Officially called Manini’owali Beach, most locals and books still refer to this gorgeous beach as Kua Bay.
This is one of our highly recommended beaches north of Kona. Part of Kekaha Kai (lit. “the shore line”) State Park, it is a perfect beach for sunset watching, boogie-boarding, hiking, and just having a relaxed time with your family.
If you’re looking for a hike, 4.5 miles of Ala Kahakai (“shore line path”) passes through Manini’owali on its way south. Ala Kahakai is a 175-mile National Historic Trail full of cultural and historical significance. The trail ultimately passes through hundreds of historic Hawaiian settlements and over 200 ahupua’a (historic land divisions).
When the conditions are prime, you can see Maui to the north. In the winter, Kua Bay is a great place to whale-watch as humpback whales swim by and occasionally breach.
The sand at Kua Bay is fine and soft. Along with a paved road to the entrance, nice sand, and fun ocean means that Kua Bay is typically busy, so plan to share the beach.
We still remember the days of four-wheeling in to the beach, before paved roads and bathrooms made Manini’owali more accessible. Today, a nicely paved road leads all the way from the main highway (HWY 19, between mile markers 88 and 89) across from the West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery to the beach.