At mile marker 17, the vintage Hawaiian village of Keanae ★★ stands out against the Pacific like a place time forgot. Here, on an old lava flow graced by an 1860 stone church and swaying palms, is one of the last coastal enclaves of native Hawaiians. They still grow taro in patches and pound it into poi, the staple of the old Hawaiian diet; and they still pluck opihi (limpet) from tide pools along the jagged coast and cast throw-nets for fish. Pick up a loaf of still-warm banana bread from Aunty Sandy’s (10 Keanae Rd.; [tel] 808/344-1885).
At nearby Keanae Arboretum, Hawaii’s botanical world is divided into three parts: native forest, introduced forest, and traditional Hawaiian plants, food, and medicine. You can swim in the pools of Piinaau Stream or press on along a mile-long trail into Keanae Valley, where a lovely tropical rainforest waits at the end.