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Kaʻū

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Kaʻū

Vast, rural and remote, the island of Hawaiʻi’s southernmost region, Kaʻū, is a quiet area free of large hotels, resorts and golf courses. It’s home to the small communities of Nāʻālehu and Pāhala, and one of the most famous beaches in the state—Punaluʻu Black Sand Beach.

Kaʻū is also home to most of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and Kīlauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. It’s a place of natural wonders where you can witness the growth of the island right before your eyes. Other sights in Kaʻū include Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park's Kahuku Unit.

In contrast, on the eastern slopes of Kaʻū, there are macadamia nut orchards, coffee farms and cattle. Wood Valley, near Pāhala, is a place for meditation and respite from the outside world. It’s no wonder Kaʻū is home to not only Hawaiian families who have been here for generations, but also writers, artists, philosophers and others seeking solitude. 

Explore beyond Kīlauea and get off the beaten path in Kaʻū.

Regions of Island of Hawaiʻi

Island of Hawaiʻi
Hamakua Heritage Corridor
Take a memorable drive from Hilo to the Waipiʻo Valley Lookout to see scenic overlooks, waterfalls, botanical gardens and small towns. 
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Honokaa
This friendly, small town is the gateway to the Waipiʻo Valley, and home to cute local shops and restaurants.
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Waipio Valley Lookout
Located on the northern Hāmākua Coast, the sacred Waipiʻo Valley was the boyhood home of King Kamehameha I and an important center for political and religious life in Hawaiʻi. 
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Hilo Farmers Market
The Hilo Farmers Market is one of the best open markets in Hawaiʻi, featuring fresh fruit, vegetables, plants and local crafts.
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Liliuokalani Gardens
Liliʻuokalani Gardens is a beautifully landscaped, 30-acre Japanese garden featuring fishponds, pagodas and rock gardens.
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Akaka Falls State Park
ʻAkaka Falls State Park features two amazing waterfalls, ʻAkaka Falls (442 feet) and Kahuna Falls (100 feet). 
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Downtown Hilo
Downtown Hilo is the island of Hawaiʻi's biggest small town, featuring centuries-old wooden storefronts—many of which are on the National Register of Historic Places—housing a variety of sophisticated galleries, shops, restaurants and cultural sites.
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Wailuku River State Park
If you’re looking for a waterfall near Downtown Hilo, take a short drive west on Waiānuenue Avenue to Wailuku River State Park.
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Punaluu Black Sand Beach
This famous black sand beach is a great photo opportunity and is almost as popular with honu (green sea turtles) as it is with visitors.
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Kalae (South Point)
The southern-most point in the Hawaiian Islands (and the United States) offers beautiful ocean views.
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One of the state’s most famous attractions is a testament to the power of nature and a rare opportunity to see an active volcano.
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Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site
Part of the National Park System, this historic site is home to one of the largest and last heiau (temple) built in Hawaiʻi.
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Puako Petroglyph Archeological Preserve
The Puakō Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve is one of the most extensive petroglyph fields in Hawaiʻi.
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Hapuna Beach
Hāpuna Beach on the Kohala Coast is one of the largest white sand beaches on the island of Hawaiʻi.
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Pololu Valley Lookout
The Pololū Valley Lookout offers a breathtaking view overlooking Pololū Valley, a black sand beach and the northeastern coastline.
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Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park
Visit Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau and learn about early Hawaiian history at this National Historic Park, historic place of refuge and former royal grounds.
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Keauhou
The Keauhou resort area, just south of Historic Kailua Village in Kona, is where you can often spot manta rays and honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles).
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Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona)
Historic Kailua Village is a lively seaside town in the heart of Kona home to shopping, dining and important historic sites.
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Hulihee Palace
Travel back to the days of the Hawaiian monarchy at Huliheʻe Palace, located right on Aliʻi Drive in the heart of Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona).
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Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park
Just south of Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport, is Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park. Explore this coastal park and discover how an early Hawaiian settlement survived on the rugged Kona coast.
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Lava Tree State Park
This seven-acre State Monument is home to unusual lava tree structures that rise up out of the ground.
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Volcano Village
Visit this charming artist community located five minutes from Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park
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Kalapana
Once a historic town partially destroyed by lava, now a lava viewing area on the southeastern coast of the island of Hawaiʻi.
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Hāmākua Coast
Onomea Bay on the Hamakua Coast on the island of Hawaii
If you’re driving along the Hāmākua Coast be sure to stop to explore some of its hidden gems, including taro farms, black sand beaches, splendid waterfalls and more.
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Hilo
Scenic view of the Hilo coast on the island of Hawaii
The perfect place to explore local shops, a famous farmers market, beautiful beaches and dramatic waterfalls.
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Puna
Lava Trees State Park in Puna on the island of Hawaii
See dramatic features such as lava trees and molds at Lava Trees State Park and swim in volcanically heated tide pools.
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Kaʻū
Punaluu Black Sand Beach in Kau on the island of Hawaii
See an active volcano at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National park and learn how the Hawaiian Islands were formed.
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Kona
Crystal clear beaches in Kona on the island of Hawaii
Bright blue water, abundant resorts, coffee tastings, and unique historical and cultural landmarks — your options are plentiful.
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Kohala
Hapuna Beach State Park in Kohala on the island of Hawaii
The island of Hawaiʻi is often called the “Golf Capital of Hawaiʻi” because of the renowned courses found along the Kohala Coast.
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Kaʻū Highlights

Punaluu Black Sand Beach

Punaluʻu Black Sand Beach

This famous black sand beach is a great photo opportunity and is almost as popular with honu (green sea turtles) as it is with visitors.

More
Kalae (South Point)

Kala‘e (South Point)

The southern-most point in the Hawaiian Islands (and the United States) offers beautiful ocean views.

More

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

One of the state’s most famous attractions is a testament to the power of nature and a rare opportunity to see an active volcano.

More

Travel Pono Pledge

One’s love for the planet is an inseverable relationship. Please take the island of Hawaiʻi Pono Pledge and ask your friends and family to do the same.

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