Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park
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Experiencing History and Nature Together on the Big Island
During a leisurely drive along the ocean on the Big Island of Hawaii, we decided to stop at Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. I knew I wanted to visit because I enjoy history and learning about the local culture, but I wasn't expecting it to be my favorite experience on the Big Island of Hawaii. The National Historical Park was once a place of refuge for people who had broken the sacred laws (or "kapu"). If they made it here, they were safe from death. It is still considered a sacred site, so visitors must follow specific protocol, including no beach towels, sport activities, or smoking. The park consists of the former village and royal grounds and includes many traditional structures and carved statues. Activities such as hiking, picnicking, and occasional cultural demonstrations are also available. After strolling the park, we joined a small group of people snorkeling nearby and were treated to the best snorkeling of our stay. Not only is the location beautiful and peaceful, the array of fish and beautiful sea turtles also make this place special. However, there are restrictions as to where snorkeling is allowed in order to maintain the heritage of the park. Snorkeling is allowed at adjacent Honaunau Bay; check the website for further details.
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Original mauna kea beach hotel