Be it the warm pacific water, the sandy beaches, or the countless hiking opportunities we can’t stop dreaming up the perfect Hawaiian vacation. So in effort to bring readers on board, take a look at one itinerary option created by our own Marketing Assistant, Marcia Kosin, who plans on returning to the big island for vacation yet again.
Day 1 - South Point
One of my favorite things to do in Hawaii is jumping of the cliff at south point. I “guesstimate” it’s about 3 stories high and the water below is 60 feet deep. After a nice plunge why not take a four mile hike from south point to the green sand beach named Papakolea. The terrain is a little rough and I recommend taking lots of water and a packed lunch, but trust me it’s worth it -- sunbathing in the rare green sand is an experience to remember! After the hike, the black sand beach named Punalu’u Beach is just up the street. There is not a whole lot of development in this area but you can stop at Shaka Restaurant, which is considered to be the most southern bar in the U.S.A.
Day 2: Horseback Riding/Mauna Kea
Horseback riding is something I have always wanted to do. On the northern tip of the island there is a ranch called, Paniolo Adventures. They offer guided horseback-riding tours with stunning views of the coast. After the excursion I plan to sunbathe at Hapuna Beach Park off of Highway 19 which is a short drive away. From my previous visits the water here is warm and the sand is spectacular! This beach park is also a great place to watch the sunset over the ocean. The Mauna Kea Observatory offers free star gazing from 6:00 pm-10:00 pm nightly, and is just east of Hapuna. They advise visitors to dress warmly when going to the top of the summit as temperatures can plummet to near freezing, after all its altitude is 9,300 feet.
Day 3: Kealakekua Bay & Kona Coffee Farms
Kealakekua Bay has calm waters perfect for snorkeling and kayaking. To get to this secluded park you have to drive up the volcano and then go down the volcano. There are several coffee farms along the way and many provide tours and have shops for visitors to sample and buy Kona coffee. Kona coffee is one of the most expensive coffees in the world. It is unique to the Kona coast because of the ideal weather patterns and mineral-rich volcanic soil that it is grown in. Or you could opt to take a load off and visit the Kona Brewing Company. After a cold beer and slice of pizza a stroll through Kona’s downtown is a must!
Day 4: Volcano National Park
Since I will be staying in Kona, the Volcano National Park is almost 100 miles away. It is a good idea to get up early and head to the park since there is so much to see! Not only can you hike for hours among lava fields, you can also walk through an extinct lava tube (a lava tube is a natural tunnel formed by flowing lava that moved below the hardened surface thousands of years ago). Visit the parks website here: http://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/lava2.htm
Stay tuned for more information on Marcia’s Hawaiian getaway itinerary….