Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park
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Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park

Catch a glimpse of what Hawaii looked like before European contact. An unmissable destination for culture buffs, this sacred site stretches along the Kona coast's lava flats. Behind a massive wall stands an ancient puuhonua (place of refuge)—where defeated enemies and those who violated the kapu (laws) could seek pardon. The 1.7-square-kilometer (0.65-square-mile) park also shelters the Royal Grounds, a residential and ceremonial epicenter, and the 1.6-kilometer (one-mile) 1871 Trail along the coastline. Tip: This is a religious site; be respectful and don't smoke, picnic, play sports, take wedding photos or carry beach equipment (including towels) here.

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Original mauna kea beach hotel