Our friends, Eric & Julie, over at 365 Hawaii have another great video for you…

When one of our friends said she could never get into the beach in front of the Mauna Kea Resort because the parking spaces were always full, I heard the same thing from many other people, as well. SO-we created this video to show you the trail that you can take to Kauna’oa Bay (Mauna Kea Beach) from Hapuna and Wailea Bay. The three beaches are conveniently connected by the ancient Ala Kahakai Trail in South Kohala on the Western side of the island.

As place names are an important part of Hawaiian culture, the beaches are Waialea Bay, Hapuna Beach and Kauna’oa Bay. You may find these popular beaches in your guide books as "Beach 69" "Hapuna" and "Mauna Kea beach".

All three have beautiful blue water, fantastic for swimming (during calm conditions) and can be accessed legally from the hiking trail. I say this, because people sometimes assume that Kauna’oa beach belongs to the Mauna Kea Resort, which it does not. All beaches in Hawaii are public property, so even if you can’t get a coveted parking pass to park in the public parking area and access the beach at the resort, you can walk in from Hapuna Beach using the hiking trail.

If you DO want to enjoy a cocktail and some lunch once you get there, the Hau Beach Bar is happy to take your money and they serve a mean cocktail (or iced tea!) steps from the beach. The staff is friendly and again, you don’t have to be a guest to enjoy ANY of the restaurants on the property.

As an aside, the bar at the Westin Hapuna Resort is also open to the public and you can see an AMAZING view of Hapuna Beach from the upstairs bar.

Hapuna was one of a variety of areas in South Kohala used for military exercises during World War II.

The Army Corps of Engineers conducted a $9 million sweep of the Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area between September 2011 and Jan. 31, 2012. The search resulted in the finding of several pieces of unexploded ordnance, including a live Japanese hand grenade found lying on open ground above the park.

The beach was also closed in February 2011 to investigate a cylindrical object about five inches in diameter that was observed sticking out of the sand in waters off the beach’s south end.

Beach-storming exercises were among the activities conducted at Hapuna during the war.

Despite sweeps of the area in the 1940s and 1950s, numerous pieces of ordnance keep appearing at Hapuna, including entire cases of mortars and other shells apparently dumped overboard from landing craft.

Authorities believe they may become dislodged from their resting places by storms and brought toward shore by currents.

For more information about the Ala Kahakai Trail – Map- https://www.nps.gov/alka/planyourvisit/maps.htm

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