Hawaii Island Highlights
Collected by AFAR Traveler, AFAR Contributor
Swimming with manta rays, an exquisite getaway in the rain forest, some of the best shave ice anywhere, and local diners along the west coast of Hawaii Island.
75-5699 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
Scandinavian Shave Ice is Hawaii Island's most iconic purveyor of the frozen treat—though it's not quite so big a deal on this island as some of the others. That said, Scandi's is everything you want your shave ice shop to be. Dozens of flavors to...
79-7251 Hawaii Belt Rd, Kealakekua, HI 96750, USA
Teshima's Restaurant is a historic Japanese diner on the west coast of Hawaii Island in Kealakekua. Welcoming and reasonably priced, the diner serves Hawaiian Japanese comfort food. The set meals are the best value, a sampling of small dishes that...
79-7407 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kealakekua, HI 96750, USA
This is a worthwhile quick stop for anyone who enjoys chocolate or innuendo and is passing through Kainaliu on the west coast of Hawaii Island (around eight miles south of Kailua-Kona, just before Captain Cook). They specialize in donkey balls,...
79-7399 Hawaii Belt Rd, Kealakekua, HI 96750, USA
Rebel Kitchen is a welcoming food joint in Kainaliu, just up from the Donkey Balls Factory. Choose from a selection of reasonably priced sandwiches and burgers made from local ingredients (there are a few mains, too, like jambalaya and coconut...
Church Rd, Waimea, HI 96743, USA
This unassuming trailer in a parking lot opposite a port in Kawaihae serves what may be the best shave ice on Hawaii Island, and possibly in the whole state. Why? First up, the syrups (divided into artificial, creamy, and fruit) really taste of...
82-6160 Mamalahoa Hwy, Captain Cook, HI 96704, USA
This small farmers’ market takes place every Sunday from around 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Captain Cook on the west coast of Hawaii Island. There’s local produce on sale, as well as the obligatory macadamia nuts, honey, and Kona coffee, but...
82-6066 Mamalahoa Hwy, Captain Cook, HI 96704, USA
Loko Wraps is perfect if you're looking for something cheap and cheerful to eat in the Captain Cook area of Hawaii Island. It's a Hawaiian take on Mexican tacos and burritos, with local meats (or jackfruit for veggies!) and tangy sauces infused...
83-5308 Mamalahoa Hwy # B, Captain Cook, HI 96704, USA
Hit this classic joint for a quick bite after snorkeling at Two Step or exploring Pu'uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park. It has a lot in common with the nearby (and popular) Da Poke Shack, but Big Jake's has its own...
78-6831 Alii Dr #144, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
Floating on the ocean at night while holding onto a raft that is shooting powerful beams of light into the blackness below sounds, well, insane. And it is. It's insane, and unnerving, and exhilarating, and—and then you see them. Manta rays....
19-4245 Kekoa Nui Blvd #213, Volcano, HI 96785, USA
Lotus Garden Cottages is an adorable boutique escape set among the rain forest of Volcano Village near to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The four luxury rooms—two cottages, two suites—are furnished in warm wood and each comes with a lanai, small...
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