Keauhou Bay

Keauhou Bay - A Historic Coastline Brought To Life
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Keauhou Bay is a breathtaking Hawaiian cove located just miles away from the historic Kailua Village. Favorable temperatures and perfect wind conditions make this a beach of choice for Hawaiian royalty and privileged visitors. Access to amenities and incredible nighttime tours make this an experience that the whole family can enjoy!

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Few locations on the Big Island are quite as breathtaking as Keauhou Bay. Sparkling blue and full of life, this area provides an authentic Hawaiian experience with plenty of cultural landmarks. Visitors are encouraged to explore the area on foot or discover a world unseen in snorkeling or diving tours. At Keauhou Bay, the possibilities are endless!

In the Hawaiian language, ‘Keauhou’ can be literally translated as ‘the new era’ or ‘the new current,’ most likely referring to its historic roots in island legend. The longest ruling monarch in Hawaii’s history, King Kamehameha III, was born along the coast in 1814. According to local stories, the sacred Kauikeaouli stone was able to resurrect the stillborn king — and consequently welcome in a new area of Hawaiian royalty. This stone can still be seen today in a location near the Bay.

Dozens of unique historical landmarks can be found along this rugged coast. The nearby restored temple, the Lekeleke Burial Grounds, and other historical sites make Keauhou an interesting attraction that the whole family will love — either from the land or the water. Although there is no lifeguard on duty, the gentle waves and navigable waters rarely provide a cause for alarm.

There’s a good reason why Keauhou Bay was considered the perfect coastline by royal Hawaiian families. But you won’t find many people waiting around the shore of this bay — almost everyone is going to be in the water! Both temperature and wind conditions remain favorable all year round, making this the perfect environment for swimming, snorkeling, surfboarding, fishing, kayaking, and more. There’s never a lack of things to see and do in this area!

There’s no shortage of amenities to be found at the Keauhou Bay, from bathrooms and picnic tables to showers and some drinking fountains. A sand volleyball court is also provided for beach sports and fun, as well as grassy and shaded areas for taking a break from the sun. Picnic tables and restrooms are located near the shoreline, along with a local food truck. However, it’s important to remember that Keauhou’s unique location also puts it out of the way of certain amenities. It’s a good idea to pack plenty of water and snacks for the most enjoyable experience.

Keauhou Bay’s largest attraction is directly tied to the nighttime tides of the island. Microscopic plankton and other sea organisms waft in from the deep ocean, attracting a selection of local sea life. Manta rays gather here in the hundreds, clamoring close to shore for a chance to nab a quick snack before bed. Nighttime snorkeling tours, boating expeditions, and kayak trips allow visitors to get up close and personal with feeding manta rays, and experience Mother Nature at her finest.

There are so many things to see and do at Keauhou Bay:

Enjoy Fishing
With the bay stretching five to fifty feet deep, all manner of sea life can be caught at the Bay.

Scuba Dive
Experience life underwater like you’ve never seen it before.

Boating
Navigate the gentle ocean in a craft of your own.

No matter when or where you choose to drop by, make sure Keauhou Bay is on your visit list!

Insider Tips:
-Although manta rays are the stars of the show around Keauhou, there are several other forms of marine life that call the Bay home. This includes Green Sea Turtles, Moray Eels, and many other species of tropical fish. Animal enthusiasts certainly won’t be disappointed!
-Interested in putting in for a canoe or kayak trip of your own? Visitors to Keauhou Bay are welcome to take advantage of the public boat ramp just a few feet from the parking lot.
-Keep in mind that Keauhou Bay is covered in sharp volcanic rocks. Water shoes are recommended for anyone sticking close to the shore.