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The Big Island of Hawai’i is an island of superlatives. It is the youngest but also the largest island of the Hawaiian chain with the world’s tallest mountain, the world’s most active volcano, is the southernmost point in the United States, and then there are some of the most magnificent coastlines. There is more to see and to do than the average vacation schedule can hold! You might plan to return soon or just stay a little longer!

Just to give you a few more reasons … Did you know that the Big Island of Hawai’i is home to four other National Park Service managed attractions?

Explore the history of Hawai’i Island and feel the magic of these ancient places:

Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site: Perhaps you have seen the large stone structure when driving north on highway 19 just before Kawaihae. Next time stop by the visitor center and learn about the significance of this place in Hawaiian history. While there, ask about the ancient underwater temple that was dedicated to the shark gods. Especially in the early morning hours chances are good to see some sharks checking out this special place in Pelekane Bay.

Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail: This 175-mile trail was established in the year 2000 and is the path to the most incredible views in the footsteps of the ancient residents. It is not contiguous and its disconnected segments stretch from Upolu Point in the North Kohala District along the shoreline all the way to Volcanoes National Park.

Kaloko Honokohau National Historical Park: If you want to experience an intense contrast of ancient lifestyles and our modern age this is a must-do on your itinerary. You’ll find this amazing park between Kona’s Keahole Airport and Honokohau Marina. There you can experience ancient fishponds, the site of a long gone village, basking sea turtles and other wildlife. If you are really still, you’ll hear the stories of old in the smooth ocean breeze and in the rustling of the leaves on the trees.

Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historic Site: Also know as The City of Refuge, this historic site was often the last hope for people who had broken a law of the strict kapu system. Once they reached the walls of this mesmerizing place, located to the south of Kailua Kona, they were safe from harsh punishment.

While these landmarks can be reached by car, there are some true highlights that are only accessible by boat. The Body Glove historians Michaela and Kalei amaze even long time residents with their knowledge, their stories and one or the other surprising new tidbit of Big Island’s past. Join them on a Body Glove Historic Cruise and learn all about Kealakekua Bay, Captain Cook, the battlefields and burial sites, places of worship and the ancient legends.

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