Historically a major Hawaiian settlement, Punaluʻu is now an uninhabited black-sand beach flanked by temple ruins. The area is known for its sea turtles who manage to do OK despite the throngs of visitors. Remember to stay 50yd away from turtles in water and 20ft on land.
In recent history, the bay was besieged by Sea Mountain, a fish hook–shaped golf course with a small condo complex dangling like bait to entice investors. However, local opposition has successfully prevented further development, citing threats to both cultural and environmental resources.