Tranquil Travel: Your Guide to Big Island, Hawaii

For the most part, vacations are wonderful. You get to take a break from work, be carefree for a little while, relax, and ideally have fun. Unfortunately, vacations aren’t always so picture perfect. Whether you are worried about your kids causing a scene or gaining 10 pounds after a week of eating delicious food and not exercising, vacations are often not as peaceful as they should be. If you want to combine the best of both worlds and relax while still staying healthy and fit, there are plenty of vacation destinations all over the world that should satisfy all of your vacation needs.

Apparently, the groundhog was right about there being 6 more weeks of winter, so all I can think about are warm, tropical places.  Never have I wanted nothing more than to be sitting on a beach with a Mai Thai in hand. When thinking of the best warm vacation I could have, Hawaii immediately comes to mind.  I was lucky enough to be able to go to Hawaii for my 16th birthday, and it was just incredible.  Each gorgeous island offers so many amazing experiences. I can honestly say that it is pretty difficult to go to Hawaii and not have an amazing time.

Depending on what you want out of your Hawaiian vacation, you have to put some thought into which island or islands are the best fit.  If you want a lot of nature and seclusion, look into Kauai.  If you prefer non-stop adventures, check out Maui. Today, we are going to talk about Big Island (yes, that is the actual name), which falls somewhere in between.  You can split your time between lounging around a luxurious resort, hiking around a volcano, and snorkeling; there is a little bit of everything.  If you are going to Big Island, you should look into renting a car, as many of the sights are very spread out.  Also, I usually throw in some cheaper suggestions in terms of lodging and activities, but hey, if you’re going to Hawaii, you may as well go crazy.

Where To Stay: 

Hilton Waikoloa Village

Hilton Waikoloa Village
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When you are dreaming of your Hawaiian vacation, if you are thinking of luxury, palm trees, beautiful ocean views, and anything you could imagine on the grounds of one resort, Hilton Waikoloa Village is perfect.  The resort is so big, that you have to use boats to get around.  There are a number of dining options, golf courses, a spa, and awesome pools for the kids all in one place.  It’ll be hard to drag yourself away for a day trip.  In addition to resort classics, Waikoloa Village also offers some unique Hawaiian experiences. Here are some of my favorites that my family and I did on our trip:

What to Do: 

Dolphin Quest

Dolphin encounter
(personal photo)

If you have ever dreamed of swimming with some adorable dolphins, Dolphin Quest provides a bunch of different types of encounters, even some kid-friendly options.  You actually get to kiss the dolphins which is definitely a must-do.

Legends of Hawaii Luau

Hilton Waikoloa village luau
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You really can’t go to Hawaii without going to a luau.  The food is delicious, and the entertainment is amazing.  The fire jugglers are one-of-a-kind, as are the actual dancers.  You may even get a chance to hop up on stage!

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Volcano
(personal photo)

Volcanoes National Park is home to the Kilauea volcano, one of the world’s most active volcanoes.  At the park, you can take hikes around the volcanic crater, and visit the visitor’s center that you can drive up to (don’t try walking from the crater, it is far).  The Park offers some guided tours, which are great for learning about some of the nature and history of the area.

Akaka Falls

Akaka Falls
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When you picture Hawaii, and all you can think about are lush tropical forests and scenic views, Akaka Falls State Park is perfect for you. Taking a stroll through the park, you see everything from unique and beautiful plants to an awesome waterfall. It is a nice way to fit in some exercise while seeing views you can’t get in too many other places.

Captain Cook Monument 

Captain Cook monument
(image)

Captain Cook was a British captain who discovered the Hawaiian Islands in the 1700s, and was at first treated as a God by the Hawaiians. However, after a horrible storm, they turned, losing their respect for him, and ended up killing Captain Cook and even some of his crew members. There is now a monument to Cook located on the spot where he died in Kealakekua Bay. The best way to reach it? Snorkeling!  You can kayak out to the spot, and during your journey, snorkel in a coral reef.  This is an amazing opportunity, and I highly recommend it, especially if you are looking for an experience that is both physical and relaxing.

 Have you ever been to Hawaii?

Check out more of our Tranquil Travel posts to begin planning your next, great adventure.

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