Guide to Kohala Area State and National Parks

Big Island Guide Travel Guide

If you’re visiting the Kohala Area, here are the state and national parks you should see to gain a taste of Hawaii’s culture and unique natural wonders.

Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area
Old Puako Rd
Waimea, HI 96743

An expertly landscaped beach and one of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world, Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area is incredibly popular for a reason. Cool, white silica sand lines the nearly half-mile long beach area, which is relatively exempt of lava rocks. Reliably warm and sunny, there are plenty of trees and shaded picnic areas, outdoor showers, bathroom facilities, and BBQ pits. For a relaxing day on the beach, Hapuna is among the best destinations for convenience and stunning natural beauty.

Lapakahi State Historical Park
Waimea, HI 96743

A large park with ancient ruins scattered among a short, looping walking path, Lapakahi State Historical Park is the site of a fishing village in North Kohala. A small amount of the structures have been restored in recent years, offering visitors a glimpse of life in a Hawaiian fishing village, but there’s plenty more to see. Several native plants line the paths and the coastal area is teeming with bright tropical fish.

Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site
62-3601 Kawaihae Rd
Waimea, HI 96743

Considered to be the last major Ancient Hawaiian temple, Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site is home to the Pu’ukohola Heiau, or “Temple on the Hill of the Whale.” A stunning architectural achievement that was supposedly completed in under a year, the deep red stones were carried over 14 miles via a human chain and overseen by Kamehameha I, who used the site as a final battle site before unifying the Island of Hawaii and eventually continued his campaign to the rest of the Hawaiian islands. While visitors aren’t permitted to visit the actual site, a nearby previous temple that was converted into a fort, several fishing sites, and other features are visible.

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