Pu'uhonua O Honaunau
Pu’uhonua O Honaunau is a 182-acre federal park that preserves the site where ancient defeated warriors, non-combatants, and sacred lawbreakers alike found sanctuary. This park and bay common area is oftentimes referred to as the City of Refuge and holds great importance to locals preserving early Hawaiian culture and to visitors and guests wanting to learn more about the great ancient kingdom of Hawaii. As you explore this area be aware that this was once the home to many powerful aliis or chiefs. Those who broke Kapu, or laws, also sought shelter here, ironically, the only way to escape death through a journey here, or a Pu'uhonua/ceremony of absolution. This sacred site is hundreds of years old, the temple beautifully and meticulously restored. All this history in one spot makes this area one of Hawaii’s most sacred places, so be sure to save plenty of time to explore it all.
Honaunau Bay is also known for being a great spot for snorkeling. The beach was voted best in the United States in 2004 by Travel Channel and is fronted on each side by large, smooth lava rock flats. This gorgeous natural setting of flats makes for easy entry into the colorful gardens of coral, parrotfish, and moray eels. Once you’ve taken in all the history and glorious beachfront you can here head over to the Royal Grounds beyond Pu’uhonua, the area holding more homes of alii, Koneek Cove, Royal Canoe land, the Great Wall (10 feet by 17 feet), and Hale O Kea Que Heiau, the sacred temple holding the bones of 23 different local chiefs as wells as several Hiroki, or images of gods.