Kohala - North Kohala and the Kohala Coast | Go Hawaii

Kohala

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Kohala

As you drive 20-minutes north of Kona International Airport, you’ll marvel at the rugged lava fields surrounding you. You may not see it from Queen Kaahumanu Highway, but the Kohala Coast is where you’ll find some of the island’s finest resorts. Nestled amongst the jet-black and rust-red lava rock fields, a result of eruptions from the island's volcanos centuries ago, are green oases full of world-class accommodations, fine dining and some of Hawaii’s best golf courses. The sun-drenched Kohala Coast sees an annual average rainfall of only nine inches, so soak in the sun and relax at Hapuna Beach State Park, one of the island of Hawaii’s largest white sand beaches, indulge at local restaurants or recharge at a local spa. You’ll discover cultural treasures on the Kohala Coast, too, such as the remarkable Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site, the largest restored heiau in Hawaii.

At the junction of Kawaihae Road and Highway 19, turn east to explore the cool scenic pasturelands of Waimea. In sharp contrast to the lava landscapes along the Kohala Coast, this upcountry town is home to the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy). From Waimea, head north on Kohala Mountain Road. Visit Kahua Ranch to take a horseback riding tour or ATV drive. Then continue on to the charming town of Hawi. On your way to Kapaau, home of the original Kamehameha Statue, you'll find dramatic Pololu Valley at the end of the road. If returning back to the Kohala Coast, take Akoni Pule highway (coastal) and stop off at Lapakahi State Park, an old fishing village..

Video: Day With a Local in Kohala

Video: Kohala Region
Follow on a trip through the Kohala region of the island of Hawaii to see lava fields, amazing local food and more.

Regional Map of Island of Hawaii

Island of Hawaii
Hamakua Coast
Hamakua Coast photo
If you’re driving along the Hamakua 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
Hilo photo
The perfect place to explore local shops, a famous farmers market, beautiful beaches and dramatic waterfalls.
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Puna
Puna photo
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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Kau
Kau photo
See an active volcano at Hawaii Volcanoes National park and learn how the Hawaiian Islands were formed.
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Kona
Kona photo
Bright blue water, abundant resorts, coffee tastings, and unique historical and cultural landmarks — your options are plentiful.
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Kohala
Kohala photo
The island of Hawaii is often called the “Golf Capital of Hawaii” because of the renowned courses found along the Kohala Coast.
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Take a memorable drive from Hilo to the Waipio Valley Lookout to see scenic overlooks, waterfalls, botanical gardens and small towns. 
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This friendly, small town is the gateway to the Waipio Valley, and home to cute local shops and restaurants.
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Located on the northern Hamakua Coast, the sacred Waipio Valley was the boyhood home of King Kamehameha I and an important center for political and religious life in Hawaii. 
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The Hilo Farmers Market is one of the best open markets in Hawaii, featuring fresh fruit, vegetables, plants and local crafts.
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Liliuokalani Gardens is a beautifully landscaped, 30-acre Japanese garden featuring fishponds, pagodas and rock gardens.
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Akaka Falls State Park features two amazing waterfalls, Akaka Falls (442 feet) and Kahuna Falls (100 feet). 
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Downtown Hilo is the island of Hawaii'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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If you’re looking for a waterfall near Downtown Hilo, take a short drive west on Waianuene Avenue to Wailuku River State Park.
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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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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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Part of the National Park System, this historic site is home to one of the largest and last heiau (temple) built in Hawaii.
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The Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve is one of the most extensive petroglyph fields in Hawaii.
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Hapuna Beach on the Kohala Coast is one of the largest white sand beaches on the island of Hawaii.
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The Pololu Valley Lookout offers a breathtaking view overlooking Pololu Valley, a black sand beach and the northeastern coastline.
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Visit Puuhonua o Honaunau and learn about early Hawaiian history at this National Historic Park, historic place of refuge and former royal grounds.
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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 is a lively seaside town in the heart of Kona home to shopping, dining and important historic sites.
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Travel back to the days of the Hawaiian monarchy at Hulihee Palace, located right on Alii Drive in the heart of Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona).
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Just south of Kona International Airport (KOA), is Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park. Explore this coastal park and discover how an early Hawaiian settlement survived on the rugged Kona coast.
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This seven-acre State Monument is home to unusual lava tree structures that rise up out of the ground.
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Visit this charming artist community located five minutes from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
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Once a historic town partially destroyed by lava, now a lava viewing area on the southeastern coast of the island of Hawaii.
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Kohala Highlights

Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site

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 Hawaii.

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Puako Petroglyph Archeological Preserve

Puako Petroglyph Archeological Preserve

The Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve is one of the most extensive petroglyph fields in Hawaii.

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Hapuna Beach

Hapuna Beach

Hapuna Beach on the Kohala Coast is one of the largest white sand beaches on the island of Hawaii.

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Pololu Valley Lookout

Pololu Valley Lookout

The Pololu Valley Lookout offers a breathtaking view overlooking Pololu Valley, a black sand beach and the northeastern coastline.

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Learn More About Petroglyphs On the Island of Hawaii

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Travel Pono Pledge

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

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