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On the western shore of the Big Island south of Kailua-Kona, the town of Captain Cook is named after British explorer Captain James Cook who landed at nearby Kealakekua Bay in 1779 and one month later was killed in an encounter with Hawaiians along the shores of the bay.

The town of Captain Cook sits at 1,300 feet above sea level and is home to about 3,000 people. The ideal climate and proximity to the ocean make the town of Captain Cook a popular visitor destination. Accommodations include a variety of vacation rentals while a small commercial area has some interesting shops, a gas station and a grocery store.

Activities near Captain Cook include swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, kayaking and fishing. Along the shore of Kealakekua Bay stands the Captain Cook Monument, a 27-foot-tall white obelisk erected as a memorial to the British explorer.

The town of Captain Cook is located just south of the town of Kealakekua and about 45 minute drive south of Kailua-Kona. Just to the south of Captain Cook along the coastline of Kiilae Bay is the Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, also known as the City of Refuge, which includes a puuhonua (place of refuge) and ancient burial sites.

Captain Cook is the last major town as you head south along the Mamalahoa Hwy. (Hwy. 11). Beyond Captain Cook there are some scattered houses and small villages. Eventually the road leads to the remote South Point (Ka Lae), the southernmost spot in the United States.