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Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park
The coastal trails at this sheltered 1,160-acre coastal park near Honokohau Harbor, just north of Kailua-Kona town, are popular among walkers and hikers. The park is a good place to see Hawaiian archaeological history and ruins intact; you can visit a heiau (an ancient Hawaiian place of worship), house platforms, fishponds, petroglyph rock etchings, and more. The park's wetlands provide refuge to a number of waterbirds, including the endemic Hawaiian stilt and coot. There are two beaches here that are good for swimming, walking, and sea turtle spotting—Aiopio, a few yards north of the harbor, is a small beach with calm, protected swimming areas (good for kids) near the archaeological site of Hale o Mono, while Honokohau Beach, a ¾-mi stretch with ruins of ancient fishponds, is also north of the harbor. There are three entrances to the park; the middle entrance provides access to park headquarters, where the rangers are very helpful. www.nps.gov. OPEN: Park road gate 8-4.