Pahoa is the hub town of the Puna District on the Big Island. Puna is the easternmost district and includes the east rift zone of Kilauea Volcano, an active zone of lava flows. This area has been hit hard by lava flows since the mid-1800s and continues to be active now. In 2018 a massive fissure opened up in the Leilani Estates subdivision and the lava covered three of the top coastal attractions in the Puna District including a park known as the Hot Ponds
, a swimming spot called the Champagne Ponds
, and the best tidepools on the Big Island
. Many homes, farms, roads and sights were lost. The only consolation prize was a newly formed black sand beach at Cape Kumukahi
. The beach parks near Pahoa that survived the lava are worth checking out. Isaac Hale Park
still has warm soaking pools and a great swimming area, but it's shoreline was dramatically changed by the recent lava flow. MacKenzie State Recreation Area
is a spooky spot that's best for walking in the woods along the shore (no beach). And if you want to get into the water in the buff, Kehena Black Sand Beach
is your spot. Although the Puna District has lost some of its epic destinations, it's still a scenic area to drive and the remaining shoreline is worth seeing.