About Alii Drive Shoreline Public Access on Kona & West Island, Hawaii
Ali’i Drive on the waterfront of Kailua-Kona has too many unnamed shoreline access locations to list individually. They are sometimes hard to find, and even harder to describe, but most are still great hidden spots. The best news is that even if they don’t have a sandy beach, they are picturesque spots and you might have them all to yourself. Usually these smaller beach accesses don’t have amenities like restrooms, but solitude goes a long way to overcome such deficiencies.
To find these spots look for the typical white sign with blue lettering saying “Shoreline Public Access” along the shoulder of Alii Drive. We describe several of them below (in order from north to south).
KONA REEF: One of the closest shoreline accesses to downtown Kailua Kona is next to the Kona Reef Condominiums. A shoreline access sign is located at the intersection of Alii Drive and the southern part of Kahakai Road, but the actual shoreline access is down Kahakai next to the condo building and a beach cottage with the address 75-5880 Kahakai Rd. The manicured lawn is part of the condo property but you can cross it to get to the shore. If you walk southward along the shore you’ll get to Honl’s Beach. Parking for the Kona Reef Access is available along the road shoulders nearby.
KONA MAKAI: Another excellent public access is at the Kona Makai property. Parking is along Alii Drive outside of this condominium building. The access from the street to the shoreline is well signed as the property owners and residents don’t want folks wandering where they shouldn’t go. Enter the Kona Makai through the car gate if it is open or go through the pedestrian gate if the car gate is closed. Follow the signs and walk toward the ocean. Eventually you get to a stairwell that leads down to the shore. It’s all lava rock here, but it’s easy to walk on. There are tidepools in the depressions and views towards Kailua from the outer edges of the shoreline. The public gate at Kona Makai is opened at 6am and locked at 30 minutes after sunset.
75-6150: This is a great public shoreline access that requires walking down a driveway. It’s clearly signed next to the address 75-6150 Alii Drive. Just park outside the driveway (pay attention to the parking sign arrows) and then walk toward the ocean. The public access is down on the left about 200 feet from the street. This gets you access to a tiny cove that almost no one every uses. Snorkeling is good here if the waves aren’t too large, but there isn’t much sand at this access.
ROYAL POINCIANA: A small access with a little bit of sand behind the lava rock shore can be found next to the address 76-6206 Alii Drive. This pathway starts kitty-corner from Royal Poinciana Drive. There’s not much to see where the path hits the shore, but walk north a bit and you’ll find a small protected pool that’s good for kids. Living Stones Church is just on the other side of the Kona Nalu condo building to the south.
LIVING STONES CHURCH: Another shoreline access is at the address 76-6230 Alii Drive. This small empty lot is next to the Living Stones Church, a picturesque old stone building on prime real estate (busy on Sundays). Unlike the other accesses on this list which are clearly signed for the public, this one has a “Private Park” sign that says it’s for day-use only and asks that users be respectful. There are tidepools in the rocks in front of the church that kids will enjoy. Parking is provided next to the shore. Stay off the church property.
BANYONS: One of the more conspicuous shoreline accesses, nicknamed Banyons, is a small park right on Alii Drive near the intersection with He’enalu Road (next to Banyon Mart). This park has four-story condo buildings on both sides of it and large trees providing shade, but it’s more popular with locals and surfers heading out to the break than it is with tourists. It’s too bad that it doesn’t have a better vibe as the beach and views here are pretty good. Also it has picnic tables and it’s just a short walk from the famous Da Poke Shack at the Kona Bali Kai Resort. Street parking can be found nearby.
ROYAL KAHILI: A small beach access right on Alii Drive can be found across the street from the Royal Kahili Condominiums and next to the house at 76-6280 Alii Dr. There’s not much of a beach here, but it is just enough to make it easy to get into the water when the waves are small. If you decide to swim or snorkel here, you’ll be on the north part of Holualoa Bay. The nice lawn next to this shoreline access is private property and will probably be signed that way when you get there. Parking is available along the street or at Lymans Surf Spot just south.
78-6634: A smaller less interesting access is between the addresses 78-6626 and 78-6634 Alii Drive. This one has just enough sand for sunbathing, but it’s mostly a lava rock shoreline. Parking is particularly difficult for this one as there are few spots along Alii Drive nearby.
- Ali'i Drive
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
- Other Names
- Ali'i Drive Access
- Pet Details
- No dogs allowed
- Free street parking
- Beach Exploration, Photography, Tidepooling, Fishing, Surfing, Snorkeling
- Tide Pools, Picnic Tables, Few Facilities (Varies)
There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write one.