CAPTAIN COOK, HI, USA - DEC, 2020 Hookena Beach Park. aerial view from drone . High quality photo
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Hoʻokena Beach Park

Top choice in South Kona Coast

This modest, charcoal-colored beach is backed by a steep green hillside. When calm, the bay's waters are good for swimming, kayaking and snorkeling (although the bottom drops off quickly). Coral abounds, as do strong currents further out. When the winter surf is up, local kids hit the waves with bodyboards. You might spot dolphins and humpback whales offshore between December and April. Facilities include restrooms, outdoor showers, drinking water, campsites, a picnic pavilion and a concession stand.

Camping is right on the sand at the base of the cliffs. Ongoing security issues have been addressed by implementing a guard patrol and through the activism of the Friends of Hoʻokena Beach Park; you can obtain required camping permits and rent camping gear from them online or in person. Camping permits can also be obtained in advance from the county.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby South Kona Coast attractions

1. Picnic Area

2.81 MILES

Just south of the park’s central village area, an oceanfront palm-tree grove holds one of South Kona’s choicest picnic areas. Parking, picnic tables and…

2. Great Wall

2.94 MILES

Leading up to Hale o Keawe Heiau is the Great Wall, separating the royal grounds from the puʻuhonua (place of sanctuary). Built around 1550, this stone…

3. Keoneʻele Cove

3.02 MILES

Once this was the royal canoe landing; now it's a tongue of sand that hooks into the waters (wave to those snorkelers at Two-Step just across the way) and…

4. Hale o Keawe Heiau

3.03 MILES

'The temple on the point of the cove,' located a few hundred yards past the main park entrance, was built around 1650 and contains the bones of 23 chiefs…

6. St Benedict's Painted Church

3.83 MILES

A pulpit with a view, gravestones cradled by tropical blooms and a little chapel with floor-to-ceiling 'outsider art' make this church a picturesque side…

7. Society for Kona's Education & Art

4.32 MILES

SKEA is a hotbed of activity, with pilates, Polynesian dance, tai chi and Japanese-ink-painting classes, art shows and poetry readings; check the online…

8. Pebble Beach

4.58 MILES

Not quite pebbles, the smoky stones of this nonsandy beach at the bottom of the Kona Paradise subdivision range from gumdrop- to palm-size. It's a popular…