Long shadows and orange hues cast across the sand and rocks of Kua Bay beach as the sun sets into the Pacific from Hawaii’s Big Island. Officially called Manini’owali Beach, most locals and guide books still refer to the beach as Kua Bay. This is a perfect beach for sunset watching as the shoreline faces west. On clear days it’s possible to see Maui in the distance to the north. In the winter, Kua Bay sees its fair share of humpback whales swimming by and occasionally fin slapping and breaching.
The sand at Kua Bay is remarkably fine and soft while the waves are usually playful sized in bright blue waters. This combination, along with a nicely paved road to the entrance, means that Kua Bay is typically bustling with both locals and visitors. Near sunrise and sunset, though, the beach is pleasantly empty and affords great pictures and relaxation.