It’s a Big, Big IS­LAND

101 Things to Do (Big Island) - - IT'S A BIG, BIG ISLAND -

1. Get a Front-Row “Hot” Seat Madame Pele, the leg­endary Hawai­ian vol­cano

god­dess, con­tin­ues to stay ac­tive from her home in­side her fa­vorite vol­cano, Ki­lauea. Things may have changed by the time you read this, but flows have been head­ing into new di­rec­tions, a new erup­tion has started, and there was even a col­lapse of the crater floor! Lava flow up­dates can be found on the Hawai‘i Vol­ca­noes

National Park site and at http://vol­ca­­tiv­ity/ ki­laueas­t­a­tus.php, or by call­ing (808) 961-8093.

There are sev­eral ways to get in on the ex­cite­ment of Ki­lauea’s ac­tiv­ity. Lava boat tours have be­come a pop­u­lar at­trac­tion; boat com­pa­nies like Lava Ocean Ad­ven­tures will be ready to ferry pas­sen­gers to a front-row seat. Mean­while, al­ter­nate tours are avail­able.

When fiery-hot lava, some­times boil­ing at 2,100 de­grees Fahren­heit, col­lides with cool sea­wa­ter, the im­pact is stag­ger­ing. Pic­ture a pow­er­ful grenade that ex­plodes into a foun­tain of steam and hurls vol­canic de­bris ev­ery which way. Safe view­ing is pos­si­ble via sev­eral op­tions, in­clud­ing hik­ing, bik­ing and

noc­tur­nal he­li­copter flights.

A 10-mile bike ride will get you to the show. BikeVol­cano.

com has de­signed a tour that pro­vides sun­set views of lava hit­ting

the sea and in­cludes a stop in Kala­pana, a vil­lage rav­aged by ear­lier lava flows.

Or take to the sky for a panoramic view of molten lava burn­ing and ooz­ing over black lava fields. Big Is­land Air con­ducts night flights, and Par­adise Helicopters flies over the vol­cano in a chop­per with­out doors.

2. Sad­dle Up

Horse­back rid­ing is un­ques­tion­ably one of Hawai‘i Is­land’s pre­mier at­trac­tions. The is­land’s di­verse ter­rain, eye-pop­ping vis­tas and wealth of work­ing cat­tle ranches make it an

ex­cit­ing lo­ca­tion for horse­back ad­ven­tures.

Sit­u­ated on Ko­hala Moun­tain within Pono­holo Ranch,

Pan­iolo Ad­ven­tures spe­cial­izes in open-range rides on its 11,000-acre work­ing cat­tle ranch. The panoramic views, par­tic­u­larly at sun­set, are stun­ning, and if you’re up for a work­out, try a four-hour open-range trot through high coun­try ter­rain.

Parker Ranch, in Waimea, was founded in 1847 and is one of the old­est and largest cat­tle spreads in the United States. Ex­pect to come across plenty of his­toric sites on a ride over this 150,000-acre work­ing ranch.

Waipi‘o Ridge Sta­bles is well known for its horse­back tours of Waipi‘o Val­ley. The beauty and rugged ter­rain of this val­ley is prob­a­bly best seen on the back of a horse. One tour heads along the rim of the val­ley and then fol­lows a stream through a rain­for­est to a hid­den wa­ter­fall that can be viewed only on horse­back.

An­other com­pany, Waipi‘o on Horse­back, trans­ports rid­ers into the val­ley in four-wheel-drive vans. Guests then sad­dle up for a nar­rated jour­ney through the his­tory, leg­ends and wild beauty of this revered Hawai­ian val­ley. • Pan­iolo Ad­ven­tures (808) 889-5354 • Waipi‘o Ridge Sta­bles (808) 775-1007

3. Let Your­self Go on a Zi­pline

Some­where in the gap be­tween he­li­copter tours and hik­ing has emerged a rain­for­est ad­ven­ture called zi­plin­ing.

Strapped safely in a har­ness, the zi­pliner races over a se­ries of ca­bles like Jeremy Ren­ner in a Mis­sion Im­pos­si­ble flick. Once you’re buck­led up, you’ll dip through leafy-topped old-growth trees, fly over unique vol­canic ter­rain and soar past wa­ter­falls—lots of them.

On Hawai‘i Is­land, you’ll find two tours on the Ha­makua coast and an­other op­er­at­ing in the North Ko­hala Moun­tains.

Umauma Falls Zi­pline Ex­pe­ri­ence has a lock on an ex­clu­sive wa­ter­fall view. Ex­pect to come face-to-face with a dozen spec­tac­u­lar falls (in­clud­ing a stun­ning three-tiered cas­cade) and, for good mea­sure, a lava tube. The course, which also fea­tures a 2,000-foot line, is lo­cated on the Ha­makua coast off of High­way 19 near Hakalau.

Big Is­land Eco Ad­ven­tures, the is­land’s orig­i­nal zi­pline tour, has con­structed its course in the gor­geous Ko­hala Moun­tains, where you’ll find quaint vil­lages, like the charm­ing town of Hawi, which also hap­pens to be this out­fit’s head­quar­ters. Vast stretches of open space give way to tracts of

wild, breath­tak­ing ter­rain and pro­vide the back­drop for the eight-line run.

Perched amongst the trees of Halawa, Ko­hala Zi­pline’s

Ko­hala Canopy Ad­ven­ture fea­tures el­e­vated sus­pen­sion

bridges, soar­ing tree plat­forms and thrilling zi­plines. Ex­clu­sive

fea­tures, such as twin Whis­perLi­nesSM and smooth-stop brak­ing, en­sure your safety and com­fort.

