Our Top 10 Big Island Recommendations
Here are our favorite things to see and do on the Big Island.
Some are well know, some not so well known. Have a look around as we have included photos, information and links.
They are in no particular order.
Bamboo Restaurant and Bar – Island Style Cuisine and Beverages
There are so many wonderful places to dine on the Big Island. One of our favorite picks is the Bamboo Restaurant in the district of North Kohala. As one of the oldest and most beloved establishments, you will find something to meet you taste buds: choose from fresh island fish, pulled pork, free-range chicken or organic produce. Bamboo has been rated “Excellent” by Zagat and awarded stars from Fodors.
Lava Lava Beach Club – A great place to put your feet in the sand!
Laval Lava Beach Club is a casual ocean front restaurant and bar. We think it is ideal for a worry-free get together. The service is amazing and you can’t find a better location for sunsets with live music and hula dancers. And did I say specialty drinks! we love Lava Lava for the pu-pus and entertainment in a luxury laid back atmosphere. The chefs are masters of land and sea with the knowledge of local flavors. Evening live entertainment will make you want to sing and dance.
Hilton Waikoloa Village — Art and Wildlife
The expansive Hilton Hotel is a short walking distance to the condo. It has a stunning artworks and exotic wildlife to be enjoyed on its 62 acre oceanfront property. The Hilton has invested over $7 million in their museum and art walk that is worth seeing. If you enjoy the resort feel, take their trams or boats to visit the diverse wildlife or pay a fee to enjoy their cultural activities and pools and lagoons. If you are interested in a luau, the Hilton has a wonderful Legends of Hawaii; great for all ages.
Pololu Valley – Located in the most northern impressive valley carved into the Kohala volcano.
We think the Pololu Valley outlook is one of the most picturesque views on the Big Island. Located at the end of Highway 270 in North Kohala, enjoy a 25 minute hike to the bottom of the Valley along the Awini Trail. There you will enjoy black sands and stones that seems to call for stacking. The Valley if fed by by a meandering stream that makes a perfect location for an afternoon picnic. The Valley is a magical place for relaxation, exploration and reflection.
Kona Pub and Brewery — Nothing says “Aloha” like the Kona Pub and Brewery
Kona Brewery is a perfect way to spend a long lunch or dinner, either relaxing on the lanai or inside at the U shaped Koa bar. Known for their classic ales and lagers throughout the United States, you can experiment with unique beers crafted only served at the brewery. In 1994 Cameron Healy and his son Spoon Khalsa founded the company through combining their love of Hawaii and its pristine, natural beauty with their fondness for delicious, local brews. Schedule a tour or purchase souvenirs from the gift shop.
North Kohala Coast Beaches — Spectacular Sunsets
The Kohala Coast offers the best beaches and parks on the Big Island. Beaches along the coast are scattered between residential resort communities and charming small towns; perfect for a family day trip or a romantic sunset hike. Hapuna Beach is one of the largest white sand beaches with crystal clear waters and is consistently rates on the International Top Ten Island best beaches. A walking trail along the Anaeho’omalu Bay provides scenic views perfect for sunsets. We also recommend visiting the various resorts including Hilton Waikoloa Village, Mauna Kea, Fairmont Orchard, Mani Lani and the Waikoloa Marriott. Looking for more private locations? Try Mahukona Beach Park, Mau’umae Beach, Waialea, 69 Beach, or “at the end of the road” in Puako. Be sure to bring your snorkel gear.
Captain Cook Monument — Kealakekua Bay and Ocean Conservation Area
Kealakekua Bay is rich in history as an ancient burial place of Hawaiian royalty to the infamous arrival of the European explorer Captain James Cook. Cook monument was placed on the northern shore of the bay and marks the approximate location of the Cook’s death. The monument is unreachable by road and is accessible either by a long hike, kayak paddle (must be part of a tour licensed local operator) or boat. The effort is well worth it as 315 acres of the bay is declared a Marine Life Conservation District and offers some of the best snorkeling and diving in Hawaii. You will likely see Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins who frequent the Bay.
Ocean Sports at Anaeho’omalu Bay
Anaeho’omalu Bay or “A Bay” is a perfect spot for wading or playing in the ocean and within a few minutes walk from the condo. The bay is calm most of the time with plenty of lounge chair and is ideal for little. But if you are looking for beach activities or a boat cruise, we recommend Ocean Sport located on the beach in their little hut. There you will find rental equipment (toys) including stand up paddle boards (SUPs), kayaks, hydrobikes, snorkel gear, boogie boards and noodles and floats. If you can’t decide ask about their special Aloha Day Beach Packages. Looking to cruise the water? They offer various boats and adventures including ocean snorkel or scuba diving cruise, sunset cruise, wale watching, glass bottom boats, or a catamaran cruise.
Akaka Falls State Park
Akaka Falls, located near the town of Honomu, drops 442 feet into a stream-eroded gorge. One of most spectacular free-falling falls on the Island, you will want to take the pleasant self-guided walk through lush tropical forest. The trailhead is adjacent to the parking lot and has multiple steps. Enjoy the variety of trees, flowers, and vegetation among other flowing streams and water falls. Be sure to take rain gear since it will inevitably will rain. Visit the nearby historic and charming town of Honomu. Explore the eclectic shops where you will find that locally grown coffee, pastries, and jams (150 varieties); jewelry and clothing; antiques; artwork; and clothing and eateries.
Snorkel Kona – Sail on the “Hokulani”
Sea Paradise operates Hokulani, a 45 foot sailing trimaran and offers sailing and snorkeling cruise to Kealakekua Bay and other spots. The boat design allows unobstructed views of the Kona coastline. Sensitive to the sun? The Hokulanai has a shade top over the main cabin and provides the top line gear for a memorable experience. Hokulani means heavenly star in Hawaiian. Want to see the Manta Rays? Take a trip to the world famous Manta Ray Village off the Kona coast. The trips occur in the evening or night when these gentle giants feed. It is one of the top things to do in a person’s lifetime.
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