Visit Kaelehuluhulu Beach, Part of Kekaha Kai State Park
Local Expert's Rating:
5.0 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Kaelehuluhulu Beach is one of a few beaches that make up Kekaha Kai State Park and is the easiest to access. It features bathrooms, a picnic area, and plenty of shade, but isn’t ideal for swimming, snorkeling or surfing. Instead, it is a secluded, natural getaway for your family to enjoy away from the more tourist-centric locals.  

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

As one of the few beaches that make up Kekaha Kai State Park, Kaelehuluhulu Beach holds the distinction of being the easiest of them all to access. You can easily access this beach, located right by the parking lot. You will find this parking area and beach access at the end of the road that you use to get to the Mahiula section of Kekaha Kai State Park

While the amenities of this beach are immense, with restrooms and a picnic area provided, the coarse, rocky sand that makes up the beach itself and the reefy ocean bottom makes it less appealing for swimming. There are no lifeguards here, as well, so take that into consideration. However, the many tidal pools, the secluded nature of the beach, the grills, the picnic area, and the shady spots make it a great spot to enjoy a picnic or day in paradise instead. 

The Kekaha Kai State Park, which contains Kaelehuluhulu Beach, is located on Kailu-Kona on the west coast of Hawaii’s Big Island, just north of Elison Onizuka Kona International Airport. The park was previously known as the Kona Coast State Park, and it is made up of a few hidden, secluded and picturesque beaches, Kaelehulhuhulu being one. The other primary beaches that make up this beautiful park include Mahaiula Beach, Makalawena Beach the Makolea Beach. 

When visiting the area it’s nice to know what other attractions or eateries might be close by. While there are at least two other beaches within Kekanaa Kai State Park, and others nearby to experience, there are also a few nearby restaurants you can explore when spending the day in the vicinity. For example, the Laniakea Cafe, serving breakfast and lunch, features American and Hawaiian cuisine and is located a mere 2.9 miles from the beach in the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport. Another option is located just a bit further at 3.7 miles away at the Kuki Beach Club where you can enjoy American-style breakfast, lunch, and dinner, overlooking Uluweuweu Bay. 

To go along with your day at Kaelehuluhulu Beach, you can also visit the nearby Algae Farm. In this 90-acre farm, you will find dozens of man-made ponds that measure around 600 feet long, where mineral-rich algae is grown to create nutritional supplements. It is an interesting and educational activity to enjoy when in the area. Another option, the Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm is located 4 miles away. Here, you can take a guided tour that will explain everything you never knew about seahorses including how to protect them within their natural habitat. 

Getting back to Kaelehuluhulu Beach, you are encouraged not to surf on this beach. It is also not advised for you to scuba or snorkel in this section of the ocean. Consider this beach different from one that would encourage you to wear a bathing suit or spend several hours enjoying the rays and dipping into calm, inviting water or testing your limits on the waves. Instead, you will likely do better on this beach by wearing regular attire, shoes, or at least sandals to protect your feet and mainly walking along the shoreline and seeing the beauty of the natural landscape. 

As mentioned earlier, this is a beach that is ideal for a family picnic or a nice stroll with foot protection. It is a getaway, not a tourist-laden beach. It isn’t full of activities, and rental opportunities, though there are many nearby attractions and restaurants. It instead provides a wonderful example of the natural beauty of Hawaii. By visiting this location and the other areas within the park, you will likely experience a richer understanding of what makes this land so beautiful and appreciate its natural offerings. 

Insider Tips:
Kekaha Kai State Park, which contains Kaelehuluhulu Beach and a few others, is made up of hardened lava flow in most areas. Be prepared to protect your feet if you want to explore this area.