Sky­line Eco-Ad­ven­tures— the first zi­pline op­er­a­tor in the

United States—takes guests di­rectly above mul­ti­ple wa­ter­falls, and its new­est awe-in­spir­ing zi­pline tour, lo­cated just be­low

the world-fa­mous Akaka Falls, has you soar­ing over a 250-foot wa­ter­fall! This new tour also hap­pens to be the long­est zi­pline

course in the en­tire state, mea­sur­ing in at a stag­ger­ing 3,350 feet! And sit­u­ated within the spec­tac­u­lar World Botan­i­cal Gar­dens & Wa­ter­falls in Hakalau, you’ll find Zip Isle Zip

Line Ad­ven­tures. Just min­utes from Hilo, Zip Isle Zip Line Ad­ven­tures of­fers high-fly­ing ad­ven­tures on seven zi­plines and a sus­pen­sion bridge all lo­cated within a trop­i­cal rain­for­est.

Night­time zip rides also are avail­able. Zip Isle and World Botan­i­cal Gar­dens are lo­cated north of Hilo, off High­way 19, at mile marker 16 and open daily 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Each of the cour­ses of­fers its own dis­tinc­tive char­ac­ter­is­tics, but all give safety a high pri­or­ity. Be­fore har­ness­ing up, zi­plin­ers are given thor­ough in­struc­tions and safely out­fit­ted. • Big Is­land Eco Ad­ven­tures (808) 889-5111 • Kapo­hoKine Ad­ven­tures (866) 965-9552 or

(808) 964-1000 • Ko­hala Zi­pline (808) 331-3620 • Sky­line Eco-Ad­ven­tures (808) 270-8753 • Umauma Falls Zi­pline Ex­pe­ri­ence

(808) 930-9477 • World Botan­i­cal Gar­dens & Wa­ter­falls

(808) 963-5427 or (888) 947-4753

4. Pick a Beach

White-, black- and even green-sand beaches abound along Hawai‘i Is­land’s 266-mile coast­line. Check out some of the most pop­u­lar spots be­low: Kauna‘oa Beach at the Mauna Kea Beach Ho­tel Ha­puna Beach, just out­side Ka­muela town and pop­u­lar for walk­ing and body board­ing, re­cently ranked No. 8 on a list of

Amer­ica’s 10 Best Beach Towns by Par­ents.

Anaeho‘omalu Beach, known as “Bay,” great for wind­surf­ing and kitesurf­ing Ka‘up­ulehu Beach at the Four Sea­sons Re­sort

White Sands Beach Park, near the Keauhou Re­sort, also known as “Magic Sands” be­cause the beach can quickly dis­ap­pear dur­ing high-surf win­ter months, only to re­turn in the spring Ka­halu‘u Beach Park, Kona’s most pop­u­lar snor­kel­ing beach Pu­nalu‘u Beach Park, a well-known black-sand beach Macken­zie State Park in Pa­hoa, where there’s a lava-lined pool heated to 95 de­grees Fahren­heit by a vol­canic stream nearby

Co­conut Is­land Park, near the Hilo Hawai­ian Ho­tel, a lo­cal fa­vorite for fish­ing and swim­ming

Lau­pa­hoe­hoe Point Park, cre­ated by a lava flow from Mauna Kea, it has a large grassy area great for camp­ing

Waipi‘o Val­ley’s Black Sand Beach, ac­ces­si­ble only with four-wheel drive or on foot from the over­look

Re­mem­ber: Wa­ter con­di­tions at Big Is­land beaches can be tricky and un­pre­dictable. Whether swim­ming or surf­ing, fol­low th­ese ba­sic aquatic rules:

• • Take you Watch see cau­tion the waves ocean if break­ing you for no­tice at least far wa­ter off­shore; 20 min­utes mov­ing be­fore rapidly en­ter­ing; or swirling, or if

• Never swim or snorkel alone;

• Al­ways su­per­vise chil­dren;

• Strong cur­rents near shore are the most fre­quent and danger­ous

haz­ards. Ar­eas near river mouths are par­tic­u­larly danger­ous;

• Obey warn­ing signs. If life­guards are un­avail­able, ask other

beach­go­ers about po­ten­tial haz­ards; • Lo­cate the life­guard sta­tion, emer­gency phone or res­cue surf

board when you ar­rive at a beach, and never turn your back to the ocean.

5. Re­live Mis­sion His­tory

Nearly 180 years ago, a New Eng­land mis­sion­ary cou­ple in their early 20s ar­rived in Hilo. It was here that they spent the next 50 years of their lives.

To­day, the Ly­man Mis­sion House is the old­est wood-frame build­ing on Hawai‘i Is­land. Built in 1839 by David and Sarah Ly­man, the house is con­structed partly of the lo­cal hard­woods koa and ‘ohia and is fur­nished with orig­i­nal and pe­riod decor.

Take a guided tour to see this his­toric home and hear the Ly­mans’ story. The Mis­sion House is ad­ja­cent to the only gen­eral Hawai­ian his­tory mu­seum on the is­land. The Smith­so­nian-af­fil­i­ated Ly­man Mu­seum has nat­u­ral his­tory ex­hibits on vol­ca­noes and Hawai‘i Is­land habi­tats, along with world-renowned

col­lec­tions of seashells and min­er­als. The mu­seum is lo­cated at 276 Haili St. in his­toric down­town Hilo and is open Mon­day through Satur­day, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visit­man­mu­ for tour times.

6. Ride an ATV from Moun­tain to Sea

North Ko­hala is a sparsely pop­u­lated, wildly beau­ti­ful re­gion, mak­ing it an ideal place for off-road ex­plo­ration. Be­hind the wheel of an All-Ter­rain Ve­hi­cle and with a guide who knows the area’s ter­rain, his­tory and cul­ture, be pre­pared for a ride into parts un­known.

