Friday, December 19, 2014

When did Christmas start in Hawaii?

The Christmas season is the start of “high season” in Hawaii, a 90 day period from December 15th though March 15th with the most visitors on the islands.  It is celebrated with colorful decorations in the stores and hotel lobbies.  Hawaii Island communities celebrate with parades, holiday lights, hula presentations, and festivals during this season and the fantastic weather makes it easy to have fun and get into the spirit.

Christmas was first celebrated in Hawaii after the missionaries arrived in the 1820.   However, the Hawaiians already celebrated the season with a festival called Makahiki.  The Makahiki festival started when the cluster of stars known as the Pleiades appear in the night sky and lasted about four months. The festival was held in honor of Lono,  the god of fertility and cultivated food plants.  The festival was celebrated with hula, bonfires, feasts, and sports competitions.  During Makahiki warfare was forbidden; it was a time of peace and celebration. 

In 1856, King Kamehameha IV declared Christmas to be a national day of Thanksgiving in Hawaii.   In 1862, Christmas was made a national holiday in Hawaii by authority of the King and there were huge celebrations on the islands.

"Mele Kalikimaka", the Hawaiian pronunciation for "Merry Christmas", became widely known in a song written by Robert Anderson in 1949 and made famous by Bing Crosby in 1950.

Mele Kalikimaka to everyone!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Trolley Tour in Kailua Kona

If you find yourself in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii without a car, the Keauhou Trolley is a great way to tour the town and see the views along the coast.  For $2 you can ride between the Sheraton Kona Resort in Keauhou along Ali’i Drive to the Kailua Pier. The Trolley is a way to get to beaches, vacation rentals, hotels, restaurants, and businesses in Kona without a rental car or having to deal with the shortage of parking spaces.
Kailua Pier
The Trolley starts at the Sheraton Kona Resort in Keauhou at 9 AM and drives the route until 9:15 PM where it ends at the Sheraton. The route from the Sheraton to Kailua Pier takes approximately 40 minutes with stops at the Kona Country Club, Keauhou Shopping Center (at Longs), Kahalu’u Beach (Bus Kiosk at the crosswalk), Magic Sands Beach, Kona Bali Kai, Aston Kona By The Sea, Royal Sea Cliff, Royal Kona Resort (across the street), Coconut Grove Marketplace, St. Michael’s Church (Water Front Row), and Kona Market Place.  
Kona Coast Views

From there, the Trolley drives another route to shopping centers and businesses in Kailua including Hilo Hatties,  Walmart, Macy’s, Kona Commons Shopping Center, Kona International Marketplace, Kona Brewing Company, and Kona Coast Shopping Center which takes it approximately 40 minutes before returning to Kailua pier.  The Trolley then returns the Sheraton in Keauhou, again stopping all along Ali’i Drive.
Alii Drive across from Coconut Grove Marketplace
The Trolley is a great way to see the coastline and historic sites along Ali’i Drive.  
Kahalu'u beach on Alii Drive

At the Keauhou Shopping Center there is an interesting museum with displays about Keauhou's history, a KTA grocery store, our favorite Kona Stories bookstore, and panoramic views from Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai restaurant.  

View from Sam Choy's Kai Lanai

The Sheraton is near the Keauhou Shopping Center above Keauhou Bay.  You can enjoy the fantastic views from the hotel or walk down to the bay and watch all the tour boats and paddlers enjoying themselves.

A day off from driving on the Keauhou Trolley can be quite a treat!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

100 Free Places to Visit on Hawaii Island

We made a list of 100 free places that are beautiful, fun, historic, or delicious on Hawaii Island.  You don’t need a big budget to have an awesome vacation on Hawaii Island. 

When we started on our Hawaii Island guide we thought we had seen everything on the island  since we had been living here for so long.  But as we looked deeper, we became fascinated with the history of the island and discovered lots of places we had not visited or seen in other travel books.  It took us 18 months to research and visit  over 200 amazing coastlines, beaches, forests, mountains, parks, and other places included in the island guide.  You can find detailed directions, maps and historic background in Your Ideal Hawaii Island Vacation. If you are already on the Big Island, the guide is  available at Kona Stories (book store in the Keauhou Shopping Center.

(Some places have limited public parking and a few charge parking for non-residents.)

