If you have never been to this unique Hawaiian island you must treat yourself to a visit to this incredibly diverse and interesting tropical paradise. When you land at the airport you are going to wonder if you made the right decision. Trust me, you have. You literally land in a black lava field, which I’m guessing, must look something like Mars or some other far off planet. There is something very beautiful about the black lava against the blue Pacific water that keeps me coming back to this gorgeous Hawaiian island. I also love that it is not crowded and you feel like you have some space, and have the island to yourself in some small way. Don’t get me wrong, I love the other Hawaiian islands because they all offer something different, but the space and contrast on the Big Island is something truly special.
One of the many black sand beaches on the island.
Black lava along the highway for as far as the eye can see. Don’t worry… it is not all lava, there is a lot of lushness and beauty, too!
The beautiful beach at The Fairmont.
Well protected for snorkeling and paddle boarding.
No trip to Hawaii is complete without some time on the water. We took a snorkeling trip with Mauna Lani Sea Adventures and could not have been happier with their fabulous service!!
I highly recommend them for a great snorkeling trip !
A must see is Volcanoes National Park. Plan a full day of driving over to this park if you are staying along the Kohala Coast. Unfortunately, it was raining and cold on the day we visited. You can normally plan for beautiful weather at the park, we just caught an off day. Such a bummer, but we hit the highlights and had lunch in Hilo on our way back. Weather can literally change every few miles from sunny and hot to cold and rainy to foggy. Be prepared for anything.
Making our way into the Thurston Lava Tube. One of the many highlights in the park. Make sure to stop by the visitors center when you arrive at the park and they will give you a map of the must see sites in the park.
After leaving Hilo make sure to stop by the ‘Akaka Falls. A short, paved hike through a lush garden to see the falls.
This picture does not give this waterfall the attention it deserves. I took this pic with my iPhone and I just couldn’t zoom in enough, but trust me, it is pretty and worth the short hike to get there. I do love the intense cloud formations in the background, though.
I can never get enough of these beautiful banyan trees.
They look like something out of a Jungle Book movie.
We always stay in the Mauna Lani area when visiting the Big Island, which includes the Pauoa Beach Club, Mauni Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows, and the Fairmont. There are also many homes and condos to choose from. We love the location on the Kohala Coast and we like the restaurants in the Mauna Lani area. Our favorite is The Canoe House, and a close second is, Brown’s Beach House.
My friend, Kim, from Northern California Style did a great post about her stay at the Mauna Lani last year. Click on the above link to read it.
We stopped by the Mauna Kea Resort for lunch one day. A bit north of the Mauna Lani area. This is another beautiful place to stay and it feels like a throwback to another time. It definitely has a 70’s Hawaiian vibe.
A view of the Fairmont Beach seen from the Pauoa Beach Club.
Have you been to the Big Island? It is truly one of my favorites and such a special place to visit. Maybe add a few days to this island the next time you are visiting Hawaii.
Wow….almost the end of another school year! Whew! Yay for that!
Do you have your summer plans in place? Are the kids busy or unscheduled? I have a little bit of both going on.
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Thank you so much for stopping by! xo