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Welcome to June – and The Big Island of Hawaii

This month, let’s talk about the Big Island of Hawaii.  Larger than all the other Hawaiian Islands combined it has everything from rain forest to deserts to beaches to snow capped mountains to active volcanoes.

The birthplace of King Kamehameha the Great and home to the goddess Pele, it is truly an island of volcanoes.  Mauna Kea the tallest , Mauna Loa, the most massive on earth and active Kilauea, the flashy showpiece.

Loaded with attractions, Hilo is the lushest area of the Island and cowboys at famous Parker Ranch in Waimea still ranch this island.  Kohala Coast has the best resorts, but sunny beaches, ancient temples and rich coffee bring the Kona Coast alive.

The Big Island of Hawaii is by far my favorite of the Hawaiian Islands.  I love it’s rugged nature, black sand beaches, amazingly clear water that allows for fantastic snorkeling and the endless sightseeing opportunities.  Rent a car, go for a drive (or two or three), and stop at local road side food huts – you will not be disappointed!  

The Kohala Cost is stark, lunar in nature and has amazing black fields of lava that butt up against crystal blue water.  So beautiful!  The northern reaches of the Kohala Coast have small towns, and large rain forests.  The original statue of King Kamehameha the Great is here.  The view at the end of the road  at the Pololu Valley Lookout is stunning – wild sea cliffs, taro farms and black sand beaches.

Cowboy country is Waimea country.  Parker Ranch can’t be toured any longer, but there is a general store that has some tourist oriented shopping.

Towering mighty Mauna Kea – the tallest mountain in the world when measured from the sea floor is something to behold.  The air is among the purist on earth.  The Onizuka Visitor Center is a great place to drive up to and stop.  There are trails, displays and telescope viewing – definitely bring a coat!  With most of the northern and southern skies visible, Mauna Kea’s summit contain the world’s largest concentration of observatories.  Only 4-wheel drive vehicles are permitted to make the drive to the summit, but there are tour companies that will bring up you (and give you hot chocolate!)  Beware though, the high altitude can bring on symptoms with headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath….take your time if you go exploring here!

Kailua-Kona is a sunny, perfect beach getaway.  Beautiful little churches are here and amazing snorkeling with turtles is at Kahuluu Beach Park.  At Kealakeka Bay, Captain Cook’s Monument marks where he died in 1779.  The snorkeling here is fantastic but can be very busy.  Sacred sites abound here – stop and picnic, take pictures and have respect for the coral underwater and the sites on dry land.

South Point is great for hiking to the remote Green Sand Beach.  Take a detour to the Punalauu Black Sands Beach Park.  It’s beautiful and wild!

Don’t miss the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park!  The Kilauea Visitor Center and the Thomas  A Jaggar Museum must be visited, but there will be lots of people there, so take your time and enjoy.  A TV screen inside give you a look into the sheer-walled Halemaumau crater of Kilauea.

Absolutely drive the Crater Rim Drive if permitted and a drive down the Chain of Crater Road is surreal!  Don’t miss it!  Stark lava fields give way to the beautiful blue of the Hawaiian water.

Hiking inside the vast cauldron is also available if the volcano permits it!

Take a walk through the Thurston Lava Tube..it’s really quite something to behold.

As you can see, you’ll need a full day to enjoy all this park has to offer.                                           

Hilo.  Lots of rain!  But, this brings a beautiful, lush landscape to life.  Gardens abound and don’t miss the easily accessible Akaka Falls and Waipio Valley which overlooks a deep valley.

There is something truly magical about the Big Island of Hawaii.

And summer is a great time to visit.  Contact me to help you arrange your perfect Escape to paradise!

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