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. Another more sobering nickname given to this beach is "Tragic Slams Beach" because of the number of people hurt or paralyzed at this beach due to the strong shore-break that can often injure body boarders, boogie boarders and swimmers.
Although a fairly small beach, La'aloa Beach is quite popular because of its easily accessed location just off Alii Drive in Kona and because of the very few beaches that exist in this highly populated area at all. La'aloa Beach also supports a volleyball court and it is often the regular meeting place to "talk story" and enjoy the ocean views for local inhabitants. What is left of the mysterious Haukalua Heiau (mysterious because it is not known what its original purpose was) is also found at this beach, unfortunately being partially covered up by the parking lot that was built over it much to the chagrin of the Hawaiian population.
The main feature of this beach is its continuous wave action which funnels the waves from the open ocean to form a shore-break on the sand. This makes it quite an exciting beach for local boogie boarding enthusiasts who quite enjoy the rides. In the summer when there is still a sand beach present and when the waves are smaller this can be fun for those who are skilled at this location. Even then however the lifeguards stationed at this beach have told us that they make rescues almost every day. In fact on a calm summer's day with gentle rollers coming in the lifeguard we met said he had just saved a lady about ten minutes prior as she was knocked off her feet and was all panicked, in shock and helpless. During the winter months the problems here increase astronomically as the power of the waves dramatically increase as well. The emergency room in Kona is well familiar with the accidents that occur here and every caution should be taken when entering the water. The lifeguards told us that the very best policy you could follow would be, on any day of the year upon you arrival to the beach, to walk up to the tower and ask if it was safe to enter the water then and if so where to go and what to look out for. Luckily La'aloa Beach has a permanent lifeguard station.
The facilities at La'aloa Beach are nice as it has a small parking lot (you can also park elsewhere in town and easily walk to this beach), restrooms, showers, a lifeguard tower and even a volleyball court.
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.
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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