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The Island

Visit macadamia nut farms, coffee plantations, historic churches, refuges and more while on this stunning island.

Kailua-Kona Hawaii Wateralls   Breathtaking scenery

Drive along the Kohala Coast and you'll see botanical gardens, dramatic lava fields, picturesque valleys, and white-sand beaches.

Waimea country is a must with its lush pastures, as well as the spellbinding Waipio Valley Lookout.

Hamakua is also an unforgettable drive, where you soak in the sights and sounds of flowers bursting with color and breathtaking waterfalls.

Kailua-Kona Golf   Golfer's Paradise

Known as the "Golf Capital of Hawaii" with championship courses designed by some of the biggest names in golf, this island presents a unique golfing experience. Big Island golf courses are carved out of ancient lava flows, nestled among historical Hawaiian landmarks, bordering some of the most beautiful views of the Pacific.

Kailua-Kona Hawaii Waterfalls   Natural Wonders

Gorgeous waterfalls such as the famous Akaka and Kahuna are only two wonders amongst countless lava tubes, craters and caves worth investigating on this magnificent island. While many of The Big Island's natural phenomena are blatantly obvious, some of the most remarkable are like hidden treasures, where finding them is all part of the fun.

Kailua-Kona Hawaii Beaches   Beaches

The youngest of the Hawaiian Islands, Hawaii has fewer beaches than its neighboring islands, but the beauty remains incomparable to many. Those on our personal best list are (from north to south) Hapuna, Anaeho'omalu (a.k.a. the beach at the Waikoloa Resort), Kahalu'u, and Ho'okena. All, except Ho'okena, are beach parks with lifeguards and facilities. Hapuna is the longest, widest, and most beautiful of the group. Anaeho'omalu is the beach featured in the famous shot of silhouetted palm trees reflected at sunset in a royal pond. Kahalu'u, just down Alii Drive from the Kona Reef, is best for snorkeling and sighting friendly sea turtles. The remote Ho'okena beach is beautifully backed by a vertical cliff that is bedecked with lush green ferns.

Kailua-Kona Hawaii   2-day Island Itinerary

Everyone should commit to driving around the Big Island at least once. It can be done in a (very hurried) day, but two is recommended.

Our favorite itinerary involves driving around the southern tip of the island and stopping to picnic at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach on the south-eastern side - this is a great beach to see while en route to Volcanoes National Park. If you look closely, you might spot giant sea turtles, which are known to frequent this area. Spend the afternoon exploring Volcanoes National Park and overnight in the picturesque village of Volcano at either the Kilauea Lodge or Carson's Volcano Cottages.

Opportunities for the second day include the coastal "Red Road," the lava field at Kalapana, the picturesque Hilo waterfront, the Tropical Botanical Gardens in their unequalled setting at Onomea Bay, and the Hamakua Coast (almost as spectacular as the drive to Hana, Maui but without the hassle), allowing time on the homeward run to enjoy dinner at Merriman's in Waimea.

This trip will give you just a flavor of what Hawaii has to offer, virtually guaranteeing that you'll return to this island paradise again and again.