There is nothing like a beautiful Hawaiian beach. Make it a baby beach and it is all the better for a family with small children. Baby beaches have gentle waters easy enough for the smallest swimmer to enjoy. Parents can take a seat in the warm waters, soak up some sun and watch their children explore without the stress of huge waves and undertow.
No beach was friendlier during our stay on the west side of the Big Island than Kahalu’u Beach Park. As one of the better snorkeling spots on the west side of the island, this beach was hopping every day of the week. It had a little something for everyone, no matter what your age.
A huge benefit of this beach was that parents were not just relegated to baby watching duty. Mike and I could take turns checking out the fish, turtles and coral. I saw plenty of pregnant women cooling off in the calm waters without having too put up much effort to stay grounded. I could walk out with Dek in my arms and see some of the multicolored fish without even needing snorkel gear.
The beach was not packed most days even though it was very popular and centrally located near downtown Kona. Most people dumped their stuff and headed out to the reef. This left the small coves created by lava rocks for the few families with kids too young to snorkel. It was a great place for Dek to meet and socialize with other kids. He was also able to try out some of his swimming.
Mike taught Dek that if he put his hands on the sandy bottom he could kick his feet out. He was still anchored and felt safe, but could give his feet a kick and walk along the bottom pretending to swim. Dek was able to gain to a new level of confidence in the water and experience a little more independence.
Low tide and high tide both provided calm water coves for kids to play in. The earlier you got there in the day, the more room you had to yourself. A few times the bigger kids (meaning 6-10 year olds) would take over the smaller pools in between snorkeling trips. There is enough room for everyone, I just had to keep a closer eye on Dek in case he got knocked over.
The view was marred by houses and resorts and it could get pretty crowded, but Kahalu’u Beach soon became one of our favorite morning swim spot. It was just so easy and only 2 miles down the road from our rental house. The tide pools were perfect for Dek. A number of palm trees provided shade for those of us (me!) who are too fair for long sun exposure but want to enjoy more than an hour in the water. We quickly got into the routine of hitting the beach, wearing Dek out, showering him off, hopping in the car and going on a ride while he napped. Not a bad way to get your day started.
Know Before You Go:
- Lifeguards are present
- Restrooms and outside showers available
- Snorkel gear rentals on beach and across the street
- Parking is available on the street and in a parking lot
- Covered picnic table area open to the public
- A lunch truck pulls up offering hot dogs, coffee and shaved ice
- Located near the Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort on Alii Drive around mile marker 5.
- Some tide pools disappear during low tide. The pool you visited yesterday might not be there depending on the time of day.