ATV Out­fit­ters Hawai‘i is owned by long-time North Ko­hala res­i­dents who’ll ride with you on ATVs specif­i­cally de­signed for rugged off-road travel. Ex­pe­ri­ence the real Hawai‘i on an un­for­get­table ride over pri­vate ranch­lands, past spec­tac­u­lar 200-foot sea cliffs and through lush, trop­i­cal rain­forests. Knowl­edge­able fifth-gen­er­a­tion na­tive Hawai­ian guides lead you to a hid­den wa­ter­fall and se­cluded beach

that King Kame­hameha once fa­vored. The only com­pany to of­fer dou­ble-seat and side-by-side ATVs, it’s an ad­ven­ture for the en­tire fam­ily.

This is more than just a rough-and-tum­ble ride through gor­geous ter­rain; it’s a re­mark­able op­por­tu­nity to learn from ex­perts about a place barely touched by time. Lo­cated just past mile marker 24 on the left of High­way 270. • ATV Out­fit­ters Hawai‘i (808) 889-6000 • Kona Eco Ad­ven­tures (808) 889-5111

7. Get Ditched

If you think go­ing on a “ditch tour” means you’ll be splashing around in a few feet of muddy ir­ri­ga­tion wa­ter, think again— Ko­hala Ditch Ad­ven­tures is a multi-part adren­a­line rush that in­volves kayak­ing and a num­ber of stun­ning views.

The tour starts with an off-road ex­cur­sion on Pinz­gauers to a jun­gle set­ting high in the Ko­hala Moun­tains. From here, guests

hike over a 150-foot flume bridge over­look­ing a wa­ter­fall to get to the be­gin­ning of the kayak seg­ment of the trip. Tour guides then lead ad­ven­tur­ers along 2.5 miles of Ko­hala ditch sys­tem, which weaves through a Hawai­ian rain­for­est lush with is­land flora and fauna, 10 tun­nels and wa­ter flumes. Fi­nally, af­ter pad­dling to shore, vis­i­tors fin­ish their tour through Ko­hala’s macadamia nut

or­chards that over­look the ocean. Tour guides spice up the tour with lo­cal his­tory and

Hawai­ian lore. Lo­cated just past mile marker 24 on the left of

High­way 270.

• Ko­hala Ditch Ad­ven­tures (808) 889-6000

8. Take a Farm Tour

Don’t be mis­led by the Big Is­land’s bar­ren lava fields. The

ma­jor­ity of the state’s agri­cul­tural prod­ucts are grown and pro­cessed here.

Hawai‘i For­est & Trail con­ducts a unique tour of lo­cal farms that are us­ing sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture meth­ods. First, the tour heads to Kahua Ranch in the Ko­hala Moun­tains, where cat­tle and sheep are ranched (not to men­tion you’ll get a great view of the coast from its 3,000-foot el­e­va­tion). The next stop is

Honopua Farm, where or­ganic veg­eta­bles, laven­der and cut flow­ers are farmed. Af­ter th­ese stops, at­ten­dees will be served din­ner at the award-win­ning Mer­ri­man’s Restau­rant in Waimea, where chefs pre­pare gourmet dishes us­ing fresh, lo­cal in­gre­di­ents.

To truly ap­pre­ci­ate the Poly­ne­sian agri­cul­tural her­itage, visit the Amy B.H. Green­well Eth­nob­otan­i­cal Gar­den, where you’ll see more than 200 va­ri­eties of plants cul­ti­vated by early Hawai­ians. The 15-acre gar­den is land­scaped to re­flect plant life in the Kona area be­fore for­eign con­tact. It also is the only gar­den in Hawai‘i solely de­voted to Hawai­ian eth­nob­otany, a dis­ci­pline that com­bines the study of hu­man cul­ture with the plants that sup­port it. • Amy B.H. Green­well Eth­nob­otan­i­cal Gar­den

(808) 323-3318 • Hawai‘i For­est & Trail (808) 331-8505

9. Swim with a Manta Ray

They may look fear­some, but manta rays, known in Hawai­ian as ha­halua, are re­ally quite tame.

Though re­lated to sharks, th­ese amaz­ing sea crea­tures have no teeth and no tail stingers, mak­ing them harm­less to hu­mans but no less in­trigu­ing to watch. Noted for its res­i­dent manta ray pop­u­la­tion, the Kona

Coast is one of the best places in the world to get close to them. Many lo­cal div­ing and snor­kel­ing com­pa­nies con­duct

night­time manta ray runs, or you can hope to catch a peek from the shore. The wa­ter off the Sher­a­ton Keauhou Bay

Re­sort & Spa is a reg­u­lar feed­ing spot for manta rays, and a good place to see them on-shore is from the lanai off the re­sort’s

Rays on the Bay restau­rant. The re­sort will turn on its out­door lights when the manta rays ap­pear.

Dive shop own­ers say manta rays can be found most days from as far north as wa­ters off the Kea­hole-Kona In­ter­na­tional Air­port to Keauhou Bay. Divers are in­structed to stay near the bot­tom and snorkel­ers on the sur­face to al­low the manta rays room to ma­neu­ver. • Ad­ven­tures in Par­adise (800) 979-3370 • Aloha Kayak Com­pany (808) 322-2868 • Fair Wind Cruises (808) 345-0244 • Hawai‘i Is­land & Ocean Tours (808) 313-1116 • Ka­manu Char­ters (808) 329-2021 • Manta Ray Dives of Hawai‘i (808) 325-1687 • Nep­tune Char­lies Ocean Sa­faris

(808) 331-2184 • Ocean Eco Tours (808) 324-7873 • Sea Par­adise (808) 322-2500 or (800) 322-5662 • Sea­s­pace Div­ing/Espace Plongee

(808) 323-3011 • Splasher’s Ocean Ad­ven­tures (808) 326-4774 • Sun­Light on Wa­ter (808) 270-8765 • Wahine Char­ters (808) 325-2665

10. Hike with a Guide

The Big Is­land is too big and too full of se­crets to grab a hik­ing stick and head into the wilder­ness on your own. If you want to get the full ex­pe­ri­ence of this is­land’s wild and beau­ti­ful land­scape, take a guided tour.

