Kohala Coast

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The Northwest Coast of Hawaii Island

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The Kohala Coast of Hawaii Island is more than just a sun-lovers dream. Located 20 minutes north of Kona International Airport, the Kohala Coast stuns visitors with its diverse landscape and cultural treasures. If you find yourself exploring the north coast of Hawaii Island, check out the Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site, the largest heiau in Hawaii. Heiaus are sacred places of worship for Native Hawaiians, and the Puukohola Heiau was commissioned in 1790 by Kamehameha the Great. This massive stone temple was constructed out of hand-carried lava rocks from the Pololu Valley. This National Historic Site has since been carefully restored and welcomes visitors from around the world. The park trail at Puukohola Heiau is about 1/2 mile long and features not only the Puukohola Heiau but the Mailekeini Heiau, Hale o Kapuni and the homestead of John Young as well.

Another historic area worth exploring is the Lapakahi State Historical Park. This partially-restored fishing village is more than 600 years old and helps demonstrate what life was like for Native Hawaiians at that time. Featuring partially-restored hale (houses) and hand-built lava stone walls, the Lapakahi State Historical Park is an excellent stop while staying on the Kohala Coast.

Inward and to the East is the town of Waimea, an area filled with rolling pastures, cattle ranchers and plenty of paniolos (Hawaiian cowboys). This fertile land delights visitors with delicious food, local culture and quaint shops filled with local wares. Drive north toward the town of Hawi and soak in the breathtaking Pololu Valley Lookout. This end-of-the-road stop is worth the drive. Soak in the stunning cliffs and beautiful coastline with its island outcroppings and black sand beach. This day trip offers some of the most spectacular views of Hawaii Island and the beautiful Kohala Coast.

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