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Waimea, HI 96743, USA
13,700 feet above sea level is the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii. Several companies offer tours for sunset viewing from the summit, followed by stargazing down at the visitors center at about 9000 feet. Incredible experience! You...
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Kalapana - Kapoho Rd, Pāhoa, HI 96778, USA
Pele is the Hawaiian goddess of fire, lightning, wind, and volcanoes. Her power still holds the imagination of people in Hawaii today as legends suggest that taking rocks from her home on the island of Hawaii will lead to bad luck. She is said to...
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The trees look as if they have plotted a slow attack to take over the road. Vines hang down trying to slyly block my way and hinder my vision. The road isn’t straight nor does it have any defined shoulders or boundaries. The asphalt is laid around...
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1815 Kalanianaole Ave, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
Carlsmith Beach Park in Hilo is known for turtles that hang out in the shallow turquoise water close to shore. Visitors can walk onto the rocks and simply look into the water to see a turtle. These magnificent creatures abound in Hawaii....
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‘Akaka Falls, Hawaii 96720, USA
I call this the "postcard shot." Akaka Falls resides in the appropriately named Akaka Falls State Park, which is just a short car ride from the town of Hilo on the Big Island. Park the car for a small fee (based on the number of passengers and...
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78-128 Ehukai St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
Perhaps lesser known, the Big Island (Hawaii) presents you with incredible fresh fish, local farm-to-table produce, and some very inventive twists on local-style recipes. We had dinner at Rays on the Bay—the name referring to the manta rays that...
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Waipio Valley, Hawaii 96727, USA
Seeing the Big Island by air will have you sitting on the edge your seat anticipating what will turn up around the next mountain or valley. Waipio Valley, one of the most beautiful areas on the Island, is best seen from the air to really get a...
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43-2007 Paauilo Mauka Rd, Paauilo, HI 96776, USA
Ice cream, chocolate-chip cookies, coffee, cakes, shakes—these are the goodies where you expect to find vanilla beans or vanilla flavor. But what about lemonade, BBQ sauce, chutney, cornbread, maple syrup, jelly, or salad dressing? And would you...
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78-128 Ehukai St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
The newly refurbished Sheraton Kona Keauhou Bay Resort is stylish, with a large pool and water slide. But it was the history and the view from the hotel (located off the famous Ali'i Drive) that won me over. The hotel gives you an excellent...
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47-4841 Old Mamalahoa Hwy & Dahana Ranch Rd, Waimea, HI 96743, USA
Become a Paniolo (Hawaiian Cowboy) for a day and do an actual cattle drive while on the Big Island of Hawaii. Even though it was a rainy, moody day, it was the perfect unique experience to have in Hawaii. Hawaii is much more than beaches! More...
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Anaehoomalu Bay, Puako, HI 96738, USA
This beach has good snorkeling, sand and facilities. It can be a busy beach but near the end of the day there were not many people around
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We stayed in Hilo—hot, wet, and tropical Hilo—in a rented, Japanese-style house. Since I'm an astronomy nerd, I had to take the tour up to the observatories on Mauna Kea—way up on the top of the Big Island. The van trip was fun and educational,...
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Chain of Craters Rd, Pāhoa, HI 96778, USA
There are several hidden treasures among the volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii. The one that I found most fascinating was a short (0.7 mile) hike from the Chain of Craters road to the Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs. I was most fascinated that this land...
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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI 96718, USA
The ire of Mount Kilauea reforges the world before visitors' eyes. Nicknamed "the World's Only Drive-In Volcano," it’s produced serious lava every day since 1983 with no signs of stopping. Pele—the fire goddess who lives here,...
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Pololū Valley, Hawaii 96755, USA
One of my favorite discoveries of Kohala, Pololu Valley provides not only a fantastic view, but a rewarding hike. We thought there was just a short hike down to the beach where you can walk along the shore or valley's creek. However, we somehow...
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79-7539 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kealakekua, HI 96750, USA
On a clear, almost cloudless morning (typical of most days on the Big Island), I sprinted to the Kona Boys Stand Up Paddle boarding Beach Shack conveniently located near the hotel I was staying at, smack on the beachfront of the Marriott King...
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Thurston Lava Tube, Hawaii 96778, USA
There are numerous sites to explore within Volcanoes National Park, but the Thurston Lava Tube is certainly one of the most dramatic. Located at stop #6, exploring the tube is an easy half-hour walk to and through the extinct lava conduit.
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72 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
One of Big Islands nicest beaches, sans prominent road signage. Look for Kekaha Kai state park on your roadmap and find this gem of a beach, white sand, great waves. Only minutes from Kona airport, I was able to soak in some December sun before...
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27-999 Mamalahoa Hwy, Pepeekeo, HI 96783, USA
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What's Shakin' is a fantastic local food spot located outside of Hilo, on the Big Island, along what is labeled the 'Pepe'ekeo Scenic Drive.' They are known for their fresher-than-fresh smoothies, but also boast a menu that'll appease even the...