Hawai‘i For­est & Trail, an award-win­ning eco-tour com­pany, of­fers in­no­va­tive and in­for­ma­tive na­ture ad­ven­tures and is known for de­sign­ing hikes that com­bine ex­cep­tional tours

with en­vi­ron­men­tal in­tegrity.

The com­pany’s playlist changes fre­quently. Choose from a 12-hour trek that cul­mi­nates in a twi­light view of erupt­ing Ki­lauea Vol­cano and its siz­zling lava flow, or ven­ture to Waipi‘o

Val­ley, a largely in­ac­ces­si­ble des­ti­na­tion known for its nat­u­ral beauty. HF&T gets you there on a trek that fol­lows a path 1,000 feet above the floor of the val­ley.

HF&T of­fers a va­ri­ety of other out­door ad­ven­tures, in­clud­ing hikes in Hawai‘i Vol­ca­noes National Park and Ki­lauea Vol­cano, the Mauna Kea sum­mit, sev­eral wa­ter­fall hikes, and a culi­nary and farm tour. Bird­ing and wildlife treks also are avail­able.

Hik­ing Hawai‘i Vol­ca­noes National Park is not your gar­den-va­ri­ety wilder­ness trek. This is lava land, a national park that fea­tures a live vol­cano with all the daily un­cer­tain­ties of na­ture un­leashed. The 333,000-acre park, lo­cated on the slopes of Mauna Loa, is a trekker’s par­adise. Pick a trail through a lava field, around the smol­der­ing Ki­lauea caldera, on the hot sea­coast of Puna and Ka‘u or at the 13,677-foot sum­mit of Mauna Loa. The long­est loop is the Crater Rim Trail, the grand tour of Hawai­ian

vol­can­ism. The 11.6-mile trip takes about eight hours on a fairly level path past lava, cin­ders, steam vents, rifts, craters, tree molds, a lava tube and views of past dev­as­ta­tion and strug­gling new life. Check with the park ser­vice for hik­ing in­for­ma­tion about

ac­tive lava flows, as well as ar­eas that may be closed due to danger­ous con­di­tions. Park rangers also can pro­vide in­for­ma­tion about the more-chal­leng­ing overnight hikes in the coastal re­gion and South­west and East Rift Zones.

The Hawai‘i Vol­ca­noes National Park (808-985-6000), the Hawai‘i Di­vi­sion of Forestry and Wildlife (808-974-4221) and the Hawai‘i Di­vi­sion of State Parks (808-961-9540) all han­dle the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Hawai‘i Is­land’s many pub­lic ac­cess trails. Con­tact th­ese agen­cies for per­mits, reser­va­tions and cur­rent in­for­ma­tion con­cern­ing hik­ing. • Hawai‘i For­est & Trail (800) 464-1993 or

(808) 331-8505 • Kala­pana Cul­tural Tours (808) 936-0456 • Kapo­hoKine Ad­ven­tures (866) 965-9552 or

(808) 964-1000

11. Dive Hawai‘i’s Wa­ters

Mauna Loa is the world’s largest ac­tive vol­cano and one of two vol­canic peaks that dom­i­nate the Big Is­land; in fact, Mauna Loa, which lit­er­ally means “long moun­tain” in Hawai­ian, spreads over half of the is­land! From sea level, Mauna Loa reaches 13,680 feet in height, but when mea­sured from its base at the ocean floor, this mam­moth of a moun­tain clocks in at 30,080 feet. This great bulk of un­der­wa­ter ex­panse is to­day a scuba

diver’s fan­tasy of lava flows, sub­merged caves, canyons, cliffs and col­or­ful coral reefs. In­deed, div­ing the ocean off the Kona/ Ko­hala Coast is a world-class ex­pe­ri­ence that stands out for its rel­a­tively young lava for­ma­tions with walls, arch­ways, lava tubes and abun­dant marine life. Char­ter dive com­pa­nies of­fer guided tours and cour­ses

in cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Some in­clude scuba spe­cialty cour­ses like pho­tog­ra­phy and videog­ra­phy. Many lo­cal dive shops also of­fer more-ad­vanced cour­ses, rang­ing from res­cue and dive mas­ter to spe­cialty classes and open-wa­ter check­outs. If you’ve got the time and the in­cli­na­tion, you can work to­ward full cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, or C-card, which is good in­def­i­nitely and hon­ored world­wide. • Lava Ocean Tours (808) 966-4200 • Ocean Eco Tours (808) 324-7873 • Sea­s­pace Div­ing/Espace Plongee (808) 323-3011

12. Bike Vol­cano Coun­try

There’s no bet­ter way to wit­ness the fury of Ki­lauea and get close enough to re­ally feel the heat than on a guided bi­cy­cle tour through Vol­cano Coun­try. For the com­plete bike tour ex­pe­ri­ence of the Hawai‘i Vol­ca­noes National Park, there’s BikeVol­’s all-day trip (10 a.m.-3 p.m.) that takes cy­clists on a mostly down­hill, paved, 15-mile course through the park. For those who don’t have time for the full-day tour, there’s the Sum­mit Tour, of­fered 10 a.m.-1 p.m. daily. Both tours of­fer pick-up at the Port of Hilo, mak­ing them the per­fect ac­tiv­ity for cruise ship vis­i­tors. The mostly down­hill course runs 8.5 miles and takes guests from the Ki­lauea Over­look along the rim of the caldera to the steam vents, through a Hawai­ian rain­for­est and on to Thurston Lava Tube.

Rid­ers can get a first-hand view of Ki­lauea’s fiery lava on the 10-mile bike course of the Bike to Pele tour. The tour runs Mon­days, from 1 to 8 p.m. Af­ter the bike ride, there’s a mile hike

to a black-sand beach, where one can catch glimpses of the lava flow. This tour in­cludes an in­ter­est­ing side trip to Kala­pana, an old Hawai­ian fish­ing vil­lage that was buried in 1990 un­der a re­lent­less lava flow. Bi­cy­clists can plan on a tour that will end where su­per-heated lava col­lides with cool ocean wa­ter and ex­plodes into plumes of steam.