  1. Liliuokalani Gardens  Walk through the gorgeous Japanese garden on Hilo Bay.
  2. Big Island Candies  Watch candies being made and try delicious samples in Hilo.
  3. Wawaloli Beach Park  Play in sand filled tide pools next to Kona’s Energy laboratory.
  4. Kailua Bay  Swim the Ironman route marked with buoys (1.25 miles round trip to the Queens Buoy).
  5. Mokuaikaua Church Admire the beautiful woodwork in Hawaii’s first church in Kona with a replica of the ship Thaddeus in the back.
  6. Kipuka Bird park  Hike through an old growth forest with colorful birds in Volcano.
  7. Lava Tree Molds  Walk through a collection unusual lava molds from a Mauna Loa lava flow in Volcano.
  8. Ahalanui Park  Soak in volcanic warmed water with fantastic ocean views in Puna.
  9. Akatsuka Orchid Garden  See 100’s of varieties of orchids on display in Volcano.
  10. Sheraton Resort history tour  Take a guided tour of historic Keauhou Bay.
  11. Lava Tree State Monument  Walk through a collection of lava trees from a lava flow in a Puna forest.
  12. Keauhou Heritage Center   View historic displays of Hawaii Island in the Keauhou Shopping Center.
  13. MacKenzie State Recreation Area  Enjoy amazing ocean views from Puna cliffs covered with ironwood trees.
  14. Lekeleke Burial Site  Walk the trail to ocean cliffs along an ancient Hawaiian battle ground in Keauhou.
  15. Kahuku Ranch  Hike in the new addition to Volcanoes National Park in Ka’u.
  16. South Point  Enjoy spectacular views from a tall cliff above the crashing ocean at the southernmost point in the US.
  17. Laupahoehoe Point  Drive down to a park and landing with crashing surf below the Hamakua coast. 
  18. Rainbow Falls  Visit the picturesque waterfall on the Wailuku River above Hilo.
  19. Wailuku River State Park   Watch the Boiling Pots, created from connected lava tubes in the river, from an overlook.
  20. Kaumana Cave  See a lava tube cave created by the most recent Mauna Loa flow to Hilo.
  21. Star gazing  Look at the heavens through telescopes during the Mauna Kea Visitors Center evening program.
  22. Waipio Look Out  Marvel at the panoramic view of Waipio Valley from above.
  23. Caravan to Mauna Kea summit   Join a group of 4-wheel drive vehicles to the summit of  Mauna Kea every weekend from the Visitors Center.
  24. Mauna Loa Mac nut farm  Watch candies being made in the factory near Hilo and try samples.
  25. Subaru telescope tour  Sign up for a 40 minute guided tour of the Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea.
  26. Hamakua Mac nut factory  Watch candies being made in a factory near Kawaihae and try samples.
  27. Parker Ranch Historic Homes  Visit the homes of Parker Ranch owners in Waimea.
  28. Sadie Seymour Botanical Garden  Stroll through a beautiful garden at Kona Outdoor Circle.
  29. Kahalu’u Beach  Snorkel within a protected wall and see the turtles.
  30. Kona Honokohau Boat Harbor  Watch the boat traffic and fishermen weighing their fish.
  31. Kaloko fish pond  Drive to the massive dry-stack stone wall at the ancient fish pond.
  32. Puako trail to petroglyphs  Hike through a mesquite forest to ancient lava carvings.
  33. Honokohau Beach  Relax on a beautiful white sand beach in North Kona next to an ancient stone fish trap.
  34. Anaehoomalu Bay fish ponds   Walk the trail around the fish ponds in front of the Marriott Hotel with a recreated Hawaiian village.
  35. Kalahuipua’a Trail  Walk the trail to ancient fish ponds and gorgeous beaches in Mauna Lani resort.
  36. Puako Beach 69 (Waialea Beach)  Drive to a hidden bay with sand and shade.
  37. Mauna Kea beach (Kauna’oa Beach)  Swim at a picture perfect white sand beach (limited public parking).
  38. Waikoloa Beach Kings trail  Walk to ancient lava carvings and stone wind breakers on the King’s trail.
  39. Lapakahi State Historical Site  Take a self-guided tour on a rocky trail through a reenactment of an ancient Hawaiian village.
  40. Ka’upulehu Beach  Share the paved path along the long white sand beach with movie stars (limited public parking).
  41. Kikaua Point  Swim at a private man-made beach in Kukio (limited public parking).
  42. Kua Bay  Enjoy a turquoise bay and white sand beach
  43. Pololu Valley Overlook  See the fantastic view of Pololu Valley from above.
  44. Old Kona Airport beach  Hike the coastal trail north of the runway or lie on the white sand beach.
  45. Kawamoto Swim Stadium  Swim laps in Hilo’s olympic size indoor pool.
  46. Makao Trail  Walk the path through volunteer tended gardens next to the old Kona airport.
  47. Hilo Zoo  Walk the paths through tropical foliage and see the animals and birds.
  48. Rakuen garden  Take in the view at the Happiness garden on Hilo Bay.
  49. Hilo Bayfront beach  Take a stroll along the black sand beach in front of Hilo.
  50. Waimea Nature Park  Enjoy a picnic or hike at the Waimea Outdoor Circle garden with free wi-fi.
  51. Coconut island  Have a picnic, swim in a cove, or jump from the WWII tower into Hilo Bay.
  52. New Kaimu Beach  Walk over the 1990 lava field to a new beach on a trail from old Kalapana.
