NileGuide Expert Says:
Make sure to visit Pololu Valley.
Mile Marker 27
Big Island (Hawaii), HI 96755
NileGuide Expert tip:
Try the hike down to the beach, you won't regret it.
Pololu Valley has a history as deep and important to the Hawaiian culture as the beach and views are beautiful. The valley was the first place to the famous King Kamehameha, whose statue stands around the island.
The drive to Pololu Valley is highly enjoyable and beautiful itself as you drive through the small town of Hawi, past the King Kamehameha statue in Kapaau and continue down through single-lane bridges, metal-roofed plantation-style homes, and vistas that include the eastern slope of Haleakala on Maui on a clear day. The drive proceeds past forested land and tropical landscapes.
Pololu means "long spear," and arriving at the lookout above the valley, the jaw-dropping view appears quite unexpectedly when the road comes around a turn and the valley comes into view. The view from the top makes a great photo opportunity, but for a truly unforgettable experience there is a less than 30 minute steep hike down to the beach. It can be tiring and hikers need to watch for loose ground, but the hike is not extremely strenuous. Of course, heading back up can take longer because you will be headed up hill.
Down in the valley the long black sand beach is a great place to sunbathe, walk, and take in the sights, but there is usually a strong current in the water and somewhat large waves. The beach isn't really for swimming except for carefully going up to the water's edge.
There are no bathrooms or showers here and you will need to bring water and snacks down with you.