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Kahaluu Beach Park

This salt-and-pepper beach is comprised of ground lava and coral pebbles. It's one of the Big Island's most popular swimming and snorkeling sites, thanks to the fringing reef that helps keep the waters calm. The easy access is great for first-time snorkelers who will marvel at the reef life and fantastic visibility. But outside the reef there are very strong rip currents, so caution is advised. Never hand-feed the unusually tame reef fish here; it upsets the balance of the reef. Experienced surfers find good waves beyond the reef, and scuba divers like the shore dives—shallow ones inside the breakwater, deeper ones outside. Snorkel equipment and boards are available for rent nearby. Kahaluu was a favorite of the Hawaiian royal family, especially King Kalakaua. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; parking; shower; toilets. Best for: snorkeling; swimming.

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