As viewed from the air, the next beautiful beach to be found north of the Mauna Lani in Waikoloa is the gorgeous beach found in front of the Fairmont Orchid Hotel. As is the case with most Waikoloa beaches you will not be allowed to enter directly from the hotel abutting the beach unless you are a guest there. In this case your gateway to the Fairmont Orchid Beach is through the Holoholokai Beach Park.
The Holoholokai Beach Park is a place like no other. Your first impression of this area may not evoke a ceremonious shriek of glee when you encounter a mostly lava rock beach consisting of golf ball to baseball sized chunks of black lava mixed with the same sized chunks of white coral instead of sand but your excitement level will undoubtedly rise when you cruise the beach to the north and encounter hundreds of Hawaiian petroglyphs along the Malama Petroglyph Trail. It is rare to have this ease of access when viewing petroglyphs in Hawaii and for whatever reason the ancient Hawaiians felt that this particular area was a place just designed for petroglyphs to be chiseled into rock.
As far as the beach and ocean here are concerned, this is definitely not the place for a good swim. Rocks are everywhere making a water entry very difficult at the best of times when the water is flat, and with any kind of current and wave action you could certainly end up in some trouble. If you're wanting to get into the water for a swim you'd do best to head a few hundred yards to your south and walk down to the beautiful beach in front of the Fairmont Orchid Hotel.
The Fairmont Orchid Hotel beach is generally a great place for beginning swimmers or snorkelers because it is protected by a series of large lava rocks surrounding the beach. A sand bottom entry into the water makes it all that more desirable. When the ocean conditions are favorable venturing outside the protective rock semi-circle will provide some good snorkeling opportunities but keep in mind that there is no life guard on duty here and if you have any hesitation about the water conditions you should ask someone working at the hotel beach for their assessment prior to entering.
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 however it is not advised that you enter the water at this location. 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. There are no lifeguard towers at these locations.
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.
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