To give yourself a preview of why to come here, pull over at the marked Scenic Overlook on Highway 19 north of Kekaha Kai State Park, between mile markers 82 and 83. You’ll see a shimmering pale blue lagoon, created by the remains of an ancient fish pond, and the bright cerulean Kiholo Bay, jewels in a crown of black lava. Now take the unmarked lava-gravel road (much smoother than Kekaha Kai’s road to Mahaiula Beach) just south of the overlook and drive carefully to the end, taking the right fork for one of two parking areas, both a short walk from the shore (and both with portable toilets). The “beach” here is black sand, lava pebbles, and coral, but it’s fine for sunbathing or spotting dolphins and seasonal humpback whales. Keep your sturdy-soled shoes on, though, because you’ll want to keep walking north to Keanalele (also called “Queen’s Bath”), a collapsed lava tube found amid kiawe trees with steps leading into its fresh water, great for a cooling dip. Continue on past several mansions to the turquoise waters of the former fishpond, cut off by a lava flow, and the darker bay, clouded by freshwater springs (not great for snorkeling). Green sea turtles love this area—as do scampering wild goats. The park opens at 7am daily year-round, with the access gate off the highway locked promptly at 7pm April to Labor Day (early Sept), and then at 6pm through March 31.

Off Hwy 19.