I highlighted the ones that we really enjoyed!
- The drive to the summit of Mauna Kea can be challenging. Four-wheel drive vehicles are required above the Visitor Information Station located at the 9,000 ft. level. Go shortly before sunset to be next to the telescopes when the sun is still up then you can watch the sun go down.
- The altitude is high so if you are planning to scuba dive, there needs to be 24 hours of spacing.
- Zipline through multiple waterfalls. It was fun!
Akaka Falls State Park
- Paved, very easy walk to be done under 30 mins.
Volcano National Park
- It’s fun hiking inside the craters. There wasn’t any active lava flow when we went but if you’re lucky, you might be able to see them! We spent 2.5 hours hiking to Halamaumau crater.
Waipi’o Valley Lookout
- Easy access. You can just park and go to the lookout.
Waipi’o on Horseback
- It’s hard to drive down to the valley so we went on a horseback riding tour. They drive you down as well!
- Onomea Bay Trail
- Take a walk inside of a lava tube cave. Wear good shoes since you’d be climbing rocks sometimes.
- Strong flashlight is recommended but you can use your phone if you’re not going too deep in.
- Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden
- Hilo Farmers Market
- Lili’uokalani Park and Gardens
- Rainbow Falls
Waikoloa resort area
- Snorkeling @ A-Bay (Anaehoomalu Bay)
- Boogie boarding @ Hapuna Beach
- Freshwater pool @ Queen’s Bath
- Such an amazing experience. Book a tour and they’d take you out to the water at night and you can float and get close contact with manta rays (one of them touched my feet!)
Snorkeling @ Two Step
- Our favorite place to snorkel.
Coffee tours @ Kona Natural Soup Factory
- We learned so much about coffee beans, cocoa beans, and soap from the coffee tour
- Best coffee I’ve ever had
- Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park
- Kona Farmers Markets
Hike @ Pololu Valley
- A little hike to the beach at the bottom. The view was beautiful!
Skydiving @ Big Island Gravity
- They’re not particularly organized (lost our skydiving footage) and don’t take all the safety precautions.
- Hot spring at South point (Isaac Hale Beach Park)
Green sand beach
- There are multiple green sand beaches in the South. We didn’t go since the drive was too long.
Mr. Ed’s Bakery
- We like any jam - they have 100+ flavors
- Right next to the Akaka waterfall. We sampled around 15 flavors. I got lilikoi jam at the end.
- Best malasadas in the state!
- We like the bavarian creme the best. I love the jam and apple and strawberry filling too. They sometimes have guava or haupia earlier. Two malasadas was enough for a meal.
Two Ladies Kitchen
- We like the mochi (red bean with strawberry).
- Wamea’s KTA sometimes carries them but the selection was limited. If you’re interested, go in person.
Ken’s House of Pancakes
- We like any pancake - love their lilikoi and boysenberry syrup.
- Tiger grew up eating here.
- Daphne got the macademia-nut pancake. The pancake was nice but I especially liked their syrups. There were four options: maple, coconut, lilikoi, and boysenberry syrup. Don’t get the char siu - too sweet and dry. Saimin is okay.
- Korean BBQ chicken and Kalbi Beef are good, but don’t get the meat jun.
Hawaiian Style Cafe
- We like banana macadamia pancakes.
- Their pancakes are huge and fluffy. It can have a line but the line is shorter shortly before they close at 2pm.
Sandwich Isle Bread Company
- We like lilikoi meringue tart.
- We got this for my birthday and it was amazing! Open on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday.
The Fish and the Hog
- We like banana cream pie.
- Banana cream at the top, then chocolate/caramel, banana, banana cream, then thin layer of tart at the bottom.