I know there are a few of you coming to the Big Island who are time crunched and don’t have time to research all that there is to do and enjoy on the island. Of course, everyone has their own idea of fun and adventure, but here are some insights from answering many questions about enjoying a vacation to the Big Island of Hawaii so you can spend more time packing than researching:
Start with an overview of my Top Ten List of Things you Can Not Miss On The Big Island
Pick an activity. If you just spent a small fortune to travel here and you may not get here again, do something off the hook memorable and spend a little money. There are SO MANY things to do here for free that you will love, (our beaches, the ocean, the sun, the sunset!) that you should seriously consider doing something amazing with a professional guide. I recently wrote about the coolest activities to do on the island. I did not include a helicopter ride, but if you want to see the innards of a volcano, here is your chance!
DRIVE AROUND THE ISLAND. The best 11 hours of your vacation here will be seeing all the cool spots from Punaluu Black Sand Beach, to Volcanoes National Park to Hilo and Akaka Falls and Rainbow Falls to the misty mountains of Waimea and the arid resort region of the Kohala Coast. PLEASE schedule at least one day to adventure away from your chaise lounge at your resort to see all that the Big Island has to offer. You will seriously be amazed at the beauty, the culture and the landscape features that our island holds. And no, you can not see it all in one day, but you will see enough that you WILL want to come back and venture down to Waipio Valley or Pololu Valley and Hawi. We are the ADVENTURE island and you will soon see why when you start your trek north or south of the Kona Airport!
Enjoy a Beach in West Hawaii: You came to Hawaii to jump into beautiful blue water, right? We have the warmest, sunniest coastline in the entire Hawaii Island chain. There is no reason why you can not find a place on some sand, to soak in the warmth of the sand and the sound of crashing waves and go say aloha to the creatures in the sea! If you are not familiar with the beaches, we created two videos recently to help you pick a few to explore!
Stargazing Update: This is an amazing experience on Mauna Kea, but THE BEST when it is a new moon. You can see the Milky Way stretched across the cosmos as you stand there at 9000 feet at the Visitors Center sipping hot chocolate. Many people pay the extra bucks to book a tour to the observatories to watch the sunset and stars at 13,000 feet, but you can also get to the Visitors Center by 4, and have a free experience. Walk across the the road from the Visitor’s Center and watch the sun set on top of the lava mound (PUA).
As of December 9th, 2018 I am sorry to say that you won’t be able to then jam boogie down the hill after sunset to get in line for the telescopes at the center where you can see the universe. They are closing the Visitors Center after 5 pm for six months due to road work and improvements, which will be great next summer, BUT, you can still watch the stars from this area and the bathrooms will still be open, you just won’t have access to the guides and professional telescopes.
I help people plan their itineraries for a small fee (depending upon if you need a little advice or in depth advice with links to videos, posts, and referrals) by asking them what they want to achieve from their vacation to this island. If it’s going to a luau, or a hidden beach or a swanky restaurant, I can help you plan a fun getaway that comes from a local’s perspective. AND I can set you up with a Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage, an affordable OR luxurious place to stay, and a private 4WD adventure to a remote beach. If interested, contact me at Julie@Ziemelis.com