Holualoa Bay (Lyman)

Holualoa Bay sits just a 10 minute drive south of Kona on the west coast of The Big Island. It's now a residential area where you'll find plenty of vacation homes, but the area once served Hawaiian royalty.

One of the first known queens of Hawaii, Keakealaniwahine, ordered the construction of royal buildings on the land just uphill from the bay back in the 17th century. Her subjects built a series of residential buildings, temples, schools and burial areas. 

All of these ancient structures were erected next to the Kamoa Point Complex. This arena, built back in the 1300's, was a training ground for warriors. The entire Holualoa Bay area is drenched in history. In fact, it as added to the National Register of Historic Places back in 2005.

And the history doesn't end there. It is said that the great King Kamehameha I learned to surf in the waters of this bay, and the surf breaks are still enjoyed today.

At the north end of the bay, surfers enjoy a popular break called Banyans. Unfortunately, there are no more banyan trees at the sight. The south end of the bay features a slightly less dangerous break called Lyman's. That's why you may have heard this bay referred to as Lyman's Bay.

Don't let these surf breaks fool you into thinking that the water here is safe for a swim. It's not. The surfers enjoying these breaks are incredibly skilled and experienced. It's best to enjoy the views of the bay from the safety of the rocky shore.

And that's what you get at this picturesque bay: a rocky shoreline. It's not fit for sunbathing, but you can watch the surfers and look for dolphins just uphill from the bay at one of the many historical sites.

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Price: Free
Holualoa, Big Island