What’s not to love about the largest island in Hawaii? I truly believe there is something there for everyone.
From beautiful sandy beaches to stargazing, from exploring active volcanoes to botanical gardens.
Is it too touristy? Not at all! Yes, there are great places to hang out and be a tourist or areas to get lost and live like a local. As the hashtag states “Let Hawaii Happen.”
This island stole my heart in 2007, and I keep going back, we’ve put thousands of miles on rental cars and spent hours adventuring and still haven’t seen everything there is to see.
Do you like to be in the middle of everything? There are some wonderful hotels in the Kona area; you can stay at the Royal Kona. (I highly recommend eating at Don The Beachcombers) Right there on Ali’i Drive where you can find great shopping, dining and of course you are right there on the ocean. Or you can stay at the beautiful Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel where you have a sandy beach and are still close to everything. There is also great dining and shopping options right there. Are you sensing a theme yet?
Are you looking for a little more adventure there is the Sheraton just about fifteen minutes south of Kona set on the lava flow next to a Marina where you can take a night snorkel with the Manta Rays. I have done some cool things and been to some cool places, but this experience is right there at the top with zip-lining in Costa Rica!
These properties are a great getaway if it’s not what you are looking for let’s go north a ways to Waikoloa.
If you prefer larger resorts with more to do the Hilton Waikoloa Village might be just right for you. The grounds are beautiful, and there is an amazing lagoon to snorkel in, pools, dolphin adventures and much more. To top it off the Kings’ Shops and Queens’ MarketPlace are within walking or trolly ride away. Be sure to soak in a sunset from the Lava Lava Beach Club just around the corner. Are you looking for something smaller? Let’s head up to Waimea where you will find the beautiful Mana Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows. With resident sea turtles that will be released when ready, a great beach and pool, be sure wander along the trails to the Kalahuipuaa Fish Ponds and the Eva Parker Woods Cottage where you can go “talk story” with Cultural Historian Danny Akaka.
Take a night or 2 and visit the other side of the island, Hilo is one of my favorite places! I love this funky little oceanfront town. What’s not to love? You have lovely shops, friendly people and a daily Farmer’s Market that is a must visit on my list every time. The Nona Lani Hotel has recently been refurbished and is a great place to stay for a few days.
Ah Volcano House, settled on the rim of the Kilauea Caldera The views are fantastic the food is just as good. Take a day or two to explore this Fabulous Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, take a guided tour or borrow a bicycle, hike the caldera or lava tubes. Have an adventure, sit by the fire and enjoy the evening. Be sure to pack a jacket as it does get chilly up here at night.
There is so much to see and do. Please don’t try to do it all in one trip. Choose a few of your must see’s like Hawi (pronounced Havi) and have some shave ice and Flume the Ditch or go Zip-lining. Hike the volcano, take the short “hike” to Akaka Falls. Whatever you decide to do, savor the experience. Use manners and be polite, it goes a long way. If you see turtles or Monk Seals relaxing on the beach keep your distance as they need their rest before going back in the water.
Whatever your adventure Hawaii Island has something for everyone, sports fishing, snorkeling, hiking, relaxing and everything in between!