Tours in­clude moun­tain bikes, hel­mets and other pro­vi­sions. • BikeVol­ (808) 934-9199 • Kala­pana Cul­tural Tours (808) 936-0456

13. Soak in a Nat­u­ral Hot Tub

Pele also deserves ku­dos for her pi­o­neer­ing work with ther­mal ponds; long be­fore any­one in­vented hot tubs, Hawai‘i Is­land was gur­gling and steam­ing with nat­u­rally heated mod­els fu­eled by warm ther­mal springs.

Th­ese nat­u­rally heated hot tubs form when ground wa­ter moves through magma-hot rocks on its way to the sea, and then mixes with cold wa­ter.

Kapoho Tide Pools are a se­ries of in­ter­con­nected ther­mal tide pools that some­times ex­tend up to 200 yards into the ocean. Nearby Isaac Hale Beach Park also is the site of a se­ries of hot springs. This site is found on Poho‘iki Bay at the junc­ture of Poho‘iki Road and Kamu-Kapoho Road.

‘Ahanalui Pool, in the beach park of the same name, is a spring-fed ther­mal pool where the wa­ter tem­per­a­ture tends to hover around 90 de­grees Fahren­heit. The pond, a mix­ture of hot wa­ter from ther­mal springs and ocean wa­ter, is crys­tal clear and gen­er­ally safe enough for small chil­dren. The park has re­strooms, show­ers and a pic­nic area, but there are no drink­ing wa­ter or camp­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

• Mauka Makai Ad­ven­tures (808) 640-7557

14. Get Loopy on a 4-D Movie Ride

Feel­ing a lit­tle out of touch? Head over to The Shops at

Mauna Lani and get zapped. The Ko­hala Coast shop­ping des­ti­na­tion fea­tures a zany at­trac­tion guar­an­teed to tickle your funny bone and jolt your senses into full alert. It’s called The 4D Ad­ven­ture Ride, and in Hawai‘i, it’s one of a kind.

The 4-D the­ater is a souped-up ver­sion of the old 3-D tech­nol­ogy. You’re still wear­ing the glasses, but now the on-screen ac­tion is en­hanced by sim­u­lated side ef­fects, like full-range mo­tion seats, blown air, wa­ter spray and other en­vi­ron­men­tal teasers.

The 4-D Ad­ven­ture Ride is staged in a 24-seat the­ater with a 19-foot widescreen and full sur­round sound. Imag­ine watch­ing Jour­ney to the Cen­ter of the Earth, National Ge­o­graphic’s Sea Mon­sters with your senses fully loaded! Or, ex­pe­ri­ence thrills with

Hawai­ian Coaster 4D or Sub-Zero 4D. Shows run from 11:30 a.m.

to 9 p.m. daily.

• The 4D Ad­ven­ture Ride (808) 747-8544

15. Dis­cover King Kame­hameha Coun­try

While South Ko­hala at­tracts most tourists, just 11 miles up­s­lope is a land de­vel­op­ers for­got. North Ko­hala is lush and green, sparsely pop­u­lated and un­pre­ten­tious; it is South Ko­hala’s coun­try cousin— a breath of fresh moun­tain air in a land­scape barely touched by con­tem­po­rary in­flu­ences.

The re­gion’s neigh­bor­ing ham­lets of Kapa‘au and Hawi, com­pris­ing the most-densely pop­u­lated area in the dis­trict, re­tain a coun­try feel, and mer­chants take an in­ven­tive ap­proach.

And nowhere is King Kame­hameha the Great, who united the is­lands in 1810, more revered than in North Ko­hala. His birth­place, marked by a sim­ple plaque, is west of Hawi on a dirt road near the ru­ins of Mo‘okini Heiau. To get there, take the turnoff to Upolu Air­port and turn left at the air­field.

For an­other Kame­hameha view, check out a more-than-cen­tu­ry­old, nine-foot statue of Kame­hameha that com­mands a hill in Kapa‘au and is eas­ily vis­i­ble from High­way 270.

16. Get Your Hands Dirty

Trav­el­ers are find­ing that one of the best ways to dis­cover the “real” Big Is­land is to sign up for a vol­un­teer pro­ject and get their hands dirty work­ing with lo­cal res­i­dents on con­ser­va­tion as­sign­ments.

Sign on for af­ter­noon or multi-day trips to help with a va­ri­ety of projects, such as trail build­ing and main­te­nance, plant­ing na­tive plants, con­trol­ling in­va­sive species or clear­ing coast­lines of marine de­bris. “Vol­un­teer­ing on Va­ca­tion” is an idea that’s catch­ing on world­wide. Get started by call­ing one of th­ese agen­cies: • Hawai‘i For­est & Trail (800) 464-1993 or (808) 331

8505 • Na­ture Con­ser­vancy of Hawai‘i (808) 939-7171 • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Ser­vice (800) 344-9453 • Hawai‘i Vol­ca­noes National Park (808) 985-6000

17. Take a Break in Holu­aloa

Take 600 spe­cialty cof­fee farms, add a smat­ter­ing of mills, roast­ers, re­tail out­lets and mu­se­ums, then clus­ter them along 20 miles of scenic coun­try roads and you’ve got the mak­ings of a self-guided cof­fee-tast­ing tour.

Most peo­ple be­gin their tour from Kailua-Kona and head north on Palani Road (High­way 190). If Moun­tain Thun­der Kona

Cof­fee Plan­ta­tion is your first stop, drive on Palani for about 4.5 miles and turn right on Kaloko Drive. Then go 3 miles to the third sign for Hao Street. Turn right again and fol­low Hao for about a mile. Moun­tain Thun­der will be on the right side of the street.

