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Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park

Hwy. 160 | Honaunau, Island of Hawaii, HI 96726 | Official website
Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park Photo info
tinyfroglet/Flickr
  • Type: Hiking, Parks and Gardens
  • Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
Overall Rating: 4.5 (4.5)
Value: 4.0 (4.0)
Facilities: 3.0 (3.0)
Atmosphere: 5.0 (5.0)
About these ratings

Up until the early 19th century on Big Island, Hawaiians who broke the law could avoid a punishment of death by fleeing to a region of the west coast known as pu'uhonua, or "place of refuge," where they would be forgiven by an area priest. In present day, this place of refuge is a historical landmark preserved by the park service. It's also an extremely popular outing for Big Island vacationers, and the pictures make it easy to see why. Not only will you enjoy Pu'uhonua o Honaunau if you have a penchant for history and trivia, but it's also exploding with eye-catching temples, intricate ki'i (wood carvings) and plenty of the Honu, (or Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles) that live on the premises. And the breathtaking scenery, of course — the Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park is located near some of the best snorkeling beaches of Big Island.

"Wow, what a gem of Hawaiian history," says one Yelp.com user. "We were pleasantly surprised to experience a beautiful, peaceful and interesting slice of Hawaiian history." According to one Virtual Tourist writer, the park is really well done, and "In addition to the really nice museum and guided tour of the location, it was right on the water, and there were turtles in the bay." A TripAdvisor user notes, "I had parents with me along with teenagers, and they were all entertained. There is ample parking, and the staff is very helpful."

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The visitor center is operational from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Passes to the park are good for seven days; there's a $5 fee for each car entering the park, or a $3 fee to enter individually on foot. Visit the park's official page for further details.

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