Collected by AFAR Explorer
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...
74-5467 Kaiwi St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
For an extraordinary experience that amazes both tourists and locals, take a trip out to dive (or snorkel) at night with the manta rays near Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. Guides take tours out from Honokohau Harbor in the evening before sunset,...
88-2636 Papa Homestead Rd, Captain Cook, HI 96704, USA
For a different view of coffee, visit the Big Island in February and March when the coffee plants are blossoming in white. Called Kona "snow" by some, the plants are covered with the beautiful white flowers that precede the arrival of the valuable...
78-6831 Alii Dr #142, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
Local shops and the Big Island go hand in hand. Kona is home to plenty of homegrown shops, but if you are just looking for that great piece of literature to read on the beach, Kona Stories is a fantastic little book shop worth browsing around....
75-5669 Ali'i Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
Kona coffee is famous around the world as one of Hawaii's best known products. The relatively small coffee growing area on the Big Island of Hawaii produces only a small fraction of the world's coffee beans. The limited production makes Hawaii...
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...
An excellent way to enjoy a long trip around the Big Island is to poke around in Mother's Antiques & Fine Cigars in Hawi (located near Kapaau). Items from eras gone by populate this store along with a fine collection of cigars. This shop enables...
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,...
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.
16-701 Macadamia Road, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
Living in Hawaii, I find it's not hard to appreciate macadamia nuts. After moving to the Islands, I did not waste any time determining my favorite kind of chocolate-covered mac, Mauna Loa. As with many other companies, mac nut orchards dot the Big...
78-6772 Makenawai St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
For a rare and wonderfully crafted chocolate experience on the Big Island, visitors who book a tour of the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Farm will learn about the chocolate making process from growing and harvesting to packaging. Only offered on...
56-2864 Akoni Pule Hwy, Hawi, HI 96719, USA
My wife and I like the amenities of resort vacations as much as the next couple. But in June 2012, we spent a month living like locals. Our favorite part of that experience was at a magical place near Hawi named Puakea Ranch. The place is dripping...
1 Kayenta Rd, Canyon Point, UT 84741, USA
Set within a postcard-perfect corner of southern Utah and surrounded by national parks, the 600-acre Amangiri is tucked away in a protected valley among the canyons, flat-topped mesas, and desert landscapes of the Grand Circle. The resort’s...
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.
Ninole Loop Rd, Naalehu, HI 96772, USA
Punaluu Beach attracts visitors and locals to its black sandy volcanic shore. The beach is out of the way (between Volcanoes National Park and South Point), but worth a stop. Punaluu is not overly crowded, but the green sea turtles and uncommon...
41-741 Kalanianaʻole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI 96795, USA
The only reason why we found this place was because we were headed to see the Halona Blowhole and we just stopped just to see the water. Love at first sight! The sand was soft, the water was a beautiful aqua color, and the waves were gentle. Not...
Hilo, HI, HI, USA
Living in Honolulu, nothing feels better than to leave the City for a few days; even if it means heading to the North Shore of Oahu or another island for a short reprieve. On this particular occasion, I booked a ticket to the Big Island of Hawaii;...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
‘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...
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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