  53. St Benedict’s Painted church  See the colorful paintings in a Catholic Church with great views of Honaunau Bay.
  54. Mauka Meadows Gardens  Walk through a botanical garden and coffee farm with great views of Kailua Bay.
  55. Star of the Sea Painted church  See the paintings of St. Damien in a Puna church saved from a lava flow.
  56. Greenwells Farm  Tour a coffee plantation and taste the famous Greenwell Kona coffee.
  57. Kamakahonu Cove  Swim or snorkel in the protected bay in front of the King Kamehameha Hotel.
  58. Hulihee Palace garden  Take in the great views of Kailua Bay from the sea wall and find mementos hidden in the garden.
  59. Magic Sands Beach (La’aloa Beach)  Enjoy the sand and surf at the best surfing beach in Kona.
  60. Manuka State Wayside  Stop for a rest and hike on the trail up Mauna Loa to old ruins.
  61. Akaka Falls State Park  See the dramatic Akaka Falls and walk the trail through a rain forest (parking fee).
  62. Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area  Enjoy one of the most pristine white sand beaches on the island (parking fee).
  63. Spencer’s Beach  Have a picnic in the shade at the white sand beach next to Kawaihae harbor.
  64. Kona Brewing tour  Watch beer being made at a Kona brewery.
  65. Dolphins at Hilton  See the dolphins in their tanks at Dolphin Encounters  (parking fee).
  66. Kona Village walk   Walk from Kailua pier along the sea wall for great views of the bay.
  67. ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center Garden  Walk around a canoe plant garden outside the center (sometimes free displays are inside).
  68. Road to Mauna Loa Observatory  Drive past Pu’u Huluhulu through a lava field with Ohelo berrie bushes on the road to the MLO, opposite of the Mauna Kea Access road.
  69. Buddhist temple  Visit a Tibetan temple hidden in Wood Valley.
  70. Whittington Beach Park  See the remains of a sugar plantation wharf in the surf.
  71. Green Sand Beach (Papakolea Beach)  Hike to a crater with green sand.
  72. Ka’u Coffee Mill  View coffee processing equipment and sample Ka’u coffee.
  73. Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park  Enjoy the view of Kealakekua  Bay, the Captain Cook monument, and Hikiau Heiau.
  74. Punalu’u Black sand beach  Visit the Honu turtles on the black sand in a beautiful bay.
  75. Hokuloa Church  Climb above Punalu’u beach to a historic old church with a panoramic view of the bay.
  76. Footprint Trail  Hike across the Ka’u desert to footprints fossilized in the ash (trailhead on the south side of Highway 11 between mile markers 38 and 39).
  77. Wailoa River State Recreation Area   Walk in the grassy expanse within Hilo town and across the Wailoa River on hump bridges.
  78. University of Hawii Hilo  Tour the pretty UH campus and the visit the University’s library.
  79. Issac Hale Beach   Watch the surfers at Puna’s favorite surf spot and boat launch
  80. East Hawaii Cultural Center  Drop into the old Hilo Police station for an art exhibit.
  81. Kona Blue Sky coffee plantation  Take a tour and taste the coffee.
  82. Kalakaua Park and War Memorial  Visit Hilo’s town center park with the King’s statue, a time capsule, war memorial, Koi pond, and sun dial.
  83. Kona Library  Stay cool in Kona’s library and join the monthly book club meeting.
  84. Mountain Thunder coffee plantation  Take a tour and taste the coffee.
  85. Puukohala Heiau  Walk through the last major temple built in Hawaii and walk to the shark cove.
  86. Hilo Library  Enjoy the quiet  public library and check out the famous stones in front.
  87. Mookini Heiau  Hike on a deserted dirt road to the oldest temple in Hawaii in Kohala Historical Sites State Monument.
  88. Kona Lea Plantation  Take a tour and taste the coffee.
  89. Banyan tree walk   Look for the signs of famous people under each tree along the Banyan Drive next to Hilo Bay.
  90. Kona Joe Coffee Take a tour and taste the coffee.
  91. Reeds Bay and ice pond  Enjoy the view of ships docked at Hilo harbor and jump in for a cool swim.
  92. Kalanianaole Ave and Richardson Ocean Park  Drive along Hilo’s black lava beaches to Leleiwi Park at the end of the road.
  93. KoleKole Beach Park   Relax in a park under a span bridge with a stream under Akaka Falls.
  94. University of the Nations  Take a guided tour of the Kona campus and see the Plaza of the Nations Fountain
  95. NOAA’s Mokupapapa Discovery Center   Enjoy the displays and aquariums in downtown Hilo that describe the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.
  96. Kalopa State Recreation Area   Hike on a nature trail in a Hamakua nature reserve.
  97. Anna Ranch  Walk the Discovery Trail around the Waimea Ranch of a famous Pau rider.
  98. Mauna Kea State Recreation Area   See the views and enjoy a picnic at an elevation of 6500 feet on Saddle road.
  99. Beach 49 (Honokaope Bay)  Enjoy a secluded black sand beach in Kohala
  100. Lava tube in North Kona  Peer into a huge cave on Highway 19 made from a collapsed lava tube.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Ancient Hawaiian “Kings Trail” in Waikoloa Beach Resort

