TWO-STEP BEACH AT HONAUNAU BAY aka CITY OF REFUGE
Some of the finest, protected snorkeling in the all of Hawaii is located only a short dive south from Kona town. Two Step Beach is located just north of Pu’u Honua O Honaunau National Historic Park also known as the City of Refuge, and a perfect spot to explore the crystal clear waters of Kona’s coast.
With green sea turtles, colorful fish, live coral, and Hawaiian spinner dolphins, Two-Step beach is a Big Island snorkeling paradise. Although no swimming is allowed within the National Park, Two-Step Beach which sits just outside the park, offers a convenient place to enter Honaunau bay.
There are no snorkel rental places at the City of Refuge so make sure to bring your own gear or stop by our shop for snorkel rentals before you take off.
Snorkeling at Two Step Beach
When snorkeling at two step, getting in and out of the water can be a little tricky. If you have never snorkeled here before, the easiest way to enter the water is walk down the boat ramp. Most people enter by stepping off the short cliff into the water. Two-Step beach gets its name from this short hop; there are two ledges that serve as steps down into the ocean. To get out of the water, simply float up to the steps, put your hands palm down and wait for an, incoming wave to float you up and onto the bottom step. Always place your hands down flat to avoid getting stuck by a sea urchin.
Along the cliff edges and shallow shoreline, lay some of the Big Islands most beautiful live coral. Please be respectful when snorkeling over reef and do not touch the coral. The water gets very deep in the middle of the bay and visibility can be up to 100ft or more. There is a huge pod of Hawaiian spinner dolphins that swim around the bay in the early morning hours. This is by far one of our favorite places to take our friends and family when they come to Kona.
Directions to Two Step Beach
To reach Two Step Beach in Honaunau, take Highway 11 south to Highway 160 near mile maker 106. Drive about 5 miles to the entrance of Pu’u Honua O Honaunau National Historic Park, and turn right onto a narrow 1-lane road just before the National Park. Follow this lane about 100 yards past the boat ramp at Keoneele Cove.
There is a small parking area just beyond the boat ramp and on the side of the road. If there is no parking available here, go back and park in the National Historic Park lot. It costs $5 for the park entrance fee, but you get to see the park after snorkeling. It’s worth it! You will also have free use of the parks facilities which include public restrooms, picnic tables and grills.
There is no where to rent snorkel gear at two step beach so make sure you stop by our surf shop before you head out. Our professional staff with make sure you get the right snorkel gear for your size and show you how to use it properly.