South Kona Beaches and Snorkeling
City of Refuge ( Puuhomua o Honaunau )In ancient Hawaii culture, the City of Refuge was the place were those who broke Kapu (taboo) could be pardoned ( if they reached there alive). Now a National Park, there still remains a boat launch and snorkel area outside the park border which usage is free. This area borders Kealakekua Bay,which is a Fish and Wildlife Preserve, and consequently snorkeling is excellent.
To reach the City of Refuge, take the belt highway (11) south to Honaunau. Takea right turn towards the shore at the sign for "Puuhomua o Honaunau". Followthe road past the scenic lookout and make a left turn into the National Park.Then, before reaching the entrance booth, make a right turn into the boat launcharea. Park along the road, and look north of the launch for steps in the rocks which make an fairly decent entry into the water.
Napoopoo Beach ParkUntil Recently, Napoopoo had a great sandy beach. But strong winter swells have removed the sand and left it rocky. It is still suitable for great snorkeling, as Napoopoo also borders Kealakeua Bay. From here you can swim to the Captain Cook Monument, the point were natives slayedCook as he was attempting to return to the island.
To reach Napoopoo Beach Park, take the belt highway (11) south to the town ofCaptain Cook. After passing the Trail Rides on the left, look on the right forthe turnoff to Napoopoo. Follow the windy road down toward the shore, makinga right turn where straight would wind back toward the highway. At the shorethe road Tees. Take a right turn and another 100 yards brings you to the beachpark. If you were to take a left, you would follow a narrow road which goes south along the shore and eventually winds up at the City of Refuge.
Kahaluu Beach ParkNext door to the Keahou Beach Hotel, Kahaluu offers a cove protected from oceanwaves for swimming and snorkeling. Generally crowded, it's still a good spotfor those more ocean timid.
To reach Kahaluu Beach Park: at the intersection with stoplights on the belt highway between Kailua-Konaand Kealakekua, turn on King Kamehameha III toward the shore and follow until it intersects Alli Drive. Turn right and the beach park is visible within 100 Yards.
Disappearing Sands Beach ParkBetween Kahaluu Beach Park and Kailua-Kona on Alii Drive, this beach park (also known as White Sands) is known for it's body surfing. The name comesfrom the fact the the sand disappears each winter and returns in the spring.Generally crowded, it's not a good spot for beginners.
To reach Disappearing Sands Beach Park, following the directions to get to Kahaluu Beach Park. Then continue travelling north on Alii drive for a couple of miles more till you come to the park.
South Kona Restaurants
Aloha Theater CafeIn the same building as the Aloha Theater, this charming resturant servesgenerously portioned traditional and vegetarian breakfast, lunch and dinner.Features 100% Kona Coffee, homemade pastries, fresh fruit smothies, and complete plate dinners. The cafe is opensix days a week ( closed on Sunday, expect during winter season when they feature Sunday Brunch). Located in Kainaliu, a couple of miles north of Kealakekua, on the main highway.
Billy Bob's BBQGreat for inexpensive and filling lunch/dinner. Take out or eat there.Located in Captain Cook, south of the Napoopoo intersection on the mountain(mauka) side of the main highway.
Caanan DeliA favorite local eatery, Philadelphia-style deli in Kealakekua. Features good and inexpensive food and Pizza w/ free local delivery. Open everyday, closedSaturday afternoons.Located in Kealakekua opposite the Bank of Hawaii.
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