Parks & Gardens

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Island of Hawaii Parks & Gardens

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park may be the most popular visitor attraction in the state and a World Heritage Site, but the Island of Hawaii also boasts a multitude of beautiful state, county and historical parks that offer everything from lava formations to peaceful beachside camping.

Here's a look at the parks you'll find on the the island of Hawaii:

Hamakua 

Kalopa State Recreation Area: Hike in the Kalopa State Recreation Area or horseback ride on a two-mile trail.
Mauna Kea Recreation Area: A 32-acre park with restroom facilities and playground area, located about half way between East and West Hawaii on the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (also known as Saddle Road).

Hilo 

Wailuku River State Park: Home to Boiling Pots, a succession of bubbling pools fed by Peepee Falls, and the 80-foot Waianuenue (Rainbow Falls).
Wailoa River State Recreation Area: Surrounds the Waiakea Pond and stretches along the banks of the Wailoa River in Downtown Hilo. Home to the newest King Kamehameha Statue (the original is located in Kapaau in North Kohala).
Liliuokalani Gardens: Authentic Japanese garden park features an arching footbridge, teahouse, manicured pathways and reflecting lagoons.
Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park: Midway along the Hamakua Coast, this is a great place to picnic, and relax and explore tide pools.
Akaka Falls State Park: A beautiful self-guided 0.4-mile loop trail to scenic points overlooking Kahuna Falls and the 442-foot Akaka Falls.

Puna

Ahalanui Park: Swimming in this volcano-warmed natural pond next to the ocean will definitely be one of your more unusual aquatic adventures in Hawaii—or anywhere. Heed all posted safety signs. 
Lava Street State Monument: This 0.7-mile loop trail meanders through a forest of lava trees, created when a lava flow swept through an ohia forest in the 18th century. 

Kau 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Established in 1916, this is the home of Nahuku (Thurston Lava Tube), Halemaumau Crater (home of Pele) and Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
Manuka State Wayside: Part of the larger Manuka Natural Area Reserve, this is an excellent example of mid- to lowland native mesic forest.

Kona

Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park: A small monument commemorates the spot where Captain James Cook, supposedly the first Westerner to discover the Hawaiian Islands, first set foot on the Island of Hawaii. Great area for kayaking and snorkeling.
Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park: A 1160-acre park established in 1978 for the preservation, protection and interpretation of traditional Native Hawaiian activities and culture.
Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park: This sacred place of refuge preserves Royal Grounds, heiau (temples) and other historic artifacts along the Kona Coast.
Kekaha Kai Beach Park (Kona Coast State Park): Located just a few miles north of the airport, features the white sands of Kekaha Kai Beach and the small crescent cove of Mahaiula Beach.
Laaloa Beach Park (White Sands Beach Park): Also known as Disappearing Sands or Magic Sands, this white-sand beach is located on Alii Drive just south of Kailua-Kona. This small beach may disappear overnight due to tidal shifts or strong surf, but always returns.

Kohala 

Lapakahi State Historical Park: Take a self-guided tour and learn about early Hawaiian life by viewing partially restored remains of this ancient coastal settlement.
Puukohola National Historic Site: Home to the largest heiau in Hawaii built by King Kamehameha in his quest to unite the islands.
Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area: A large, white sand beach located on the Kohala Coast.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hike across lava fields, peer into a boiling caldera and learn about the formidable power of volcanoes at this geological wonder. 

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