Pu'uhonua o Honaunau
National Historical Park
1955: City of Refuge National Historical Park
Rating (1-5): Unrated
About the SiteThis park, ancient holy ground, was a sanctuary for defeated Hawaiian soldiers, noncombatants, and kapu-breakers until 1819. It's located in southwest Hawaii, near Ho'naunau. Also known as the City of Refuge, once those in trouble got inside the ten-foot-high lava rock walls, they were safe from their pursuers.
What You're Going to SeeThe Park includes prehistoric house sites, coconut groves, royal fishponds, and spectacular shore scenery. Visitors can fish, hike, picnic, take self-guided tours, and watch crafts demonstrations. There is a visitors center with exhibits, a restored temple, and trails. Watch for falling coconuts!
Personal ObservationsWhen I visited Hawaii ten years ago, I didn't make this side of the Big Island a priority. The next time I go (can you hear my dream-voice?), you bet I'll get my stamp.
Getting ThereFrom the Keahole-Kona airport, take Highway 19 south to Kailua, then Highway 11 to Honaunau, and Highway 160 to the Park.
Nearby AttractionsA few miles to the north is Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, a few miles more is Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, and on the other side of the island of Hawaii you'll find Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Maui has Haleakala National Park, Oahu has the USS Arizona Memorial, and Molokai has Kalaupapa National Historical Park.