You want to get back to your little grass shack in Kealakekua? Then seek out small Manini Beach Park, which gets lost in the shuffle among all the better-known attractions on the bay where Captain Cook made landfall in 1779. Cook was thought to be the coming of the god Lono—a misunderstanding that one month later turned into a dispute that left Cook dead.
Though Manini has little sand (like the rest of Kealakekua), the snorkeling can be excellent when the water is calm. A sandy channel through a lava reef provides entry. When the surf is up, a left break off the point is one of the better rides on the Big Island. Palm trees and picnic tables set up a stunning view of the cliffs above Kealakeua. See pages 96 to 100 of Hawaii the Big Island Trailblazer for more on this park, and the rest of the bay.