Looking for a Big Island Getaway? We’ve wrote before about the many adventures that are available around the Big Island, but we have not yet covered some of the more laid-back activities that can be found around Kona. It would be very easy to come stay at the Holualoa Inn, enjoy the peace and quiet of our 30-acre coffee estate, and explore the area while leaving most, if not all, of the driving to someone else. Here are just a few of the ways you can spend your stay:
The Makalei Golf Club has a mountainside course less than twenty minutes’ drive from the Holualoa Inn, perfect for warmer days when you would prefer to be above the coastal heat. On most days, however, options abound. The Kona Country Club in Keauhou is less than 15 minutes’ drive from the Inn and features spectacular ocean views. If you don’t mind a longer drive, all of the coastal resorts have multiple courses. You might try the King’s Course at the Waikoloa Beach Resort, or the award-winning championship course at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.
The waters off the Kona Coast are some of the most beautiful in the world, and they remain exceptionally calm for most of the year. Add to that the spectacular backdrop of our islands’ rugged volcanic coastlines and the peaks of Mt. Hualalai and Mauna Kea, and you have a perfect combination for a beautiful day of sailing or cruising. Paradise Sailing offers a sunset sail aboard their 36′ catamaran Kolea as well as private charters, as does Kamanu Charters. If you are interested in cruising rather than sailing (perfect for times when the water is choppier) Body Glove offers a Sunset Dinner Cruise that takes you along the South Kona Coast to the Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay.
Although the water does tend to get rougher during the winter season, it is also the best time of year to see Pacific Humpback whales while they stop in the waters of the Hawaiian Islands to mate and to give birth. It is an unforgettable experience to see these giants of the ocean up close, especially when they are putting on amazing acrobatic displays. Many of the tour companies offer a free second trip if you do not see any whales on your first outing, but going with an experienced captain will give you the best chance to see them the first time. Try Captain Dan McSweeney’s Whale Watching Tours.
Bird watching might not involve quite as much action as whale watching, but it is thrilling when you get to see an extremely rare and elusive native species in the wild. The Big Island is home to several native bird sanctuaries that provide habitat for endemic Honeycreepers and other birds. Hawaii Forest & Trail offers bird watching excursions to some of the public (and one private) bird sanctuaries in the highlands on Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, where you might get an opportunity to see endangered native species like the Palila, the Apapane, and the Elepaio.
You can explore undersea off the Kona Coast without ever getting wet aboard an Atlantis Submarine tour. On your 45-minute dive you will encounter a wide array of marine life and a vast coral reef ecosystem as you descend to 100 feet below the surface. Native fish, Hawaiian Green sea turtles, rays, and reef sharks await you on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
The best way to take in all of the most spectacular scenery is by air. Paradise Helicopters offers a variety of tours with several departures daily from the Kona Airport, which is just a 25-minute drive from the Holualoa Inn. Soar over the deep valleys and towering waterfalls of North Kohala, the behemoth slopes of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, and the active eruptions of Kilauea Volcano. If you only have a limited time to see the Big Island, or if you would rather not take on all of the driving required to see the island by land, this is the way to see the best of what the island has to offer.
Explore Kona’s History
Hawaii is a place of rich history and tradition, and the islands are all steeped in the artifacts of 1000 years of Hawaiian culture. But you don’t have to go far to see some of the most significant cultural sites on the Big Island. The ancient Place of Refuge at Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park contains 400-year old stone ruins as well as recreations of traditional Hawaiian dwellings and temples. A self-guided interpretive tour will take through the park in about an hour. You can also cruise along Ali’i Drive in Kona to take in sights such as King Kamehameha’s private temple, the Hulihe’e Palace (a governor’s residence from the 1800s), one of the oldest churches on the Big Island, and the ruins of a large Hawaiian temple complex at Kahalu’u.
However you decide to spend your visit to the Big Island, the Holualoa Inn will be here to make your trip as pleasant as possible. We will start you out each morning with our delicious and healthy, garden-to-table breakfast and our 100% estate Kona Coffee. Our friendly staff will be available daily to provide assistance with itineraries and concierge services. At the end of your day, you can return to the tranquility of the Inn, help yourself to some fresh-baked treats, and relax on one of our spacious lanais as you take in the best sunset on the island. Make a Big Island Getaway today!