Keei Beach

Ke’ei Beach – The Kona Coast’s Best Kept Secret
The Bottom Line:

This secluded, quiet beach on the Big Island’s Kona Coast is frequented by locals, but rarely visited by tourists, making it a nice, private spot for a beach picnic, or watching a spectacular sunset. While not ideal for swimming, it does offer great snorkeling opportunities for the most experienced swimmers.

- The Local Expert Team

Ke’ei Beach, located on the Big Island’s West Coast, not far from Kona, is perhaps one of the area’s best kept secrets. Just down the road from popular Kealakekua Bay, this small, secluded beach is a little-known local gem.

Reaching Ke’ei Beach can be a bit of an adventure. To access it, you travel down a gravel road that becomes increasingly rockier as you approach the shore. Depending on your vehicle, you may want to park a bit up the road and travel the rest of the way on foot, as driving conditions can get difficult for smaller cars.

When you reach the beach, you’re greeted by soft white sand, and spectacular views. The beach, located on a cove, is rarely crowded. In fact, on some weekdays, you may be one of the only people there. Rather than tourists, the beach is mostly frequented by local fisherman and surfers.

Swimming is generally not recommended here. The ocean bed is very rocky, and the water is quite shallow near the beach, making for less-than-ideal conditions. Farther out, the water is deep, and the surf can be pretty choppy. This can make exiting the water difficult at times. For this reason, we advise that only the most advanced swimmers attempt to enter the water.

For those who are seasoned pros and excellent swimmers, this can be a great place to surf or snorkel. Large reefs provide shelter to a variety of exotic sea life, which snorkelers can observe in this peaceful, uncrowded environment. Experienced surfers can enjoy good surf most days, and local surfers can be seen out on the water when conditions are good.

Even if you don’t enter the water, this is an ideal spot for a beach picnic. The quiet area is somewhat desolate, bordered by thick trees and foliage, as well as a couple of homes set far back from the beach. The atmosphere is placid and relaxing and can really feel like an escape from the rest of the world.

In the winter, the beach may erode a bit, but it is still suitable to visit and enjoy. Additionally, in the winter months, you may see pods of whales or even some dolphins swim by, beyond the cove, out in the open water.

There is not a lifeguard on duty, and there are no facilities, so visit at your own risk, and please plan accordingly.

In addition to the quiet, and the beauty of the coast, this area also plays a significant role in Hawaiian history. The Battle of Moku’ohai was fought here. This was the first battle in King Kamehameha’s efforts to secure control of the Hawaiian Islands. Eventually, he would succeed, and in 1810, create the Kingdom of Hawaii.  It feels almost impossible to imagine a violent, noisy battle happening on these quietest of shores, but in a way, this is where an important period in Hawaiian history began.

Whether looking for a quiet spot to enjoy a picnic lunch, or a destination to escape the hustle and bustle of resort life for a few hours, Ke’ei Beach may be just the right destination for you.

Insider Tips:
-This is an amazing spot to take in a spectacular sunset. To make the most of your time on Ke’ei beach, consider packing a light meal, and arriving in the late afternoon, so you can enjoy a sunset picnic.
-GPS can get a little confused in this area. If it directs you to turn off of Pu’uhonua Road onto an inaccessible gated road, don’t sweat it. Just turn around and continue back on Pu’uhonua until you see Ke’ei road. Turn onto Ke’ei Road for beach access.
-If you’re looking for a more swimmable beach, head to nearby Manini Beach. The larger, more popular beach offers larger green areas for picnicking. Better points of entry make entering and exiting the water easier and somewhat safer than doing so at Ke’ei Beach.