The Big Island
The largest island of the state of Hawaii is called Hawaii. The “Big Island” has it all and shows off all the benefits that this warm Pacific state has to offer. It is the birthplace of King Kamehameha I, the most famous leader of the Hawaiian people, who united all the kingdoms into one by 1810.
When to Visit the King’s Paradise?
Everyone wants to go to Hawaii during the winter on the mainland of the United States. The last two weeks of December are pounded with tourists, and reservations should be made early if that is the chosen time. The best Hawaiian weather is during the spring and fall months. Mid-April to mid-June and September to December are less busy, less expensive and less rainy. Less is more.
April to October is the “drier” season, but it can rain somewhere in Hawaii on any given day. Temperatures are in the 70s and 80s year-round, so any time is good, really. Elvis liked it, so who are we to question? Oh, the “King” of the paradise was Elvis, but King Kamehameha I commands the respect and adoration of the people.
What’s Going on in There?
- Hilo, the first seat of government of King Kamehameha I, is still the capital city of Hawaii. It has art galleries, good restaurants and many shopping sites in Hilo alone, but also throughout the island. Kona coffee and macadamia nuts are great gifts for folks back home and good things to enjoy upon return.
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is about 30 miles southwest of Hilo, and it is the fiery experience of primal processes that visitors usually only see on TV. The Kilauea Volcano is quite active, putting out an average of 450,000 cubic yards of lava every day. This has added almost 500 acres of land in the last two decades.
- Hiking is what it is, but seeing fabulous waterfalls may make it all worthwhile. Akaka Falls State Park on the north coast has a 100-foot waterfall and a 442-foot waterfall, all in one trek. Chugging about a half mile uphill is the price for a view of the “smaller” one, and the next one is just around the bend in the trail. The whole thing only takes an hour, so even lightweights can make it. Hikers will walk through bamboo groves, ferns and orchids, poor things. All of that nature in one activity: priceless.
- The Waipio Valley contains the Valley of the Kings, or burial sites for Hawaiian royalty from way back. It boasts 2000-foot heights above the valley and a 1200-foot waterfall, just to outdo Akaka Park. This trip is a “ride the rim” event on an ATV or a 4X4 Ranger. Just when it looked impossible-vehicles to the rescue.
Best Resorts on the Big Island
- The Four Seasons Resort in Hualalai, on the northwest coast of the big island, apparently has almost every amenity ever thought of. The Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course and the open-air spa are two perks, and the Kohala coast has calmer waters and almost no fog. The tallest structure is two stories, so all views are award-winning.
- The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, also on the Kohala coast, has the same amenities, including tennis, and is touted as a perfect wedding destination. It must follow that the honeymoon is directly afterwards, remaining on site for that reason. This resort offers “international cuisines” with fresh local ingredients. A spa and great views from a five-story hotel round out the assets.
Best Hotels on Hawaii, Hawaii
- The Fairmont Orchid Hotel is an eco-friendly spot on the Kohala coast with blue-green lagoon waters and sugary sands. Golf, tennis and six restaurants more than take care of activity and dining needs. The outdoor spa is a real selling point, with relaxing massages by the ocean.
- The Mauna Lani Bay, Kohala coast, gives their guests leis upon arrival. This is what everyone grew up seeing on those ads for Hawaiian vacations. They give hula lessons! Guests can learn how to make leis and play the ukulele! Turtle feeding and tours of petroglyphs are on the schedule.
Schedule now for a fabulous honeymoon later. Smell the tropical flowers.