While the Hawaiian Islands are a destination known for their postcard-perfect beaches, there is much more to be found for visitors who take the time to dig a little deeper. Long before Hawaii became a tourist destination, the Native Hawaiians held customs and traditions that were shaped by the land. Visitors who take the time to learn more about Native Hawaiian culture leave the islands with a rich, full experience. Kaloko Honokohau National Historical Park is one such destination in which visitors can enjoy a view into Native Hawaiian cultural practices while at the same time enjoying a beautiful outdoor setting.
Things to Do at Kaloko Honokohau National Historical Park
Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park is situated along the ocean, making it possible to enjoy some time along the coast while also learning more about Hawaiian history. Hawaiian tradition divides land into ahupua’a from the mountains to the sea, and there are four ahupua’a that can be hiked to within the park. Along the way, pass ancient heiau (sacred temples), platforms where houses once stood, and petroglyphs. The Mamalahoa Trail and Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail are ancient footpaths on the park’s land where you can walk in the footsteps of Hawaiian people many years ago.
Visitors can also enjoy a day along the shoreline at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park. Take the Ala Hele Ike Trail from the Visitor Center to Honokohau Beach, passing native plants and ancient walls along the way. The hike is approximately 2 miles each way with very little change in elevation. Without much protection from the elements, hikers should be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Once you reach the coast, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful crystal-clear waters. The beach area offers a nice mix of white sand and tidepools. Families will enjoy exploring the tidepools, and this beach is often frequented by honu (green sea turtles) and Hawaiian monk seals who can often be found resting along the shoreline. Be sure to keep your distance from these protected wildlife as mandated by Hawaii law.
Planning Your Visit to Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park
Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park is located just south of the Kona International Airport. Hale Ho’okipa, the park’s visitor center, is open daily from 8:30- 4:00pm. Entry into the park is free for all visitors. This is a great activity for the holidays! If you’re coming with your family, be sure to check out our holiday cottages in Kona!
Nearby Kona Restaurants
Before or after your visit to Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, grab a bite to eat at Harbor House Restaurant, a casual eatery that overlooks the waters of the harbor. Watch the boats come and go as you enjoy lunch, dinner, or drinks at Harbor House. Their menu features a variety of sandwiches, burgers, and specialty plates perfect for refueling before or after your flight or after a visit to the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park. Enjoy the fresh catch of the day or fish & chips alongside a cold beer.
Pau Hana Poke is also nearby and is a great place to try this favorite Hawaiian dish if you haven’t yet. Poke (pronounced poh-kay) is a local dish comprised of cubed raw ahi (tuna) marinated and mixed with sesame oil, soy sauce, and green onions. Modern day renditions include a wide variety of other ingredients, from spicy aioli to avocado. Pau Hana Poke has a simple menu, offering poke bowls comprised of rice, poke, and a side option. The marlin and spicy ahi are favorites here. Pau Hana Poke is known for its no-frills and good taste! This is a great option for picking up your meal and heading to a nearby beach to enjoy, such as the nearby Kaloko Honokohau National Park.
Pine Tree Café is another nearby eatery that offers local-style plate meals. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Their breakfast menu has omelets and other breakfast plates, many with unique local offerings. Try the poke omelets or the loco moco, a Hawaii favorite comprised of a fried egg on top of a hamburger, served on a bed of rice and smothered in brown gravy. Plate lunches and dinners include items such as Korean chicken, Kalbi short ribs, shoyu chicken, and chicken katsu, among other local favorites. Select your starch and salad to accompany the meal. This local-style food served up in large portions makes it a favorite among residents as well as visitors!
Stay in close proximity to Kaloko Honokohau National Park when you select accommodations in nearby Kona. The charming Kona area is home to a variety of shopping and dining options, in addition to some of the best beaches and golf on the island.
At Venture Hawaii, we offer high-quality Kona vacation rentals that put you in perfect proximity for enjoying the many exciting attractions on the Big Island. Our accommodations range from 2-4 bedrooms, making them great for couples, families, or small groups. Browse our listings online today or contact our friendly staff for more information! Check out our apartment vacation rentals in Kona.