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Holualoa, HI 96725, USA
Aunty Doris is always behind the small counter dressed neatly in her red-and-white palaka shirt, with her hair fixed just so. She knows everybody and your madahs and fadahs and all da keeds too around here. Stop in for a taste of her old-fashioned...
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27-717 Mamalahoa Hwy, Papaikou, HI 96781, USA
I did indeed find a money tree. However, our parents were absolutely correct in that money does not, in fact, grow on it. If you care to see for yourself, venture to the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden just north of Hilo and check it out.
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Hilo, HI, HI, USA
If you take Highway 19 from Waikoloa, you'll drive past what looks like acres of moon terrain. And then all of a sudden, there appear small hills, then mountains with all shades of sepia and green tones. Waimea is considered cowboy country, and...
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177 Makaala St, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
Winter snow can frost the tallest peak in Hawaii, technically measuring 13,800 feet. In fact, Mauna Kea holds the world record at 33,500 feet tall when measured from its submerged base to its summit (compared with Everest's 29,000 feet)! The...
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Volcano, HI, USA
Why I was so surprised to find a food truck in the village of Volcano outside of Volcano National Park, I'm not sure. All I know is that it was one of the many culinary surprises on the Big Island. This truck was packed with all kinds of wonderful...
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State Hwy 160, Hōnaunau, HI 96726, USA
Catch a glimpse of what Hawaii looked like before European contact. An unmissable destination for culture buffs, this sacred area stretches along the lava flats of the Big Island's western coast. Behind a massive wall stands an ancient pu'uhonua...
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82-5810 Napoopoo Rd, Captain Cook, HI 96704, USA
I am a hamburger aficionado. Whenever I can, I try hamburgers in different places to see how they compare. There is a place in my hometown that has not been beaten since I found it. The Kim Chee burger is their signature burger. The Kim Chee is...
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Hilo, HI 96720, USA
We passed this incredible cemetery just north of Hilo. It resides along the water and has this massive sprawling tree directly in the center of it. It was a very peaceful place, and I can only imagine how calming it makes one feel to know that...
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Hilo, HI, HI, USA
The Hamakua Coastline on The Big Island, Hawaii, is one part Amazonian Rainforest, one part Jurassic Park meets civilization. A beautifully paved road on the northeastern side of Hawaii will lead you through some of the most beautiful places...
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Kealakekua Bay, South Kona, HI 96704, USA
Snorkeling and diving in the bay is awesome. Many colorful fish, corals, and the bonus this trip was seeing the dolphins swimming right next to us and our boat....
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96-2556 Mamalahoa Hwy, Pahala, HI 96777, USA
In the least-populated district of the Big Island, near Pahala, lies a group of pristine, cloud-haloed coffee farms. Called "Cloud Rest," these spruce-studded coffee farms lie on the slopes of the majestic Mauna Loa and enjoy rich, fertile soil...
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Makalawena Beach, Kalaoa, HI 96740, USA
Beautiful white-sand beach, a local secret and hidden treasure.
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Cane Haul Road is not your Kohala Coast Drive, which can be raw, craggy, and exotic. This road is something we found completely by accident after our visit to Ka'U Coffee Mill, and it winds ribbon-like along the Southeast coast of the island,...
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78-1377 Bishop Rd, Holualoa, HI 96725, USA
The best Kona coffee I have ever tasted. EVER! When he pronounced the winner in Gevalia's Cupping Contest in 2010, judge John King said, "We were in 100% agreement that Buddha's Cup is the winner. The trick is keeping the classic Kona mellow,...
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68-1400 Mauna Lani Dr, Waimea, HI 96743, USA
(Note: Google insists this is Kamuela, it is Kohala) The lava coast of Kohala on the Big Island is dramatic. Waves dash against the black rocks relentlessly until eons from now they will be sand. True, there are fewer white-sand beaches per square...
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48-5561A Waipio Valley Rd, Honokaa, HI 96727, USA
There are few places in the islands that offer such complete isolation alongside such crazy surf and wild terrain as Waipi’o Valley on the Big Island. While most tourist make the drive to the lookout, few venture down the narrow, winding (only...
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96-2694 Wood Valley Rd, Pahala, HI 96777, USA
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The region of Ka’u is so quiet and relatively unhurried that you’ll think you are on another planet, and with good reason. The least populated district in all of Hawai’i, it is a stone’s throw away from sunny Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Ka’u...
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78-7130 Kaleiopapa St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
You're floating, face down, hands tightly gripping the pad on the boom. Lights from the boat illuminate the sea floor some 30 feet down, and you've got other snorkelers to each side of you. Well below, a professional diver/videographer records the...
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19-3974 Volcano Rd, Mountain View, HI 96771, USA
Take a walk down Devastation Trail in Volcanoes National Park and spot the first few sprouts of life peeking out of the lava-ravaged land. The ohia trees are the first to come back—probably because they're the goddess Pele's favorite flower.