Celebrate Happy Hour on the Big Island

Pau hana is the Hawaiian version of happy hour, a way to celebrate the end of the day on the Big Island. Home to Kona Brewing Co., the Volcanoes Winery, and plenty of island cocktails, no matter where you are on the Big Island you will find somewhere to enjoy pau hana happy hour: Order a signature celebratory drink and relax while you watch the sun go down.

74-5612 Pawai Pl, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
It hardly seems like Hawaii could be a part of the United States without its own brewing company. The most popular brewery is the Kona Brewing Company on the Big Island. With its year-round beers including Longboard Island Lager, Firerock Pale Ale, and Big Wave Golden Ale, the brewery sells mostly within the Islands, though its year-round beers can be found elsewhere. Kona Brewing Company also produces three seasonal “Aloha Series” beers that include Koko Brown Ale, Wailua Wheat, and Pipeline Porter. Along with their selection of five “Island Only” beers, connoisseurs will have plenty to taste and may need an extra visit or two to the Brewery! Tours of the brewery can be booked from 10:30am to 3pm daily.
1 N Kaniku Dr, Waimea, HI 96743, USA
In many ways, the Fairmont Orchid is the quintessential Hawaiian luxury resort. Its big, elegant lobby is blooming with purple orchids and birds of paradise, its enormous, 24-hour swimming pool wends its way around black rock islands, and its 32 lush acres include tropical gardens and a white-sand beach that frames an aquamarine cove. The 540 guest rooms and suites, located in two six-story towers, all have lanais; half have ocean (or partial water) views, the others overlook the spotless grounds. It’s the dream Vacationland, and as such, the mood is jolly round-the-clock. Cheerful staff oversee the long list of activities—canoe excursions, petroglyph hikes, stand-up paddle-boarding, and about a zillion other options are available both on property and off (some activities are complimentary, others cost extra)—and the crowd tends to be a fun-in-the-sun bunch. On any given day, there might be a Canadian family in a heated volleyball game on the beach, or a group of Silicon Valley execs soaking in the hot tub.

Carve out a day to spend at the award-winning Spa Without Walls, where the Hawaian-influenced treatments are performed in 17 treatments rooms, some with ocean views and private outdoor spaces. Them, fuel up on Japanese meats and sushi, fresh seafood, robatayaki (grilled) items, beachside classics, and more at the numerous dining outlets. Along with repeat guests, the hotel’s most frequent visitors are the giant sea turtles that regularly hang out at the Orchid’s beachfront. They’ve become such an integral part of the property that even guests at other hotels drop by for a peek.
69-1081 Ku'uali'i Pl, Waikoloa Village, HI 96738, USA
If searching for turtles, sticking your feet in warm afternoon sand, and sipping a mai tai are your idea of a perfect day on the Big Island of Hawaii, you’ll want to loll about at Lava Lava Beach Club. A place where locals and tourists both feel comfortable to take a break, the adirondack chairs perched in the sand are a welcoming sight on the sunny shores of Waikoloa. The beach club’s island atmosphere and carefully crafted cocktails, including a coconut, ginger, pineapple, lilikoi-flavored Gilligan’s girl or the Okole Maluna (bartenders daily special), make this spot in the sand a special place. Patrons can also chill out with a Hawaii beer and energize from a “farm-to-beach” inspired menu that includes as many ingredients sourced from the Big Island as possible.
75-5815 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
Originally an Alaskan favorite, Humpy’s has a satellite location on the Big Island in Kona. The open-air restaurant serves up the same great food with a speciality of seafood. The fish tacos will wow tastebuds, as will most of the menu. Humpy’s serves a full menu of beers, many sourced from local breweries. If beer isn’t your thing, the cocktails are quite delish. Humpy’s location in Kona is right across the street from the beach and the perfect place to relax and watch the sun go down.
332 Keawe Street, Hilo, Hawaii 96720
This open-air, family-run gem has an old-school Hawaiiana feel, but takes a fresh, sustainable approach to sourcing its ingredients. Expect classics here with a local twist, like island-style onion soup topped with provolone and beer-battered jumbo shrimp with a dipping sauce of miso, ginger and Japanese Furikake seasoning. Aficionados of adult beverages may want to sample the Volcano Winery’s red blend or one of the state’s craft beers on draft, especially Pineapples’ private-label brew with—you guessed it!—the restaurant’s signature fruit in the mix. It also showcases local art and musicians, who play nightly from 6:30pm. Closed on Mondays.
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 things, and almost all of it was healthy too. If you can find it, and I have no way of telling you where they will be parked, ask for the special drink they mix up daily, I think it has ginger it in, but they’ll know what you mean. The company is called Higher Taste Vegetarian Cafe, and this truck was parked outside of the Rainforest Gallery at Niaulani near Volcano Village. That’s the best I can do, but then again, finding the truck is half the fun!
62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Dr, Waimea, HI 96743, USA
The sweet smell of plumeria floats on gentle trade winds into each guest room at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. When entering the room, you may be surprised that floor-to-ceiling picture windows and a beautiful private lanai (patio) beckon you to step back outside—closer to the rhythmic surf and paradise in nature. In the hotel’s main building, each morning you can wake up to warm accent colors in your room that recall the previous evening’s sunset. Natural light fills the entire space and you can brew a lovely cup of Kona coffee before leaving your room to face the world. A 2009 remodel of the main building rooms along with a 2013 beachfront wing renovation enable guests to unwind in the comfort of updated interiors that still remain true to Laurance S. Rockefeller’s original vision.
72-100 Ka'upulehu Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
Peace, relaxation, beauty, and a tasty menu—the Beach Tree Bar is a fabulous place to watch the sun close out the day past the Pacific Ocean. With swaying palm trees and a large tree right on the beach, the casual lounge is perfect for pupus (appetizers) and a cocktail to celebrate sundown. Located at the Four Seasons Hualalai Resort, the bar sits on a pretty stretch of sand on the Kohala Coastline. Flavors are fresh, creative, and from the Island when possible.
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Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
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