Located on Kona's Kohala Coast and known as "A-Bay'' among local residents, Anaehoomalu Bay is renowned for its sandy beach, calm waters and spectacular sunsets. This idyllic spot has long been a popular location for water sports and picnicking, and it has more recently become a favorite venue for weddings.
The most dramatic characteristic of Anaehoomalu Bay is its photogenic shoreline facing west. The beach is backed by hundreds of palm trees that stand out in beautiful silhouette against the orange sky at dusk. The beach itself is made up of course sand, which can be a bit hard on bare feet for those who are used to fine sand beaches, but for photography it is picture perfect.
Apart from the gently swaying coconut palms, there are two tranquil fish ponds directly behind the beach which make for scenic backdrops. There are a number of small secluded coves, too, which are perfect places to pose for the camera or escape from the revelries of the beach.
Although there are no lifeguards on duty, swimming in Anaehoomalu Bay is quite safe. Thanks to a protective natural reef, the high waves and strong undertows found elsewhere along the coast are generally not present here. Although board and body surfing isn't possible under such conditions, the calm, clear waters are ideal for snorkeling and giant green sea turtles can often be seen.
The gentle breezes also provide just what's needed for leisurely wind-surfing. Several enterprising businesses offer lessons and rent equipment from the beach. Items available include beach umbrellas, snorkeling gear, beach chairs and wind-surfing gear.
Anaehoomalu Bay is relatively shallow and therefore accessible to small craft. On any given day, dozens of boats can be seen coming ashore or anchoring just off the coast. Some of the vessels that moor here offer charters and tours. It is possible to book a fishing expedition or a cruise around the island just be talking to the local skippers.
One particularly popular outing at Anaehoomalu Bay is a glass-bottom boat tour. It allows the area's marine life to be observed without getting wet. Visibility in the Bay can be as great as 200 feet, this bringing an array of fascinating ocean creatures into clear view. Guides are available for dolphin and whale watching, too.
Exploring the coastline by hiking or biking can provide some interesting discoveries. A portion of the King's Trail runs along here, an historic path created in the mid-19th century that passes by old lava rock shelters and sacred Hawaiian sites. At one point, the trail cuts through two acres of ancient petroglyphs etched into the surrounding rock.
Picnic areas have been created to accommodate day trippers at Anaehoomalu Beach. The designated areas are fitted with tables in the shade, ideal places for lunch or an early dinner. Barbecuing is also permitted and reservations are not required; seating is on a first come basis. Rest rooms and showers are available on location.
Adjacent to the Bay are the many resorts of the Waikoloa complex, including the Outrigger and the Hilton just to the north. Restaurants, accommodations, and shopping are therefore within easy reach.
Anaehoomalu Bay is located at 69-275 Waikoloa Beach Drive, Waikoloa, Hawaii 96738. The nearest town is Puako, just inland from the shore. To get there, take State Highway 19 north from Kona and turn left at mile marker #76. Public access and parking for Anaehoomalu Beach is via a small road to the left of the Kings Shops.