Big Island, Hawaii
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Wow, I can’t believe today is the first day of February. Where did January go? Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess.
Last month, Garrat and I spent 8 days on Big Island, Hawaii for our honeymoon. Best. Vacation. Ever!
It seems I exclaim the same thing after each vacation, but Hawaii truly is a heaven on earth!
Big Island is the biggest island in Hawaii, bigger than all the rest of the islands combined. When I was researching about Hawaii to decide on the island, I came across an article that said no matter what island you decide to go, you will have fun. And I wholeheartedly believe that. We picked Big Island mainly due to active volcano and botanical gardens.
We had absolutely the best time there and had seen so many natural beauties that I won’t be able to describe with words. Pictures even won’t do its justice! But I’ll share them anyways. Warning: this post is loaded with photos and very long. I hope you enjoy it.
We stayed at The Palms Cliff House Inn in Hilo, HI. It’s a beautiful, peaceful and secluded bed and breakfast with absolutely relaxing environment where you can enjoy the ocean view from your private lanai, and, if you’re lucky, watch whales playing in the ocean.
Every morning, the homeowners spoiled us with fresh, delicious and hot breakfast that kept us full and energized till lunch.
Hilo is a nice town, that’s not overcrowded with tourists and with lots of great restaurants. It’s also very close to a lot of attraction sites, like botanical gardens, Akaka Falls State Park and other beautiful places.
I highly recommend checking out The Seaside restaurant and The Ponds for dinner.
Oh, if you love sushi, definitely go to Suisan fish market and have some ahi tuna poke. Poke is super delicious Hawaiian raw tuna salad. The sad- and somewhat good- thing is that we had that bowl of ahi tuna poke on our very last day before hopping on the plane. If we had it earlier on our trip, I think we would have just eat there every single day. Yeah, it was that good. But we’re also a little crazy about sushi!
One of our top priorities was to check out farmer’s market. Lucky for us, there’s a huge farmer’s market in Hilo every Wednesday and Saturday.
Over 100 vendors with fresh fruits, vegetables, macadamia nuts, coffee beans, baked goods, and souvenirs gather at the market. It was super fun to browse around and enjoy all the fresh fruits. To be honest, I was a bit jealous of Hawaiians, who get to enjoy these fresh fruits and veggies every day. 🙂
We went to both Botanical World Adventures Garden and Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. Both gardens were pretty amazing, but I enjoyed Hawaii Tropical Botanical garden more. It’s bigger and had a lot more diverse plants, waterfalls, and ocean view.
At the Botanical World Adventures Garden…
Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
Kīlauea and Mauna Loa are the most active volcanoes in the world. When you drive in the Volcanoes Nation Park, you witness how amazing the Mother Nature is.
The landscape changes from rough lava land to black sand beach to blue ocean. It’s breathtakingly gorgeous. We also went through the Thurston Lava Tube. It was a wonderful experience.
Whoa, check out at this massive waterfall, guys!! Akaka Fall is 422 feet tall. Beautiful is just an understatement!
On the southern tip of the Big Island, there is a hidden gem, Papakolea green sand beach; whish is another popular destination by tourists.
Apparently, it’s not easy to get to the beach. When we just parked our car, a local guy came over to let us know that the actual beach is about 3 miles away. The road is rough, and only four-wheel cars are allowed. He offered us a ride on the back of his beaten up pick up for $15 round trip per person. 🙂 Since it was very hot day, we happily accepted his offer. Best $30 spent!
My jaw dropped when we got to the destination. It was simply gorgeous! The olive green sand was so smooth, and the ocean was turquoise blue. I wanted to sunbath there for hours, but the next destination was waiting for us.
We packed up and headed to our next beach, Punaluu black sand beach. This beach is also known by a large number of Hawaiian Green Sea turtles.
When we were there, there was one big turtle resting by the shore. While I was shooting the pictures of him, he came out of water and said “Hello!” to me. It totally made my day. 🙂
One of the highlights of the trip was watching a sunset from Mauna Kea observatory, about 9,300mi above sea level. It was magical to be so high among clouds and sun is setting right in front of you. Words and photos can’t deliver the beauty of it, I will forever cherish this memory in my heart.
Ah, yet another gorgeous site, Waipio Valley. It’s beautiful to see the valley from the top. However, we were told that there is even more beautiful beach on the bottom of the steep one-mile road, where only four-wheel drive is allowed.
The most challenging thing is that the average grade of this road is 25%. Oh man, was it hard to climb back up! It can be quite a challenge for the fittest hikers out there. Was it worth it? Absolutely! The beach was amazing, covered with very fine black sand. I just wanted to sit there and watch waives come and go. Breathtaking!
Still with me? Great, I’m almost done!
The last, but not least, we visited The Kona Coffee Living Historic Farm. It’s a neat historic place where you can step back in time and see how Japanese immigrants made their living in early 1900s growing coffee beans. Fascinating experience!
While we were there, we rented a car and put 1000+ miles on it. I’d love to say that we pretty much visited every corner of the island, but I’m sure there’re lots more to see and do.
It was a fantastic trip and we’d definitely coming back!
Thanks so much for staying with me till the end of the story. Hope it was worth it.