Big Island Bucket List
The Island of Hawai’i, also referred to as the the Big Island, is one of the most diverse places to visit. With so much to do and places you explore it can be difficult to narrow your choices. Waikoloa Beach Resort is on the “dry side” of the island and offers some of the best beaches, restaurants and natural beauty on the Islands. Our Big Island Bucket List should assist you in planning your next trip.
Tour Kilauea Volcano
Visit Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and discover the making of an Island. The Park is home to native plants, song birds, animals and “Pelehonuanea” or Pele, the goddess of the volcano. Activities at the Park offers something for everyone from geologic displays, maps and video to hiking on lava fields and craters. When the Volcano is active, viewing the lava flow and steam vents from within the Park, along the ocean cliffs, boat or helicopter will result in lifetime memories. Finish the day at the Volcano House restaurant, fine dining known for local dishes and specialty drinks.
Swim with Turtles & Rays
Imagine the thrill of swimming within inches of manta rays. With wingspans up to 20 feet wide, these creatures are both beautiful and ethereal. They do not have stingers or barbs on their tail and so they are harmless to humans. Manta Rays eat plankton by opening their mouths wide and swimming in acrobatic motion. The most popular location to spot these creatures is along the Kona Coast, where they feed primarily in he evening. Plan and evening boat tour for the ultimate thrill when spotlights are turned on attracting plankton to the feeding stations.
What better way to say “play” than doing water adventures. With over 266 miles of coastline, the Island of Hawaii is surrounded by pristine blue warm waters. Try kayaking or stand up paddle board “SUP” to experience the water and sea life below. Want more adventure, try the authentic Polynesian sport of outrigger canoe or pump up the exhilaration and try canoe surfing in the stunning ʻAnaehoʻomalu Bay! If sailing floats you boat, take the sights from catamaran where dolphins escort the bow of the boat.
Best Beaches on Kohala Coast
No better way to relax then on a white sandy beach of Hawai’i. Take an umbrella, cooler with your favorite beverage and snacks, beach chairs, and beach towels and relax, whether it be white, black or green sands. Hapuna Beach, known for clear waters and golden sand, recently ranked the #3 beach by Travel and Leisure as the world’s best family beach. Or enjoy a romantic sunset along the Anaehoomalu Bay. Punaluu Beach is Hawaii’s famous black sands created from crushes lava rock and certain to spot a turtle or two. Enjoy!
Visit Tallest Mountain Maunakea
At 13,796 feet above sea level (asl), Maunakea (formerly Mauna Kea), means white mountain, and is the highest mountain on earth. At this altitude, the the clarity, stability, and darkness makes this a world premier location for astronomical research and is home to 13 of the world’s most powerful telescope. Stargazing at the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy provides a unique opportunity to view the worlds outside our blue planet. The visitor center (9,300 feet asl) has smaller telescopes available for visitors where you can view sunspots and celestial objects while getting acclimated before heading up to the mountain peak.
Nothing says morning like a cup of coffee. Grown primarily on the upland slopes near Kona, the elevation, rich volcanic soil, and sunny mornings and afternoon cloud coverage creates the perfect environment for growing coffee. With hundreds of coffee plantations, you are bound to stumble on orchards, or view signs saying “cherries.” Many coffee farmers offer tours where you can see the detailed process of growing and harvesting coffee. Taste the difference of 100% pure Kona coffee, which is world renowned for its delicious and unique taste. For 10 days each November, the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival creates events and tours to celebrate, preserve and promote the 200 years of coffee heritage.
National Historic Parks
Place of Refuge or Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park offers a chance to visit life in old Hawai’i. Known for its spiritual powers, peace and forgiveness, this area offered offenders breaking laws a chance to redeem themselves and escape punishment by death. Or visit Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site where you can walk on the footsteps of King Kamehamea I. Lapakahi State Historic Park is a self guided tour that shows a glimpse of ancient coastal life. Visit the partially restored remains and encounter plants, animals, rocks and fish species used for food sources, building and clothing materials, medicines and games.
Snorkeling and diving provides the best ways to see marine life. Famous for its warm tropical waters and diverse marine life, you are certain to be awed by Hawaii’s underwater world. You will see fish and other marine creatures in all different sizes and colors since more than a quarter of Hawaii’s sea life is found nowhere else on earth. Kealakekua Bay, home to Captain Cook’s monument, is a designated marine sanctuary with abundant sea life including sea turtles and dolphins. Also, “Two Step” or Honaunau Bay is located adjacent to the Place of Refuge and was named one of “America’s Beast Beaches” due to exceptional visibility and calm waters.
Zipline Over Waterfalls
Weeeee! Ziplinging is an outdoor family adventure for thrill seekers. With speeds up to 35 mph, you cover a lot of ground while getting an adrenaline rush. Ziplines are built in scenic areas and features jungles, meadows and waterfalls and streams with views of the Ocean. Tours includes on average 8 lines that allows magnificent views soaring at heights between at heights 30 to 200 feet above the ground. There are at least four tour operators on Island with some offering multiple-hour adventures tour including zip lines, sky bridges, and rappelling. Many tours include picnic areas and ability to swim and hike on private property.
Welcome To the Big Island
Your Big Island Vacation Rental Accommodation
Vista Waikoloa is located on the western side of the Big Island along the beautiful Kohala Coast. Centrally located in the renowned Waikoloa Beach Resort, offers easy walks to beaches, retail shops and restaurants. This private, gated community has a luxurious poolin a rich garden setting. The solid building construction provides excellent sound barrier and peace and quiet. Complex amenities include fitness center, fax and copy machine, barbecue grills, lovely salt-water heated lap pool, and two spas. This second story end unit provides 160 degree of unobstructed views of mountains with partial ocean view. Buildings include elevators for easy accessibility. The complex is peaceful and provides assigned parking with extra visitor spots.
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