Settled more than a thousand years ago, this cove grew into a thriving community and religious center anchored around Hikiau Heiau, a temple atop a platform of stacked lava rocks. In 1779, British explorer Captain James Cook arrived here during the Makahiki, a time of peace, and was met with great fanfare. But when he later returned, tensions flared . . . which eventually led to his death. Water babies should scan for spinner dolphins in the shallows or hit Kaawaloa Cove, one of Kona’s best snorkeling spots.

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