Hidden behind the Kings Shops in Waikoloa Beach Resort is an ancient Hawaiian trail with carved pictures and stone wind-breaks. Behind the shops is a path along King’s Lake.  From the Kings Shops, in the parking lot next to the gas station, the path can be taken to Pohakulana Place, across from the Waikoloa Fairway Villa condos,  where a sign points the way to the King’s Trail.

The Kings Trail was built over older foot trails in the 1870’s during King Kalakaua’s reign.  It was used to drive cattle through the rough lava fields from the ranches to the shore to be loaded onto ships. It was built to be relatively straight and level with stone curbs on the edges to keep the cattle in.  The King used prisoners and people unable to pay their taxes to build the road.  A portion of the King’s Trail in Waikoloa Beach cuts across a lava field covered with carvings and lava caves.

The Kings Trail is surrounded by the Kings Course of the Waikoloa Beach golf club.  A short section of the trail intersects with the golf cart road. There are no carvings on that section and it is easier to just walk next to it on Pohakulana Place (which becomes a golf cart road) to the next entrance. 

A sign at the next entrance to the Kings trail shows where the carvings and wind breaks are located, which is quite a distance down the rough path.

A little way down the trail, the path is so rugged and steep it is difficult to walk on.  It  is hard to imagine cattle and horses traveling on the trail as is today.  

During our trek the rocky trail was difficult to walk on, the sun was extremely hot on the surrounding lava field, and the wind whipping around us. Even with good shoes and being in decent shape, it was a challenge to get to the point on the trail where the best carvings were located.

Within a thousand feet we had to start crawling on all fours to get down some extremely steep and jagged drops in the “trail”.

We noticed others behind us turn back after giving up on the worst hazard of the trail and we were beginning to dread our walk back. 

Finally we were rewarded when the petroglyphs, circles, dots, and surprisingly letters, came into view.

The carvings in the pahoehoe lava become more frequent the further down the trail.

The most common ancient carvings are dots, holes, and circles. These markings have various interpretations including representations for journeys and indications of children born.  The age of the earliest of the carvings is estimated to be 800 AD when the Waikoloa area was first settled.

More recently some names have been carved into the stone between circles and other designs.

Lava caves and stone wind breaks are located along the side of the trail.   

The path veers to the right at a “Kapu” sign on the King’s Trail.

Turning towards the right, the path was well flat and maintained. It exited on to the golf cart road.  

Had we known that there was a second entrance to the King’s Trail from the golf cart road close to the petroglyphs, we would have taken that route and avoided the troublesome portion of the trail.  

It is an easy walk back to the Kings Shops on the golf cart road. The only hazard was dodging speeding golf carts.

