I, who is best known for unifying the Hawaiian Islands. Situated at the mouth of Kamakahonu Bay is Ahu‘ena Heiau (Hawaiian temple), Kamehameha I’s personal shrine. To the north was an outcropping of rock called Kūkaʻilimoku, named for Kū, the Hawaiian war god, and was honored by Kamehameha I. It is now the location of Kailua Lighthouse. Much of the Kamakahonu shoreline was altered in the 1950s by construction of the pier and seawall. The pier was a busy cattle shipping station until 1966, when the deeper Kawaihae Harbor was constructed. The heiau was reconstructed in the 1970s and now rests on the property of the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel. The hotel houses a museum and cultural center featuring artifacts from the immediate area.
Kamakahonu Beach Facilities
Kamakahonu is easily accessible, with paved parking and restrooms. Beachside concessions offer rentals of boogie boards, snorkeling gear, kayaks, and Hobie cats.
Kamakahonu Beach Swimming Conditions
Kamakahonu’s easily accessible calm, clear waters make for great swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. As with all Hawaiian beaches, check the current conditions and pay heed to all posted signs regarding ocean conditions and safety while at beaches in Big Island.
How to Get There
Kamakahonu Beach is located in the heart of Kailua-Kona on Ali‘i Drive between the King Kamehameha Hotel and Kailua Pier. Public parking is available about 300 yards away on the opposite side of Ali‘i Drive. Come by and enjoy one of our favorite beaches on Big Island, Hawai’i.