Things to Do in Makalawena Beach

Flickr - Photo by Eli Duke

Kekaha Kai Beach Park is famous as a place or relaxation and a quiet beach.

To reach this place, you will have to put extra effort since the trails are quite difficult.

White-sand beaches, lava rock & tranquil waves are what draws travelers to this remote cove with 2 lava pools.

Find many animals such as sea turtles chilling around the beach!



Makalawena Beach is a part of Kekaha Kai State Park. You can visit many more beaches within the park. To reach Makalawena Beach, you will need extra effort because the road is particularly difficult to access. You will have to pass a path with frozen lava. Don't worry, your hard work will be paid up when you see this fantastic beach.

However, if you like a quiet beach and you’re the type of person who can enjoy putting extra effort, visiting Makalawena Beach is really worth it. If you have only a day to visit Makalawena Beach, we suggest exploring other Kekaha Kai State Park amazing destinations.

This is because to reach the place itself, you need more time compared to visiting other beaches in Kekaha Kai State Park (and we don’t think you’re going to want to leave so quickly after passing through such difficult road). You even need hiking gears to reach this place as the trail is quite rough.

There are picnic tables available to use at the beach. So, you can bring everything you need to make a great picnic in your style in Makalawena Beach. Enjoy the pristine water and nice waves, or you can just walk along the shoreline while listening to the crashing waves. We’d say that this beach is perfect if you want to grow a stronger bond with your partner and friends!

Kekaha Kai Beach Park

There are many beaches nearby Makalawena Beach you can visit

Compared to Makalawena Beach, other beaches are more crowded but easier to access

Plenty of parking and equipped with proper beach facilities

Address : HI-19, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA


Makalawena beach is quite isolated from other beaches and tourist attractions in Kekaha Kai State Park, the activities we recommend you to do are water sports such as swimming or snorkeling. The waves in Makalawena Beach is pretty calm. So, it’s perfect to swim and boogie boarding.


One thing you should keep in mind when visiting Makalawena Beach is that you will find no lifeguards in this beach. So, you should pay attention to your own safety. We don’t recommend swimming or doing any other water sports in the area that has huge waves.


The best time to visit Makalawena Beach as a part of Kekaha Kai State Park is from mid-December to mid-April, though the weather is generally nice all year long with low chance of rain.

As passing through the frozen lava trail can be quite hot, the temperature will feel hotter in August, September, and October. We recommend you to visit the beach when the temperature is colder so you won't be exhausted/dehydrated easily.


If you’re looking for the place to rental water sport equipment in Makalawena Beach, you won’t find any. However, you can visit Boss Frog’s Snorkel, Bike, and Beach Rentals before you go to Makalawena Beach, which is located near Holualoa, half an hour of driving from Makalawena Beach. They rent snorkelling equipment, bike tours, and more.

Boss Frog's Snorkel & Beach Rentals

A super helpful place to go for us novice snorkelers.

Address : 5022 Lawai Rd, Koloa, HI 96756, USA


Planning to stay overnight near Makalawena Beach? Well, you can book a room in Hale Maluhia Country Inn. The rooms are designed like a cottage with quaint, romantic style, equipped with room features such as microwave, bath/shower, refrigerator, TV, and wi-fi connection. This hotel is located only 3 miles south of Kailua-Kona and 11 miles south of the Kona International Airport (KOA).

Another hotel near Makalawena Beach you can book is Kona Islander Inn Hotel. It’s a 3-star hotel which is pet friendly and has BBQ facilities that you can use. The rooms are well equipped with air conditioning, kitchenette, microwave, refrigerator, TV, and shower. You can also use their swimming pool!

Hale Maluhia Country Inn (House of Peace)

The rooms in this hotel are very comfortable with homey ambience

Every corners are bright and clean

You can enjoy their delicious homemade breakfast too

Address : 76-770 Hualalai Rd, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA

Kona Islander Inn Hotel

The rooms are cleaned very well and organized

Easy access to shops and restaurants, approximately within 10 minutes

The grounds has tropical vibe

Address : 75-5776 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA


Though you will find no restaurant along the shoreline in Makalawena Beach, you can go to Residents’ Beach House which is located about 7.1 miles away from Makalawena Beach. Here, you can enjoy seafood with ocean view. This restaurant also offers vegetarian friendly menu and gluten free options. The atmosphere and wonderful staffs makes this restaurant unrivaled in Kailua-Kona!

Residents' Beach House

Breezy dining spot with Hawaiian fare, cocktails & a picturesque patio overlooking the beach

Fantastic meal with great view of sunset

Service is guaranteed top notch

Address : 100 Kaupulehu Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA


If you’re really hungry when you visit Makalawena Beach and you forgot to bring your own food, you may find some food trucks nearby the beach. However, if you want to fully experience Hawaiian life which also includes tasting Hawaiian food, you can try Poi. it is a yummy steamed thick paste made from taro root.

You can also try Laulau, which is pork wrapped in layers of taro leaves and cooked in underground hot rock for hours until it’s soft and has smoky flavors. If you don’t eat pork, you can easily find fish and chicken laulau as well!


Enjoy a calm and Hawaiian nightlife near Makalawena Beach in Beach Tree Bar. You can choose between al fresco beach side seating or open-air dining room with 16-foot vaulted ceilings. This bar offers a variety of cocktails with live entertainment at night. The ambiance this bar offers will serve you right and makes your night extra enjoyable!

Beach Tree Bar

Delightful setting with a perfect view of the sunset every evening

The foods are made with high quality ingredients and excellent servings

Live music is available in this bar

Address : 72-100 Kaupulehu Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA