Miloli’i: A Big Island fantasy for free

Honomalino Beach, a 20-minute walk from the Kona Coast village of Miloli’i, is the sort of place people dream about when thinking of Hawaii. Spinner dolphins frolick offshore of a black-sand beach. Snorkeling is good and the currents are generally safe—although a drop-off at the shoreline may come as a surprise.

A grove of cocopalms provides plenty of shade and ambiance at the backshore. The village is five miles down a winding road, about 32 miles south of Kailua-Kona. Miloli’i is an authentic fishing village—definitely not a tourist town. Some visitors may be put off by the haggard look of the place, a blessing really, since it is seldom crowded.

The easy-to-follow trail pentrates a thicket and passes an ancient fishing shrine and cemetery on the way to the beach.

The little church of Hauoli Kamanao is the beating heart of the community, where you may see an event on weekends. Slack key great Iz performed one of his last concerts in Miloli’i, and (as if you need to know) some scenes from the forgettable Elvis movie Girls, Girls, Girls! were shot here in 1962. Hawaii the Big Island Trailblazer has more details.