If you are interested in the easy walk to the field of ancient Hawaiian petroglpyhs, take Pohakulana Place (off Waikoloa Beach Road) until it becomes a golf cart road.  When the golf cart road crosses the King’s Trail stay on it, go past the bathrooms, and turn left.  The lake should be on your right.  Before reaching the maintenance building, you will see an entrance to the petroglyph reserve on the left with a sign.  The short path from the golf cart road to the King’s Trail is well marked with great views of the wind breaks, lava caves, and petroglyphs.  Watch out for golf carts and golf balls.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Awesome Resorts on Hawaii Island

Mauna Kea Beach Resort 
Hawaii Island has four amazing resort areas clustered in North Kona and South Kohala on the sunny, west side of the island.   The coastal resorts are large self-contained properties with luxury hotels, white sand beaches, restaurants, shops, golf courses, and ancient Hawaiian sites.  All four resorts, Mauna Kea, Mauna Lani, Waikoloa Beach, and Hualalai, are located north of Kona airport. In addition to luxury hotels, the resorts have vacation rentals in condominiums and individual homes that share the hotels’ amenities on the resort property.

One of the special things about Hawaii Island’s resorts are the pristine white sand beaches with no crowds.  To watch the sunset or sunbathe on Waikiki, you have to squeeze into a spot among the throngs of noisy people.  By the time you have had breakfast on Maui, all the lounge chairs around the pool are taken. But on Hawaii Island, the world feels a million miles away on the quiet, soft sandy beaches of the Kohala Coast.

Mauna Kea Resort
Mauna Kea Resort was developed in the 1960’s by Lawrence Rockefeller. The resort has two hotels, golf courses, restaurants, and two incredible beaches: Mauna Kea beach and Hapuna beach.  

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel has 1600 pieces of Asian and Polynesian art on display and sits in front of one of the most perfect beaches in the world, Mauna Kea Beach (Kauna’oa Bay)

Hapuna Beach and Hapuna Prince Hotel
Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, also within the Mauna Kea Resort, was built in the 1990’s in front of the pristine, white sand Hapuna Beach. 

Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel

Mauna Kea Resort was purchased in 1989 by Yoshiaki Tsutsumi of Seibu Railway and is managed by the Prince Hotels.

Mauna Lani Resort
The 3200 acre Mauna Lani Resort was developed by Francis Hyde Ii Brown, a state senator in Hawaii, and Noboru Gotoh, chairman of the Tokyu Corporation in the 1970s. 

Mauna Lani Resort golf tee

The resort has two hotels, golf courses, and a small shopping center with stores, restaurants, and a grocery store.  Within the resort are the ancient Kalahuipua’a fish ponds and trails along gorgeous coastline.

Bridge over fishponds to Mauna Lani Bay Hotel

Mauna Lani Bay Hotel opened in 1983 in front of a protected reef next to ancient Hawaiian fish ponds.  

Turtle sunning along the Mauna Lani coastline

The hotel raises turtles in their lobby and releases the “Honu” every July.  

White sand beaches in Mauna Lani Resort

Nearby are spectacular beaches to swim and snorkel. There are trails circling the fishponds perfect for walking or biking. 

Petroglyph Preserve next to Fairmont Orchid Hotel

The Fairmont Orchid opened in Mauna Lani Resort in December 1990 as a Ritz Carlton and has been managed by Fairmont Hotel since December 2003.  The hotel has a rugged coastline with several protected coves for swimming.  The upscale hotel has pools, hot tubs, spa, luau, and restaurants.  Next to the Fairmont is a trail to the Puako Petroglyph Reserve. 

Waikoloa Beach Resort
The 1350 acre Waikoloa Beach Resort has two hotels and golf courses. The resort’s two shopping centers have restaurants, fast food, and stores.

Ancient Hawaiian Fish Ponds in Waikoloa Resort

The Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort, originally the Royal Waikoloan, faces the white sand beach of Anaehoomalu Bay behind two ancient Hawaiian fishponds.  

Anaehoomalu Bay

Pool at the Marriott Hotel in Waikoloa Resort
Across the road from the Marriott is the ancient Kings Trail and a petroglyph preserve.

Ancient Hawaiian Trail in Waikoloa Resort

The Hilton Waikoloa Village is a resort within a resort with a train and canal boat through the large property.  

Ocean View from Hilton Waikoloa lobby

The Hilton has a protected lagoon with a sandy beach, covered walking paths, exotic birds, and huge swimming pools.  The hallways have a large art collection.  Dolphin Quest is on the property.

Canal boat ride within Hilton Waikoloa

Hualalai Resort

Hualalai Resort has the upscale Four Seasons Hotel with a spa, restaurants, golf courses, and gorgeous coastline.  

Four Seasons Ka‘upulehu Beach

The hotel is in front of Ka‘upulehu white sand beach with great walking paths.

