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Kim Steutermann Rogers
Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu
Article Source: Blog Post
Hawaii (Big) Island
Article Source: Copyright © 2012 by Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House Inc. All rights reserved.
Kaunaoa Beach (also known as Mauna Kea Beach) is a beautiful palm-lined golden crescent.
Towering coconut trees provide some shade and lend a touch of tropical beauty to this pretty little beach park (also called La'aloa), which may well be the Big Island's most intriguing stretch of sand. A migratory beach of sorts, it goes away in winter when waves wash away the small white-sand parcel (hence the name). In summer, the beach re-forms; you'll know you've found it when you see the body- and board surfers. Just south of Jameson's restaurant (closed at this writing), this is a popular summer hangout for young locals. Amenities: lifeguards; parking (no fee); toilets; shower. Best for: surfing.
This white-sand beach is popular with local families because of its reef-protected waters. It's probably the safest beach in West Hawaii for young children. It's also safe for swimming year-round, which makes it a reliable spot for a lazy day at the beach. There is a little shade, plus a volleyball court and pavilion, and the soft sand is perfect for sand castles. It does tend to get crowded with families and campers on weekends, and the beach can be spotted with litter. Although you won't see a lot of fish if you're snorkeling here, in winter you can usually catch sight of a breaching whale or two. The beach park lies just below Puukohola Heiau National Historic Park, site of the historic temple built by King Kamehameha the Great in 1795. Amenities: lifeguards (weekends and holidays only); parking (no fee); showers; toilets. Best for: sunset; swimming.
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