SodaPopper Kelly Phelan was lucky enough to travel to the Big Island of Hawaii for a week of R&R. Between lying at the beach and soaking in the rays at the pool she took time to explore the island and all it has to offer. Here’s a little of what she found…
After flying for at least 6 hours you are more than ready to be outside in the fresh air. On the Big Island of Hawaii we headed to Akaka Falls State Park near the city of Hilo to find the most majestic waterfall. A beautiful hike takes twists and turns through vibrant flowers and larger than life trees.
Mauna Lani Beach
We had access to the Mauna Lani Beach which was a small, quiet beach with a picturesque view of a sailboat and the island, perfect for lying out under a palm tree.
Snorkeling at Puako Beach
Puako Beach is a gorgeous public beach and is part of the Holoholokai Beach Park on the West Cost of the Big Island. Unique white-washed driftwood scatter across the sand and the snorkeling is amazing here! Head to this beach for calm waters, vibrant fish and coral. We even spotted a Honu (Hawaiian for Sea Turtle)!
The Canoe House Restaurant
The Canoe House is one of the most magical restaurants. Located at the Mauna Lani resort, it is on the beach with a perfect view of the sunset. The menu is exquisite with local cuisine highlighting fresh fish. I enjoyed the Togarshi Ahi, served with coconut rice, grilled volcano watercress, wild current tomato, caper berry and finished with a roasted pineapple black vinegar. Oh, and don’t forget to save room for their complimentary house-made truffles and decadent desserts!
Manta Ray Cove
A unique experience to take advantage of is swimming with Manta Rays. The Seawolf Company takes guests out at sunset to a nearby cove. In the dark, divers swim down to the cove floor with large lights, which attract krill. Manta Rays eat krill and are drawn to the cove. Snorkelers float on the water above the rays, watching them swim and eat.
Hawaii is known for its spectacular golf courses. The South Course at Mauna Lani runs along the ocean. If you are not a golfer it is worth it just to walk the course for the views.
Huggo’s On the Rocks
Before our flight home we drove down to Kona for happy hour at Huggo’s On the Rocks, a bar, literally on the rocks. This is a relaxing restaurant and bar with live Hawaiian music, hula dancing, and all tables and chairs facing the water. Sip on a cold beer from Kona Brewery, a local Hawaiian brewer, or enjoy the traditional favorite, a frozen strawberry daiquiri.
Kelly’s last bit of advice: spend as much time as you can outside and try to take it all in before you find yourself realizing your time in Hawaii has come to an end!