This may be a first experience for you, but if it is it certainly won't be your last. Ahalanui Park pool is actually a thermal heated spring fed swimming area that is partially natural and partially man made. Although Ahalanui Park is located right along the ocean the experience here is not an ocean experience at all. In fact the ocean fronting the pool here is very rough and potentially dangerous and you should avoid getting in. The naturally thermally heated pool is another story. You will definitely want to get in here and enjoy the approximately 90 degree water. It is so comforting that you won't want to get out.
The Ahalanui pool is made with stone and was designed to make use of the thermally heated waters that work their way up from the underground springs in this area. It is fairly shallow throughout the entire pool probably not going above head high and there is no current so it is a pleasant place to swim and exercise. There is even a lifeguard at this pool but that is mostly because the shallow depths are over head-high for children and they will often panic by being in the deeper waters. In quizzing the lifeguard in the area we learned that there had never been any serious accidents here but having that lifeguard around really makes this a spot that we can certainly recommend to all.
Getting into the pools here requires almost no effort and there are nice ramped steps that lead down into the pool so access is simple. We met some people there on a weekend who explained to us that they come one weekend day a week and usually will stay in and around the pool for hours and we could see why. One interesting bit of information that was passed on to us by the lifeguard was that the water which entered the pool from the ocean side of the structure swept through the pool with regularity (at least on high tide twice a day) and served to keep the whole pool clean. Indeed the water in the pool did look crystal clear and clean. Because of the higher temperatures in the pool however we did see a sign that mentioned that if you had any open sores or cuts on your skin you might be marginally at risk for a staph infection because the higher temp waters were more friendly to those bacteria.
If there was any criticism we had of the Ahalanui Park it would be that for being such a sterling location it just did not have adequate facilities. The parking lot was completely full when we were there and we were able to grab the last available space. There was an outdoor shower which was great but the restrooms were strictly portable toilets which did not make an ideal area from which to shower off and then change. All else was spectacular however and it was certainly a great place to spend the afternoon.
Be advised that all beaches and ocean locations in Hawaii can be dangerous including this one. Be completely aware of the ocean conditions prior to entering any Hawaiian waters and it is advised that you enter the water at this location only after you consult with a lifeguard on duty. Also, all shorelines and beaches in Hawaii, including this one, can be frequented by sharks, jellyfish and other sea creatures which can provide potential harm to people entering the water.
Kikaua Point Beach is a tiny but very beautiful beach that is located about ten miles north of Kailua-Kona. Kikaua Beach is perhaps the calmest beach on the Big Island being protected from the open ocean by a series of huge boulders and rocks that provide a rim for the pond-like beach within.
La'aloa Beach Park in the town of Kailua-Kona is also referred to as Magic Sands Beach, White Sands Beach and Disappearing Sands Beach. Though its Hawaiian name has implications suggesting it is a beach of sacred nature the other three more popular names refer to the propensity of the beach to lose its sand each winter and early spring to the currents, waves and storms that extract the white sands from the shoreline portion of the beach and temporarily deposit them further out to sea exposing dangerous exposed rocks in the process.
The Old Kona Airport landing field became obsolete in the early 1970's but the one-mile landing strip still exists. This huge stretch of asphalt lies right next to the ocean just north of the city of Kailua-Kona and today serves as the gigantic parking area for the Old Kona Airport Beach.
Punalu'u Black Sand Beach is the largest black sand beach in the state. Located south of the Volcanoes National Park on the coastal Highway 11 it is a beach that is basically fairly far from populated areas and most people will decide to enjoy a quick visit when they take the southern route to visit the volcanoes if they are staying in the Kona region.
If it wasn't for the fact that Spencer Beach was located so close to Hapuna and Mauna Kea Beach, it would receive more notoriety than it does. Although it is a beautiful white sand beach with a sand bottom allowing for an easy water entry, it just lacks some of the luster and beauty associated with its nearest beach neighbor.
The Big Island often gets a pretty bad rap when it comes to beaches. Yes, it is true that it is the newest of the Hawaiian islands and as a result it has not had enough geological time pass by to jump-start the laws of physics and allow nature to work its magic on creating the type of amazing beaches that can often be found on other islands of the Hawaiian chain.