Top Experiences on Hawaii’s Big Island
A Weekend in Hawaii (Big Island) is so exciting!! Hawaii has been on my bucket list for some time so it was about time I got to Hawaii. We stayed at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. The property is set on 15 acres overlooking Anaeho’omalu Bay, this upscale beachfront resort hotel is next to 2 golf courses.
The resort has upscale rooms feature Polynesian accents and balconies with ocean or garden views. All come with sitting areas, free Wi-Fi and 42-inch flat-screen TVs with cable channels, plus mini-fridges and tea/coffee makers. We stayed in the Suites which have separate living rooms and pull-out sofas while some have dining areas ours did not. The restaurant serves a breakfast buffet and American/Pacific-Rim cuisine, and there’s a coffee shop for to-go breakfast fare. Amenities also include an outdoor pool and hot tub, a spa offering treatments (fee), and fitness and business centers. The Marriott Waikoloa Beach Resort made sure our every need was met.
Time for fun in Kona
After 4 days of meetings from sun up to sun down my husband finally arrived and the fun could actually begin. My husband rented a car because the Big Island is quite massive. It is the largest and the southeastern-most point of the Hawaiian Islands, a chain of volcanic islands in the North Pacific Ocean. With an area of 4,028 square miles (10,430 km2), it is larger than all of the other islands in the archipelago combined and is the largest island in the United States. The island is often referred to as the “Big Island” to reduce confusion between the island and the state.
What to eat in Kona
Our first stop on our weekend in Kona was the Lava Lava Beach Club which is in walking distance to the Marriott. We loved Lava Lava because of the open air ambiance, swaying coconut trees, stunning sunsets, and tropical trade winds, the restaurant features “relaxed island cuisine” and a varied menu with options for light dining. No need to put on your finest attire for Lava Lava come as you are and enjoy the scenery.
If you are looking for more an upscale scenery Roy’s Waikoloa Bar and Grill was nice but I will caution you guys to be careful because my husband’s credit card number was stolen from Roy’s and within 20 min of us paying for dinner someone had racked up thousands of dollars in credit card charges. The food was delish but they lacked customer service.
Brown’s Beach house was by far our favorite dining experience. We made reservations for 5:30 pm in advance. We tried to change them for later with no luck since they were booked. We were so happy the change wasn’t made. We arrived at 5:30 and proceeded to enjoy appetizers, wine and an incredible meal all while listening to a great musician while watching the sun slowly dipped into the Pacific.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. The food was excellent and beautifully plated, the staff was knowledgeable, prompt and friendly. It’s expensive but well worth it if you can catch the sunset on the lawn.
Green and Black Sand beach
Next on our weekend in Kona adventure was the Black and Green sand beach. The black sand beach is located between Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the small town of Naalehu, Punaluu Black Sand Beaches jet black shores are an unforgettable sight. Coconut palms fringe the upper edge of sand and you may also discover large honu, or Hawaiian Green Sea turtles, basking on the beach.
Although it may be tempting, do not touch these protected turtles and do not remove any black sand from the beach. Although swimming isn’t ideal, there is a picnic area and restroom facilities so you can have lunch while you experience the unique feeling of black sand between your toes.
The Green sand beach was actually my favorite part of the trip, The Big Island of Hawaii’s green sand beach is located at the southern tip just west of South Point. The sand is actually a green olive color caused by eruptions from what was once a volcano. The green sand gets its color from olivine crystals created from eruptions to a dormant volcano years ago.
Nestled in Mahana Bay, this is truly a unique place and one of only two green sand beaches in the world. While there are no organized tours, this isolated place is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from most of the resorts up along the Kohala Coast. Locals are there to drive you to the beach and it is well worth the $5.00. If you decide to walk it will be a long hot hike so I really do suggest using the locals and lock your car up.
After the Green sand beach, we made our way to the Hilo Volcanoes. The Volcanoes continue to grow as molten lava pours forth and adds to this awe-inspiring island. We didn’t use a guide which I’m sure they are very knowledgeable but we like going at our own pace. We viewed an active, smoldering crater; walk through a lava tube-shaped by an ancient flow, and learn how these volcanoes gave birth to Hawaii.
Greenwell Coffee Farm
Our last stop on our weekend in Kona was Greenwell Coffee Farm and I have a new admiration for coffee and all that goes into the coffee making process and why coffee is so expensive. I will never complain again about the cost of coffee!! Greenwell Farm is managed by the descendants of Henry and Elizabeth the original owners of the farm and they turned Greenwell Farms into a multi-faceted Agribusiness:
The farming operation is located on the same farmland once cultivated by the Greenwell Family in the 1800’s. Today Greenwell Farms employs modern farming practices to ensure consistent supply and the highest quality possible. In addition to farming, the company purchases coffee cherry (just harvested) from over 300 farmers in the North and South Kona Regions. Greenwell has their our own pulping and drying facilities, dry mill, and green beans grading and storage facility.
A roasting plant is also located on the farm to roast and package Greenwell Farms Coffee. The company ships green bean to the gourmet coffee industry around the world and over the years has established itself as the premier source of Kona Coffee. The Farm Tour has become a very popular tourist stop along the Mamalahoa Highway and it was well worth the tour and a great end to our weekend in Kona.
SunsetHawaii Island, the Big Island, is such a beautiful place with its volcanic landscapes, its amazing waterfalls, and stunning Valleys.
Is Hawaii on your bucket list? Click here for the latest hotel deals on the Big Island!