To con­tinue the tour, re­turn to Palani Road, then back to the junc­tion of High­ways 180/190 and head south to the old Ma­mala­hoa High­way to­ward Holu­aloa Town.

Be­fore you reach the tiny moun­tain vil­lage of Holu­aloa, you’ll find Ueshima Cof­fee Com­pany’s Kona Cof­fee Es­tate. Down the road you’ll come to Kona Blue Sky Cof­fee Com­pany, a large 500-acre es­tate. Holu­aloa Kona Cof­fee Com­pany is fur­ther south on High­way 180. End your tour at the Kona Cof­fee Liv­ing His­tory Farm on Ma­mala­hoa High­way in Cap­tain Cook, which pro­vides a wealth of in­for­ma­tion about the unique life­style of Kona’s cof­fee pi­o­neers. For an even richer taste of Kona’s nearly 200-year cof­fee her­itage, be sure not to miss out on the 43rd an­nual Kona Cof­fee Cul­tural Fes­ti­val Nov. 1-10, just in time for the har­vest sea­son. Cof­fee, food and fes­ti­val fans around the world visit each year to take part in this iconic 10-day

award-win­ning cel­e­bra­tion that pro­motes Hawai‘i’s unique cul­ture and di­ver­sity and re­flects the per­son­al­i­ties be­hind the in­de­pen­dent farms that make up the Kona cof­fee belt. Ad­mis­sion to the fes­ti­val re­quires the pur­chase of a $3 but­ton, avail­able at the event. For more in­for­ma­tion and full de­tails, visit www.kona­cof­

18. Roast Your Own Pri­vate Label

Stop for a cup of cof­fee and a chat at Ueshima Cof­fee (UCC Hawai‘i) Corp., a pic­turesque cof­fee es­tate just north of Holu­aloa Vil­lage. The 26-acre hill­side prop­erty is crowned with a grand view of Kailua-Kona and the sparkling Pa­cific Ocean.

Ueshima Cof­fee (UCC Hawai‘i) Corp. of­fers free farm tours and hot Kona cof­fee to vis­i­tors who stop at the road­side kiosk near the en­try to the prop­erty. The com­pany’s sig­na­ture Roast­mas­ter Tour also is now avail­able at the Ma­mala­hoa High­way kiosk, where you can try roast­ing a one-of-a-kind pri­vate Kona cof­fee re­serve. Th­ese orig­i­nal la­bels make great keep­sakes or gifts for spe­cial oc­ca­sions. • Ueshima Cof­fee (UCC Hawai‘i) Corp.

(808) 322-3789 or (888) 822-5662

19. Go Or­ganic

The largest or­ganic cof­fee farm in the United States is lo­cated 3,200 feet above sea level in a mist-cooled rain­for­est about 7 miles from Kailua-Kona. Trent Bate­man, a main­land trans­plant who left a ca­reer in en­gi­neer­ing to come to Hawai‘i, is grow­ing award-win­ning Kona cof­fee on his farm, and break­ing all the rules.

For starters, the prop­erty he pur­chased didn’t fit the mold—it was too high above sea level. Then, he de­cided to grow or­ganic cof­fee. He and his fam­ily hand-tilled the soil and then pur­chased some Chi­nese geese, St. Croix sheep and Kona Nightingale don­keys to han­dle weed con­trol and pro­vide or­ganic fer­til­izer. To­day, both Hawai’i and Cal­i­for­nia reg­u­la­tory agen­cies have cer­ti­fied Moun­tain Thun­der Kona Cof­fee

Plan­ta­tion or­ganic. Call for tour times and other in­ter­est­ing cof­fee ac­tiv­i­ties at Moun­tain Thun­der. • Moun­tain Thun­der Kona Cof­fee Plan­ta­tion

(808) 325-2136

20. A Town Built Around Cof­fee

A slight de­tour off High­way 11 leads to the funky up­coun­try vil­lage of Holu­aloa.

You’ll know you’ve reached this eclec­tic lit­tle town when you see a flu­o­res­cent-pink build­ing called the Kona

Ho­tel. Built in 1926, the ho­tel is still main­tained by its found­ing fam­ily mem­bers. With the ex­cep­tion of the ex­te­rior paint job, there’s not much to in­di­cate the pas­sage of time—it has main­tained its orig­i­nal early 1900s style. The homey 11unit es­tab­lish­ment of­fers rooms with shared bath­rooms at rates that range from $20 to $30 a night. In Holu­aloa, you’ll find an in­ter­est­ing blend of artisans

and crafters. The half-mile stretch of Ma­mala­hoa High­way (180) that is Holu­aloa Vil­lage fea­tures more than a dozen

his­tor­i­cal build­ings that have now be­come world-class art gal­leries, stu­dios and shops, along with a cafe and

restau­rant, bed-and-break­fast inns that range from cozy to ex­clu­sive and a gen­eral store that fea­tures farm-fresh Kona cof­fee and pro­duce.

A 3-mile wind­ing drive up the moun­tain­side re­veals a cool, lush Kona most vis­i­tors never see, a step back in time to a life­style cen­tered around art, cof­fee and his­tory.

21. Scout out an 18th-Cen­tury

War Tem­ple

Two cen­turies ago, Hawai­ian rulers wor­shipped a pow­er­ful war god named Ku. King Kame­hameha the Great, who fought nu­mer­ous bat­tles to unify all the Hawai­ian Is­lands, sought Ku’s sup­port by build­ing a mas­sive stone tem­ple 400 feet above Kawai­hae Har­bor in North Ko­hala. Con­struc­tion of the 20-foot-high lava rock tem­ple, or

heiau, be­gan in 1790 and was com­pleted a year later. By 1810, Kame­hameha had con­quered the is­lands and es­tab­lished a monar­chy. He died in 1819, af­ter which his son, Kame­hameha II, aban­doned the re­li­gious prac­tices that had ruled Hawai‘i and or­dered de­struc­tion of the heiau. Pu‘uko­hola, the last re­li­gious heiau built in Hawai‘i,

is now a 77-acre National His­toric Site op­er­ated by the

National Park Ser­vice. One of the most im­pos­ing and

dra­matic Hawai­ian tem­ples in the is­land chain, the tem­ple has been largely re­stored.

