Maniniowali Beach - Kua Bay, Big Island, Hawaii; Shutterstock ID 1467691745; purchase_order: 65050; job: ; client: ; other:

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Kua Bay

Top choice in Kona Coast

This sublime crescent-shaped white-sand beach is fronted by sparkling waters in alternating bands of pale cyan, deeper turquoise, and rich blue. Kua Bay offers first-rate swimming and excellent bodyboarding. There's good snorkeling by the large rock outcroppings on the north side of the bay when waters are calm. A paved road leads right up to it, and thus the beach draws major crowds, especially on weekends. Arrive late and cars will be parked half a mile up the road.

The parking area has bathrooms and showers. One warning: the water here can get rough, and when it does, novice swimmers should stay out of the water (there are lifeguards here, and they'll let beach goers know if conditions are choppy). To get here, take the paved road between Miles 88 and 89 (north of the main Kekaha Kai entrance). Hikers will enjoy the scenic coastal trail from here to Kukio Beach.

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