Heading towards the light, these seafarers discovered the volcanic firework display of Hawaii's Big Island. Generations have passed, but sparkling blue waters continue to lap over primal lava rocks, bubble across white, black and green sand beaches, and splash up sheer cliffs for modern day seafaring visitors to enjoys.
These visitors have come to appreciate the island's diversity that contributes to its unique history, culture and landscape. Fashioned by five massive volcanoes, Hawaii's Big Island is the largest of the Hawaiian Islands at 4,038 square miles, the youngest at 800,000 years, and the most diverse, boasting 11 of 13 world climate zones.
The off-the-beaten-path beach adventure begins in Hilo. Along the coast of Keaukaha enormous boulders and lava rocks create protective coves for refreshing water fun. A favorite swimming hole is Richardson's Ocean Park. A picturesque brackish water pond leads to lava rocks that slope into the clear, ocean. The calm waters make it a perfect place to swim, snorkel or kayak with the abundant sea life. When conditions are right, building surf makes it a great place for boogie boarding. A restroom facility is available, and a lifeguard is on duty throughout the day.
Heading south, visitors find the salt and pepper shore of Anaehoomalu Bay. The spirit of the ancient royalty who lived and played in its bounty and beauty may still be sensed in the gentle breeze. Anaehoomalu Bay features a restored fishpond where fish delicacies were reserved for the alii or Hawaiian royalty. Discover them behind the coconut palms that line the sandy beach. In the water, snorkelers delight in the calm waters where sea turtles and other marine life reside. Restrooms, showers, picnic tables and plenty of parking make this beach easy to access and enjoy.
The southern tip of the island, also the southern most part of the United States, is South Point or Ka Lae. The view of sheer cliffs plunging into the mysterious depths of a navy blue ocean, captivate the imagination - South Point is known as the landing spot for the earliest Polynesian voyagers.