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Introducing Miloliʻi

A study in contrasts, Miloliʻi is a fishing village fighting to maintain its traditional ways while an upscale subdivision rises from the lava landscape around it. Needless to say, privacy is paramount in these parts and curious tourists are tolerated – barely.

Miloliʻi (fine twist) was named for its skilled sennit twisters, who used bark from the olona (a native shrub) to make fine cord and highly valued fishnets. Villagers still live close to the sea, and many continue to make a living from it.

The turnoff is just south of the 89-mile marker; the village is 5 miles down a steep, winding, single-lane road that cuts across a 1926 lava flow. At the end of the road, you'll reach a natty beach park pocked with tide pools. Camping along the rocky shore is allowed (but not recommended) with a county permit.

Instead of feeling like the unwanted guest you are, we suggest heading straight to Honomalino Beach, a 15-minute walk from Miloliʻi. With sand the color of all Big Island beaches crushed into one – green, gold, tawny and black – this beach has good swimming (for kids, too) and snorkeling. The path has improved over the years: you'll find it marked just beyond the yellow church and up the rocks to the left. Visitors should respect all kapu and no trespassing signs.