Sometimes known as Mauna Kea Beach, Kaunaoa Beach on the Big Island is a gracefully curving crescent beach about a quarter of a mile long that is located on the Kona Coast about a 30-minute drive north of the Kona Airport. It’s at mile marker 68 on Highway 19. There is a natural rock reef that helps to keep the waters calm, and the deluxe Mauna Kea Beach Resort is located right on the beach. Kaunaoa Beach offers swimming, snorkeling, and boogie boarding. Because of the resort located here, there are outlets to rent both scuba diving and snorkeling gear, as well as boogie and body boards. If you’re going to be snorkeling, you’ll find the best water for this around the rocks on the left (south) side of the beach. If you’re doing some night diving, you are quite apt to see manta rays.
Kaunaoa Beach on the Big Island provides facilities for those not staying at the resort, including restrooms, showers, volleyball courts, and some parking. Be aware that there are no lifeguards on duty. The resort has good restaurants and dining venues, and if you’re looking for other things to do, you can get in some golfing at the nearby Mauna Kea course. But you probably don’t want to venture too far away, as Kaunaoa Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the Big Island. It is the quintessential, picture-perfect tropical stretch of sand.