For a beach
once inhabited by a king, Kamakahonu Beach
on the Big Island of Hawaii is surprisingly
calm and unflustered. Locals have nicknamed
it “Children’s Beach” because of the gentle
waves and shallow water. It is one of the
safest swimming beaches in Kona. Nearby is
the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel, a
popular place among vacationing families.
Kamakahonu has a lot to offer for adults
as well. It is an important historical site,
having served as the final home of King
Kamehameha the Great, who lived here from
1812 until his death in 1819. You can still
find many of his old projects around; most
of them are buildings and temples where he
held office. His personal temple, the Ahuena
Heiau, was built in the water and now sits a
few yards off the shore.
Besides swimming, boating, snorkeling and
fishing are also very popular activities
here. Off the Kailua Pier, there are some
good fishing spots. Also, you can rent
canoes, paddle boats and fishing and
snorkeling gear from the many beach shops on
Kamakahonu has many beach facilities,
such as restrooms, showers and BBQ areas.
It’s a good beach for a picnic since there
are shaded picnic spots along the shore.
There are also a few fancy restaurants and
concessions in the area, offering a nice mix
of local and international cuisine.
The name Kamakahonu means “the turtle
eye” in the Hawaiian language. It is
believed that the name originated from a
rock, which was shaped like a turtle and
which is now located under Kailua Pier.
Hawaii's beaches can bring much enjoyment,
it is always a good practice to use common
sense while visiting them. Please be aware
of the wave & wind conditions before going
into the water. Mornings are usually best
for swimming, snorkeling or diving. Have
respect for the strength of the waves and be
aware that high surf can come up at any
time. NEVER turn your back to the ocean.
Be careful when exploring any rocky
shorelines. Waves can crash on the rocks and
knock you over easily, and the rocks may
also be sharp when walking on them.
When snorkeling or scuba diving, please have
respect for ocean life, and remember that
the coral reef is alive too. Avoid standing
on or touching if at all possible.