Kamakahonu (King Kam) Beach

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The beach at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel Beach was once the favorite beach of Hawaiian royalty (although it was a bit different back in the day). The hotel is named for King Kamehameha the Great, the unifier of the Hawaiian islands and its first monarch, who established his administrative center at this spot. Museum-quality exhibits inside the hotel lobby explain the history of the area and its inhabitants.

The only sandy beach in the seaside village of Kailua-Kona, "King Kam Beach" is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Located makai of the King Kamehameha Hotel, the water here is almost always calm. A breakwater protects the bay from north swells, making the clear waters of the tiny bay a great place for kids, snorkelers, and divers (the pier next to the hotel is a favorite spot for night dives). Canoes, paddle boats, and snorkel gear can be rented here.

When you tire of the sand, explore Kamakahonu (meaning, “the eye of the turtle”), a reconstructed Hawaiian compound where King Kamehameha spent his final years. Located on the grounds of the hotel, it includes thatched structures and wooden ki`i gods. Also on the hotel property is the `Ahu`ena Heiau (video) a temple that is still sacred to many Hawaiians. The grounds are open 24 hours a day; free tours start at the hotel’s registration desk Saturday-Thursday at 1:30 pm and Friday at 3 pm (phone (808) 329-2911 for information).


Specific Information

Aerial photo courtesy of Google Maps.

Kohala Coast Beaches

Kona Coast Beaches

  1. Kahalu`u Beach Park

  2. White Sands Beach

  3. King Kam Hotel Beach

  4. Kua Bay

  5. Kikaua Point Beach

  6. Kuki`o (4 Seasons) Beach

Windward Beaches

Beachgoer’s Checklist

Essentials to pack:

  1. Bulletbeach bag

  2. lightweight day-pack

  3. Bulletsunscreen

  4. Bullethat

  5. Bulletpolarized sunglasses

  6. Bulletsand mat

  7. Bulletbeach towel

  8. Bulletumbrella

  9. Bulletchair

  10. Bulletsnacks

  11. Bulletbook, Kindle or iPad

  12. Bulletunderwater camera

  13. Bulletsnorkeling gear

  14. Bulletzip-top plastic bags

  15. Bulletplenty of drinking water

  1. The pier is a departure point for tour boats, dive charters, and fishing boats. Be watchful if you snorkel outside the breakwater.

  1. Snacks and meals are available at the hotel’s snack bar near the pool. The nearest shave ice is in a shopping center across the street from the hotel.

  1. Be Sun Safe

  2. The tropical sun can be brutal. Even in the shade of a beach umbrella, reflected sunlight can burn unprotected skin. You wouldn’t want to spoil your vacation on the first day, so we advise that you wear waterproof sunblock (SPF 50 is appropriate for most beach activities) and reapply it at least once during your time at the beach. Be sure to sunscreen the tops of your feet and the tops of your ears.


Getting There

From the Kohala Resorts: Take the Queen Ka`ahumanu Highway (HI-19) south to Kailua-Kona. Turn right towards the ocean at the intersection of the Queen Ka`ahumanu Highway and Palani Road. The King Kamehameha Hotel will be straight ahead of you. It is about a 35 minute drive from the Kohala resorts.

From Waimea: Take the Hawaii Belt Road (HI-190 - locals call it the high road) south towards Kailua Kona. Take your time. On a clear day the view is spectacular, however the road is narrow and windy, especially as it nears Kona village. The high road becomes Palani Road. Follow it straight ahead through several stop lights. The King Kamehameha Hotel will be straight ahead. It is about a 50 minute drive from Waimea.

From Hilo: Since it is a five hour round trip from Hilo, it is impractical to visit this beach. But if you are determined, click on this link for a map.

  1. Parking

  2. Pay parking is available at the hotel. Free parking is in a large lot near the hotel. To reach the lot, turn left (south) onto the Kuakini Highway (the last stop light before reaching the hotel) and proceed 100 yards to the entrance to the parking lot on the right.

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