Magic Sands Beach

Top choice beach in Kailua-Kona
Image by Ann Cecil / Getty Images

About 4 miles south of central Kailua-Kona, this small beach (also called White Sands and, officially, Laʻaloa Beach) has turquoise water, great sunsets, little shade and possibly the best bodysurfing and bodyboarding on the Big Island. A fair warning to novice wave riders: the waves here are usually powerful – often in a fun way, but sometimes enough to smash you to pieces (the north side of the bay has more rocks). Magic Sands is almost always packed.

During high winter surf the beach can vanish literally overnight, earning the nickname ‘Magic Sands.’ When the rocks and coral located past the disappearing sands are exposed, the beach becomes too treacherous for most swimmers. Gradually the sand returns, transforming the shore back into its former beachy self. Facilities include restrooms, showers, picnic tables and a volleyball court; a lifeguard is on duty.