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Kahaluu Beach Park
This salt-and-pepper beach is a combination of white and black sand mixed with 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. But outside the reef there are very strong rip currents, so caution is advised. Some snorkelers hand-feed the unusually tame reef fish here, but we advise against it: the fish can become dependent and lose their natural survival instincts. Experienced surfers find good waves beyond the reef, and scuba divers like the shore dives—shallow ones inside the breakwater, deeper ones outside. This beach is very busy, and, consequently, littered. Snorkel equipment and boards are available for rent across the street. Hawaiian craft vendors set up on the beach but are inobtrusive. Kahaluu was a favorite of King Kalakaua, whose summer cottage is on the grounds of the neighboring Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; parking (no fee); shower; toilets; water sports. Best for: snorkeling; swimming.