Kikaua Point Park at Kuhio
South of Hualalai Resort is Kuhio, an exclusive residential area for billionaires with a beautiful man-made beach in front.

Check out Your IdealHawaii Island Vacation: A Guide for Visiting the Big Island of Hawaii for more information about all the incredible sites on the Kohala Coast of Hawaii Island.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A day at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park

Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park  is a 1160 acre park in North Kona with an ancient Hawaiian fishpond and  unique stone fish trap.  The park has three entrances: the north entrance road to Kaloko fishpond, the center entrance to the Visitor’s center, and the south entrance, within Kona’s Honokohau Small Boat Harbor, to the ‘Ai’opio fish trap.
Kaloko fishpond
Kaloko fishpond, the widest and largest fishpond in the state of Hawaii, is on the northern end of the park.  

The fishpond is accessible by a rough, dirt road behind a gate just north of the Visitor’s Center gate on Highway 19.  
Dirt road to Kaloko fish pond from Highway 19
The road is deeply rutted which makes for a bumpy ride, but is passable with a regular car
Rutted dirt road to Kaloko fishpond
From the road, you can see the old “King’s Trail” that runs along the coast.  The road also passes by ancient rock walls and foundations.

Kings Trail
At the end of the road is a parking lot just a few steps away from the fishpond and a small white sand beach. 
Kaloko fishpond parking lot
Kaloko fish pond is very large with a massive rock wall that encloses the fishpond.
Kaloko fishpond rock wall
The wall was restored after 13 years of effort using ancient Hawaiian building techniques.

Local Hawaiians with the knowledge of how to create kuapa walls by setting interlocking stones, without shaping or using cement, rebuilt the impressive wall.  You can walk on top of  the solid and stable structure and look down at the pounding surf.  Each stone has been perfectly placed and sits neatly and securely within all the other stones.  
Ancient Hawaii stone building
The mason workers say that they “listen” to where the stone wants to be placed.  The recreation of a stone wall of this scale and complexity will hopefully retain the knowledge of Uhau Humu Pohaku (Hawaiian Dry Stack Masonry) on Hawaii Island.

Honokohau Beach
The ‘Ai’opio fishtrap and Honokohau white sand beach are located at the southern end of the park.  There is a trail to it from the Visitor’s center or easier access from a  south park entrance within Kona’s Honokohau Boat Harbor.  The harbor entrance is at Kealakehe Parkway off Highway 19.  The palm tree lined Kealakehe Parkway has a plaque on the side of the road installed in 1964 recognizing the Hawaiian Honokohau Settlement as a National Historic Landmark. 
Plaque in Honokohau Harbor
The park entrance is located near Kona Sailing Club which can be reached by taking a right turn at the first intersection  on Kealakehe Parkway road in the harbor.  
South  gate to the National Park in the Harbor
A large parking lot is located on the left and the park gate is located on the right.   
Path to fishpond
Pedestrian and animals on a leash can pass through the gate to an unpaved park trail that leads to the coastline.  The trail is rocky from the gate to the beach, not wheelchair accessible, but only about a half mile to the beach. 

White sand beach and canoe house
The beach in front of the fish trap has a restored canoe house and shade for a picnic or enjoying the view.  Some people bring chairs  and spend the day snorkeling or fishing. 
'Ai'opio stone fishtrap
The ‘Ai’opio fishtrap is an usual stone structure in a 1.7 acre pond.  The stone walls surrounding the pond were low enough to allow fish in during high tide but high enough to trap the fish at low tide.  The fish trap captured and stored fish as opposed to the fish ponds where fish were raised.  
Maliu Point
At the south end of the beach is Maliu Point Resource Area, a protected historical area with stone walls and remains of a temple.  From the point, there is a great view of the open ocean.

Channel in Kona Honokohau Harbor
An alternate walk from the park back to the parking lot is near Mailu Point, where a gate leads to the side of Kona’s Honokohau Small Boat Harbor channel.  You can walk along the channel where the boats enter and leave the harbor. 
Visitors Center in Kaloko Honokohau National Park
The Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park Visitor’s Center is located 4.2 miles south of Kona International airport on Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway (Highway 19) and a half a mile north of the entrance to Kona's Honokohau Harbor.  The center has a large parking area, bathrooms, and a small store.  Park information and maps are available and a park ranger is on site to talk story.  Entrance is free. The gate is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  (park website:

For descriptions and directions to hundreds of other interesting places to visit on Hawaii Island, check out Your Ideal Hawaii Island Vacation  guide in black and white or color versions.