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When Hurricance Iniki slammed into Hawaii in 1992, this park lost all of its sand, which is slowly returning decades later. The shoreline is rocky but don't let that deter you. The area is surrounded by high green cliffs, creating calm conditions for superb swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Among the variety of marine life are dolphins, which come to rest and escape predators during the day. They are protected from harassment by federal law, so don't disturb them. This popular spot is also historically significant. Captain James Cook first landed in Hawaii here in 1778. When he returned a year later, he was killed in a skirmish with Hawaiians, now marked by a monument on the north end of the bay. Rocky but walkable trails lead to Hikiau Heiau, a sacred place for the Hawaiian people. Do not walk on or enter it. Parking is very limited. Be aware of the off-limits area (in case of rockfalls) marked by orange buoys. Amenities: parking (no fee); toilets. Best for: snorkeling; swimming.
Napoopoo Rd., off Hwy. 11, just south of mile marker 111, Kealakekua, Hawaii, 96750, United States