Kua Bay on the Big Island–A Top Pick on the Big Island!

If you want quintessential Hawaii, then Kua Bay Beach is it.  For years it was unpaved and access was only by foot.  Several years ago it was opened up, bathroom and shower facilities placed and a parking lot built.   This beach is affectionately referred to as “Mile 88” for the years when one had to use the mile marker to know where to begin walking.

The water is clear, the sand soft and on a clear day the water is so radiant blue it doesn’t even look real.  We can’t even tell you how beautiful blue the waters are on certain days.  When the tide is out it’s nice to just float in the water.  Yet when the waves come in this beach offers some nice boogie-boarding.  During the winter months there is less sand and more rock exposed, but it’s still a great place for swimming, boogie boarding and even a little snorkeling to the north.

If you want a picturesque view of the ocean and the beach, there is a very noticeable (and steep) hill just to the south.  The trail is on the north side of the hill and takes you to the top 342 feet above the ocean.  The panorama is fantastic.  And you’ll need the beach and waters from all the exertion after you get down.

Overall Kua Bay is a small beach and is often fairly crowded, but when you see the views and experience the water, well it’s just worth it all.  In fact for locals, they often prefer this beach over the more famous Hapuna Beach



Head towards Mile 88 on Highway 19 depending on which direction you are coming in from.  There is a simple access road that will take you down to the beach where there is parking and facilities.


Parking:  Free
Restrooms and showers:  Yes
Path:  Parking lot is right along the road so depends on where you park




Lifeguards:  No
Waves:  Can be calm or strong

Handicapped Accessibility

You can get a great view but there is about 10 feet of lava rock to traverse to get to the beach.  There’s a small path so someone with a cane and 2 or 3 helpers help could get there.  But definitely not in a wheelchair.  Regardless, the view from the parking lot may be worth it with a wheelchair.