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Makalawena Beach, Big Island

Remote and virtually unknown, except to the most well-informed like you, this triple crescent beach on the Kona (west) side of the Big Island is among the best beaches you might find anywhere in the islands -- if you can find it!

Prepare yourself for a 15-25 minute hike just to get to this beach. The trailhead is in the Kona Coast State Park, off Route 19, the Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway. The beach itself lies between mile markers 89 and 90.

The pay-off to the off-road access is worth it, however. After you hike-in over a rough, crunchy lava trail, you will be rewarded with teal blue lagoons kissing super fine-grade, very clean, and nearly white sand dunes. What could be missing? Crowds! The only footprints in the sand may be yours.

Surrounding the sand dunes are plentiful shade trees to keep you cool when you need it. A little farther inland, just on the other side of the shade trees is a freshwater pool where you can bathe and wash off the salt and sea before trekking back to the real world.

As you hike back to wherever you abandoned your car, take solace in knowing that most of the other humans who have ever been to Makalawena Beach have been ancient Hawaiians.

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