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Big Island, Hawaii   Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Located 30 miles southwest of Hilo, this is the home of Kilauea volcano, one of the most active volcanoes on earth. The creation and destruction make this park one of the most popular visitor attractions in Hawaii. The Park is 333,000 acres from the summit of Maunaloa to the sea. A 150 miles of hiking trails through volcanic craters, deserts, rainforests, petroglyphs,and a walk-in lava tube

Big Island, Hawaii   Akaka Falls State Park
Akaka Falls State Park is located along the north eastern Hamakua Coast, you can see two gorgeous waterfalls. The 0.4-mile hike will take you through a rainforest filled with orchids, bamboo and ferns. Akaka Falls 442-feet into a gorge and is Big Island's most famous waterfall. Easily accessible.
Big Island, Hawaii   Wailoa River State Park
Wailoa River park offers many places to wander and relax. The park encircles Waiakea Pond, a spring-fed estuary with many saltwater species to observe. Here is where you will find an ornate statue in the likeness of King Kamehameha off Bishop Drive. There are also two memorials, one in honor of Vietnam veterans and another to honor tsunami victims. The Wailoa Center, located off Pauahi Street, often features changing cultural displays. Wailoa River State Park is located in the Hilo Town
Big Island, Hawaii   Lava Tree State Park

Lava Trees State Park is in the district of Puna. Take the 0.7-mile loop trail in this 17-acre State Monument to view the unusual lava molds of tree trunks. In the 1700’s, lava flow swept through the area, coating the trunks of Ohia trees, leaving tall lava molds of the tree trunks in their wake, frozen in time. Short walk, see and take photos of the work of Pele (the volcano goddess) and her amazing sculpture garden.

Big Island, Hawaii   Manuka State Wayside Park

Beautiful 8-acre arboretum, which contains 130 introduced exotic plants and flowers, most of which were planted in the mid-19th century. These grow side by side with some 48 species of native Hawaiian plants and trees. Many of these are labeled, attracting visitors keen to spot the beautiful flowers and see some peculiar plants and trees. Another attraction in the park is the Manuka nature trail. Here, you can indulge in a bit of Hawaiian natural history with lava flows of different ages, cultural sites and a pit crater all visible during the 3 hour hike.

Big Island, Hawaii   Lapakahi State Historical Park
Located 12.4 miles (20 km) north of Kawaihae, near mile marker 14.
Lapakahi State Historical Park was once an ancient Hawaiian fishing community, Koai'e, which dates back to the 14th century. The site features a wide array of historical artifacts, natural wonders and archaeological remains (such as old ruins, huts and temples). No sandy beach here, but good snorkeling in a small beach cove. No lifeguards. Facilities: Visitor kiosk with interpretive displays, restrooms, no drinking water.
Big Island, Hawaii   Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park
Honokohau Beach, a ¾-mi stretch with ruins of ancient fishponds, is also north of the harbor and has no facilities. The park seeks to preserve early Hawaiian archaeological resources including heiau (an ancient Hawaiian place of worship), house platforms, fishponds, petroglyph rock etchings, and more. The park's wetlands provide refuge to a number of waterbirds, including the endemic Hawaiian stilt and coot.Hawaiian archaeological ruins as these two, sheltered in a 1,160-acre park near Honokohau Harbor, just north of Kailua-Kona town.
Big Island, Hawaii   Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park - Captain Cook Monument
Kealakekua Bay is a Marine Life Conservation District great for snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking. The bay's clear waters are filled with coral and tropical fish, you can even see spinner dolphins swimming in the bay. There is a picnic area to relax and enjoy this historic spot. Kealakekua Bay is an important historic location because it marks the site where Captain Cook, landed. Cook was the first British explorer to establish contact with the Hawaiian Islands in 1778 on Kauai.
Big Island, Hawaii   Pu Uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park

Puuhonua o Honaunau is a 180-acre national historic park. Home of royal grounds and a place of refuge for ancient Hawaiian lawbreakers. Kapu, or sacred laws,. A kapu-breaker's only chance for survival was to evade his pursuers and make it to a puuhonua, or a sacred place of refuge. Once there, a ceremony of absolution would take place and the law-breaker would be able to return to society. Hundreds of years old yet beautifully restored, Puuhonua o Honaunau remains one of Hawaii's most sacred historic places. Follow the park and map and take a self-guided walking tour and explore the grounds including the Great Wall, standing 10-feet high and 17-feet thick.

Big Island, Hawaii   Kipuka Puaulu ( Bird Park )
Kipuka Puaulu is an area of land which was once lava but has been surrounded on all sides by more recent flows. If left undisturbed for a long time, an ecosystem, such as that a Kipuka Puaulu, forms. Puaulu, also called Bird Park, is an old ohia tree and fern forest which is home to many of the feathered residents of the Big Island. A 30-minute stroll along this 1-mile trail will reveal several different high elevation birds, including the colorful Khalij Pheasant. Kipuka Puaulu is located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Mauna Loa Road just outside the park gate. It is located 1.5 miles up the road.
Big Island, Hawaii   Wailuku river state park - Rainbow falls
This 80 foot tall waterfall drops over an ancient cave that is said to be the home of Hina, the mother of the demigod Maui. In the early morning sun, rainbows are easily seen in the mist that rises as the water hits the pool below. You can view the falls from parking lot level or climb a series of steps to view the falls from above.
Big Island, Hawaii   Panaewa Rainforest Zoo

4 miles south of Hilo, off of Highway 11 (Stainback Highway), this 12 acre zoo is the only tropical rainforest zoo in the United States. The grounds are filled with tropical palms, orchids, clumping bamboos and tropical rhododendrons. The Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens is home to more than 80 animal species including the endangered nene (Hawaii state bird), Namaste, a white Bengal Tiger, giant anteaters, lemurs, and spider monkeys. admission is free.

Big Island, Hawaii   Ahalanui Park
Ahalanui Park. The road begins to narrow after mile marker 10, so be prepared to scoot over a bit to let others by. Also, it is considered good form to allow other drivers who are in more of a hurry to pass you. Ahalanui and its thermally heated waters is makai between the 10 and 11 mile markers. The 1.3-acre park is sublimely peaceful with its giant swaying palm trees and ocean views. It was opened by the county in 1993 and features a large thermal pond with a sandy bottom which has been outfitted with cement walls and access ladders. A small inlet allows ocean water to flow in and out with the tides while keeping the temperature around 90 degrees.
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