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Kua Bay, Hawaii

Location Hawaii, USA
Sea Temperature (C) Spring / Summer / Fall / Winter 23 / 26 / 24 / 22
Kua Bay, Hawaii

Kua Bay, Hawaii

Kua Bay, Hawaii


Kua Bay (alternatively called Manini'owali Beach), the most northern beach in the Kekaha Kai State Park, used to be very difficult to reach, and only a few locals in-the-know would visit. However in 2005, the rough road to Kua Bay was upgraded and paved by the Hawaii DLNR (Department of Land & Natural Resource), making access to this terrific beach a lot easier (and busier). A new parking lot, restroom facilities, showers, drinking spouts, and picnic tables were also added.

The access road is reached by Hwy 19 - assuming you’re traveling from the Kona direction, turn off left between mile markers 88 and 89, just opposite the War Veteran’s Cemetery.

Kua is thought by many to be the most beautiful beach on the island. The white sands of the beach slope gently into the azure blue waters. At either side of the crescent beach, rough black lava headlands jut into the ocean (snorkeling tip – these headlands make a great fish/turtle spotting venue, but be careful as the water is deeper and rougher here). Behind the sand there are a few trees for shade, though it can be very hard to find an available shady spot, so it’s wise to take your own sunshade, especially if you’ve small kids.

There’s the normal messing-about-at-the-beach sort of things to do – swimming, snorkeling, body-boarding, and jumping into the sea from the rocks. If you’re there later into the evening, the sunsets are wonderful (the beach is west-facing).

For the energetic, there’s also a fairly easy walk from the access road back along the coast path to reach the cinder cone, Pu‘u Ku‘ili – the top offers a marvelous panoramic view of the island and ocean.

Why in 100 Best?

A picture-perfect tropical beach, with crystal-clear turquoise waters lapping fine white sand.

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Listing contributed by Madison

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Kua Bay, Hawaii


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