ISLAND OF HAWAII TOP 10 ADVENTURES
MANTA NIGHT DIVES
Gentle manta rays, with wing spans of up to 20 feet, are most visible at night when they come in to feed on plankton. Take one of the night snorkel/dive tours that depart from various points along the Kona Coast. The companies set up giant lights on the ocean floor, enabling snorkelers and certified divers to watch the graceful rays gliding and somersaulting through the water.
DEEP SEA FISHING
Island of Hawaii, with its waters teeming with marlin and other big-game fish, is famous the world over for deep-sea fishing. Try your luck at catching the Big One.
Hikers of all abilities will find much to enjoy on island of Hawaii. A great way to explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which offers over 150 miles of trails, is on foot. If you want to combine a hike with ancient wonders, the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail (also known as the Kings’ Trail) encompasses petroglyph fields, heiau (temples), ruins and other sites.
The huge scope of island of Hawaii’s geological marvels are brought together by air tours. Be it by helicopter or small plane, you can fly over the steaming craters and lava flows of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the majestic peaks of Maunakea and the waterfalls of the Hamakua Coastline on one thrilling ride.
The clear, calm waters off the Kona and Kohala Coasts provide great snorkeling opportunities. On the Kohala Coast, Hapuna Beach and Anaehoomalu Bay are prime spots for snorkeling excursions. South of Kailua-Kona, Honaunau Bay is another.
In the upcountry around Waimea, you can experience the paniolo (the Hawaiian word for cowboy) lifestyle at working ranches and ride horses through verdant rolling pastures that look more like Wyoming than Hawaii.
Island of Hawaii is known as “The Golf Capital of Hawaii” for good reason. The black lava landscape and blue waters of the Kohala Coast are the setting for several magnificent courses designed by some of the biggest names in golf. Jack Nicklaus designed the Hualalai Golf Course, while the famed golf courses at Mauna Kea Resort were laid out by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and those at Waikoloa Resort by his son, Robert Trent Jones, Jr. These courses, along with the two championship courses at the Mauna Lani Resort, have won awards from Golfweek, Golf and Golf Events magazines. For a truly unique golf experience, try the 4,200-foot high Volcano Golf and Country Club located just outside the entrance to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Island of Hawaii offers a number of exciting zipline options, including the chance to soar above a rainforest and then take a dip in a refreshing natural pool fed by a spectacular waterfall.
This deep, cliff-enclosed valley is said to be where many of the ancient Hawaiian alii (royalty) are buried. You can take a guided hike or van tour to the valley floor, a peaceful world of kalo (taro) patches, fruit trees and isolated homesteads. Or they can savor views of the valley and coastline from up high at the Waipio Valley Lookout.
The golden sunsets of the Kona and Kohala coasts on the west side of the island are the picture-perfect backdrop for catamaran cruises departing from Keauhou up through the Kohala Coast. Some include dinner, champagne and live entertainment.
The amazing night skies above island of Hawaii are sure to inspire romance .Take a guided tour up the slopes of Maunakea where you can peer through giant telescopes and learn about the constellations from astronomers.
Just outside Hilo are some of the most spectacular waterfalls in all of Hawaii. Akaka Falls State Park is a wonderful place for you and your better half to wander through the rain forest on paved footpaths to view two gorgeous falls.
Island of Hawaii offers many options for romantic trail rides .The uplands of Waimea, where ranchers are happy to share their stories of paniolo culture, are ideal for trail rides through rolling meadows. On the east side of the island, couples can enjoy a lush landscape of streams and waterfalls on a ride through the Waipio Valley.
OUTDOOR SPA TREATMENTS
Many of the upscale resort spas on the Kohala Coast offer special spa suites for couples with their own private gardens. Some also have private treatment cabanas overlooking the ocean.
HAWAII TROPICAL BOTANICAL GARDEN
North of Hilo, this is a place of spectacular ocean vistas and nature trails meandering through an enchanting landscape of ginger, bromeliads, palms and other rare and exotic plants.
Another lush beauty spot near Hilo is Liliuokalani Gardens, an idyllic Japanese garden with pagodas, a teahouse and a half-moon bridge spanning a tranquil pond.
Artists are drawn to island of Hawaii’s inspirational landscapes and laid-back pace, a fact that you will appreciate when exploring the art galleries that abound in towns like Hawi, Holualoa and Volcano Village.
KAILUA VILLAGE WALKING TOUR
A great way to enjoy the palace, as well as other historic sites in town, is to take the Kona Historical Society’s Kailua Village Walking Tour, available in either guided or self-guided versions.
Enjoy the magic of a sunset luau with buffets of local specialties and live Pacific Island music and dance.
FAMILY TRAVEL ADVENTURES
HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
No theme park can match what nature has in store for families to enjoy in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. While your family can explore the park on their own, there are also guided tours available that cover such highlights as Kilauea Caldera, the Thomas A. Jagger Museum and the Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku). For something extra special, take on a night tour of the park where you can see the fiery glow of Kilauea at its most dazzling.
IMILOA ASTRONOMY CENTER
The many inter-active interactive exhibits in this Hilo attraction unlock the secrets of the stars above island of Hawaii as well as their significance in Hawaiian history and culture. Your family can also enjoy daily planetarium shows.
PACIFIC TSUNAMI MUSEUM
Through historic photographs, docent tours and interactive exhibits, this Hilo museum explains the science and impact of tsunami waves, including the two that washed over Hilo shores in 1946 and 1960.
HAPUNA BEACH STATE RECREATION AREA
The largest of island of Hawaii’s white sand beaches is located on the Kohala Coast adjacent to the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. Safe for swimming, snorkeling and other water sports, it offers ample picnic areas and other family-friendly facilities.
OCEAN RIDER SEAHORSE FARM
This aqua farm in Kailua-Kona is dedicated to preserving the endangered seahorse and is now captive breeding 15 species of the enchanting little creatures. You can tour the farm and learn about its efforts, view seahorses in its aquarium room and even get to hold and feed them.
PUUHONUA O HONAUNAU NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
A restored compound of temple ruins, fish ponds, sacred burial grounds, petroglyphs and other illustrations of life on the island before Western contact.
LAPAKAHI STATE HISTORICAL PARK
On a hill above the North Kohala Coast, this is a partially restored fishing village dating back 600 years. On a self-guided one-mile walk, you can explore restored hale (houses) and lava stone walls and even try their hand at traditional Hawaiian games.
Island of Hawaii is a major astronomical destination, with its famed observatories atop Maunakea and the Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo. Guided stargazing tours are a great way for you to see what the heavens reveal.
The uplands of Waimea, where ranchers are happy to share their stories of paniolo culture, are ideal for trail rides through rolling meadows. On the east side of the island, couples can enjoy a lush landscape of streams and waterfalls on a ride through Waipio Valley.