Pu‘uko­hola heiau, which means “Tem­ple on the Hill of the Whale,” is open daily from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ad­mis­sion is free. The park is lo­cated a mile south of the har­bor at Kawai­hae on High­way 270.

22. Stroll Through a Botan­i­cal Gar­den

Not far from Hilo, two pub­lic gar­dens are laid out in ex­quis­ite nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ments: the Hawai‘i Trop­i­cal Botan­i­cal Gar­den and the World Botan­i­cal Gar­dens & Wa­ter­falls.

Hawai‘i Trop­i­cal Botan­i­cal Gar­den, opened in 1984, is nes­tled in a 40-acre val­ley edged by the Pa­cific Ocean. Here you’ll find more than 2,000 species of ex­otic plants that in­clude or­chids, palms, he­li­co­nias, gingers and bromeli­ads, among oth­ers. Lo­cated on High­way 19, it is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

World Botan­i­cal Gar­dens of­fers great fun for ev­ery­one. Fly through the rain­for­est on Zip Isle’s seven-stage Zip Line Eco

Tour. Glide past beau­ti­ful gar­dens and mag­nif­i­cent wa­ter­falls on Hawai‘i’s only botan­i­cal Segway tour. Get up-close to amaz­ing Hawai­ian beauty, im­mers­ing your­self in lush gar­dens with hun­dreds of or­chids and ex­otic plants on the guided tour (reser­va­tions re­quired). Don’t miss the im­pres­sive Ka­mae‘e Falls and other wa­ter­falls. Open daily from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

On the other side of the is­land, Pua Mau Place is a botan­i­cal gar­den and ar­bore­tum laid out on the west slope of the Ko­hala Moun­tains near Kawai­hae. The gar­dens fea­ture a maze planted with 250 species of hi­bis­cus, an aviary

pop­u­lated by about 150 ex­otic birds, and a col­lec­tion of

orig­i­nal sculp­tures. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fi­nally, take a jour­ney back to a time be­fore Cap­tain Cook landed at Kealakekua Bay with a visit to the Kona Field Sys­tem— a rich agri­cul­tural com­plex teem­ing with gar­dens

and groves. The Amy B.H. Green­well Eth­nob­otan­i­cal Gar­den is a 12-acre gar­den built to re­flect plant life in Hawai‘i prior to for­eign con­tact. Here you can learn about how Hawai­ians cul­ti­vated var­i­ous species of plants and what uses they served, from ma­te­ri­als for tools to cloth­ing, fish­ing, cook­ing and build­ing im­ple­ments.

The gar­den of­fers guided Plant Walks at 1 p.m. daily. Lo­cated in Cap­tain Cook, 12 miles south of Kailua-Kona on High­way 11 at the 110 mile marker. • Hawai‘i Trop­i­cal Botan­i­cal Gar­den

(808) 964-5233 • World Botan­i­cal Gar­dens & Wa­ter­falls

(808) 963-5427 or (888) 947-4753 • Amy B.H. Green­well Eth­nob­otan­i­cal Gar­den

(808) 323-3318

23. Find Eden in Waipi‘o Val­ley

Lo­cated north of Honoka‘a on the Ha­makua Coast,

Waipi‘o Val­ley is the largest and south­ern­most of the seven val­leys on the wind­ward side of the Ko­hala Moun­tains. Mea­sur­ing a mile wide at the coast and al­most 6 miles deep, the Eden-like val­ley is shel­tered by cliffs reach­ing al­most 2,000 feet. Wa­ter­falls and flow­ers cas­cade from the walls of the cliffs, and a stun­ning black-sand beach de­fines the coastal area.

Waipi‘o is known as the “Val­ley of the Kings” be­cause it was once home to many an­cient Hawai­ian rulers and is said to be the place where King Kame­hameha the Great re­ceived his train­ing.

An­cient burial caves are lo­cated within the walls of the cliffs, and the val­ley in­spired many myths, chants and songs.

Reach­ing Waipi‘o is dif­fi­cult. Ac­cess is limited to four­wheel-drive ve­hi­cles; most car rental com­pa­nies pro­hibit use of their ve­hi­cles on the steep road. You can get there on a

nar­rated tour by a lo­cal guide aboard the Waipi‘o Val­ley Shut­tle. If you wish to see more of the val­ley, there is an op­tion to be dropped off and picked up later.

The most con­ve­nient and ac­ces­si­ble view of the val­ley is from the scenic point at the end of Route 40, about 10 miles out­side of Honoka‘a. Take an ATV tour with a com­pany called

Ride the Rim, hike the rim with Hawai‘i For­est & Trail, or see the splen­dor of the val­ley from horse­back. • Hawai‘i For­est & Trail (808) 331-8505 • Waipi‘o Ride the Rim (808) 775-1450 or

(877) 775-1450 • Waipi‘o Ridge Sta­bles (808) 775-1007 • Waipi‘o Val­ley Shut­tle (808) 775-7121

24. Dis­cover the El­e­gant Mac Nut

More than a cen­tury ago, a Big Is­land sugar plan­ta­tion man­ager in­tro­duced macadamia nuts to the is­land. Al­though na­tive to Aus­tralian rain­forests, mac nuts thrived in Hawai‘i, and the state be­came the site of the world’s first com­mer­cial plan­ta­tions. To­day, th­ese de­li­cious, hard-shelled nuts are one of the Big Is­land’s largest crops.

Macadamia nuts aren’t picked from the tree; in­stead, they fall to the ground fully ripened. How­ever, don’t pick one up ex­pect­ing to shell it and pop it in your mouth—it re­quires 300 pounds of pres­sure per square inch to crack a mac nut shell.

Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp., lo­cated 6 miles south of Hilo on Macadamia Road, wel­comes vis­i­tors to tour its 2,500-acre orchard, pro­cess­ing plant and choco­late fac­tory. For more in­for­ma­tion, look up the Great Hawai­ian

Mac Nut Trail, a self-guided tour of Hawai‘i’s macadamia nut in­dus­try. You’ll find ev­ery­thing from pro­cess­ing plants to small fam­ily-owned farms and bed-and-break­fast stops where vis­i­tors can pick macadamia nuts.

25. Travel a Scenic By­way

Hawai‘i has four of­fi­cial “scenic by­ways” (des­ig­nated as part of the National Scenic By­ways Pro­gram), and Hawai‘i Is­land is home to three of them: The Ma­mala­hoa Kona Her­itage Cor­ri­dor, Royal Foot­steps along the Kona Coast, and Ka‘u Scenic By­way-the Slopes of Mauna Loa.

The Ma­mala­hoa Kona Her­itage Cor­ri­dor takes you through an area of his­toric im­por­tance, telling the story of the area’s evo­lu­tion from a path­way for an­cient Hawai­ians to its most re­cent de­vel­op­ment. Lo­cated on High­way 11, the Ka‘u Scenic By­way-the

Slopes of Mauna Loa of­fers the long­est stretches of un­spoiled nat­u­ral scenery found any­where in the state. The route is the same trav­el­ers nor­mally fol­low from the Kona di­rec­tion when driv­ing to­ward Hawai‘i Vol­ca­noes National Park and of­fers views of land­scapes that run from mauka (moun­tain) to makai (ocean), in­clud­ing a rain­for­est re­serve, well-veg­e­tated vol­canic ter­rain, sweep­ing vis­tas of the ocean as well as the

vol­ca­noes Mauna Loa and Ki­lauea. The Royal Foot­steps along the Kona Coast un­cov­ers the his­tory of the area that’s hid­den in plain sight. Travel along Ali‘i Drive and you’re no doubt taken in by beau­ti­ful vis­tas on one side and bustling en­ergy on the other. How­ever, look a lit­tle closer and you’ll see that this 7-mile stretch also is home to many im­por­tant sites of his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance, like Hulihe‘e

Palace, Pa o Umi (the res­i­dence of the ruler Umi-a-lil­ioa [ca.

A.D. 1490-1525]), breath­tak­ing bays and beaches, churches, the Holu­aloa Royal Cen­ter and more. For more in­for­ma­tion on the Hawai‘i Scenic By­ways, log on to www.hawai­iscenicby­

26. Ex­plore an Ahupua‘a

Early Hawai­ians used a sys­tem of land man­age­ment that was de­fined by wedge-shaped di­vi­sions that stretched from the up­lands to the ocean. Called ahupua‘a, th­ese land di­vi­sions were en­vi­ron­men­tally sound and fos­tered good stew­ard­ship prac­tices among the oc­cu­pants of each di­vi­sion. One of the best ways to grasp ahupua‘a land man­age­ment is to visit

La­pakahi State His­tor­i­cal Park, which is lo­cated about 14 miles north of Kawai­hae on Route 270.

Here you’ll find the re­con­structed vil­lage of Koai‘e. Hawai­ians first set­tled in the La­pakahi area dur­ing the 1300s, and the fish­ing vil­lage of Koai‘e served as the cen­ter of ac­tiv­ity in the La­pakahi ahupua‘a un­til the late 1800s. The 265acre park en­com­passes a va­ri­ety of par­tially re­stored sites, num­bered to co­in­cide with in­for­ma­tion in a free brochure avail­able in the park’s vis­i­tor cen­ter.

Mov­ing through the vil­lage, it’s not hard to imag­ine life in this ahupua‘a: farm­ers grow­ing crops in the moun­tains and fam­i­lies catch­ing fish and trad­ing for other goods closer to the sea. There are ex­am­ples of games like ko­nane (some­times called Hawai­ian check­ers) and ‘ulu maika (a form of bowl­ing us­ing stones) that chil­dren are en­cour­aged to try. Through­out the area, flow­ers, shrubs and trees are iden­ti­fied, and park

guides are in at­ten­dance daily be­tween 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

27. Es­cape to an An­cient Refuge

Pu‘uhonua o Honau­nau was, in an­cient times, the des­ti­na­tion for peo­ple seek­ing asy­lum from se­vere penal­ties im­posed on all who broke kapu (ta­boo) laws.

Once in­side the com­pound’s 10-foot walls, sanc­tu­ary was guar­an­teed. The res­i­dent kahuna, or priests, were ob­li­gated to of­fer ab­so­lu­tion to all fugi­tives, no mat­ter how great or small the in­frac­tion.

Refuges like Pu‘uhonua o Honau­nau ceased func­tion­ing in the early 19th cen­tury, when the kapu sys­tem was abol­ished, but this site re­mains in­tact to pro­vide a glimpse into a time when peo­ple could be sen­tenced to death merely for eat­ing with their hus­band or walk­ing in the shadow of a chief.

Now a national his­tor­i­cal park, Pu‘uhonua was re­con­structed by lo­cal artisans us­ing tra­di­tional tools. One of the ma­jor fea­tures of the com­plex is a re­con­structed tem­ple called Hale of Keawe. The orig­i­nal tem­ple, built around 1650, housed the bones of at least 23 chiefs, and fierce wood-carved

stat­ues known as ki‘i guard this oft-pho­tographed tem­ple to­day.

Pu‘uhonua o Honau­nau is open from 7 a.m. to sun­set daily; the vis­i­tor cen­ter is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. There is an en­trance fee of $5 per car. Call (808) 328-2326 ext. 1702 for cur­rent park hours.

To get there, drive south from Kailua-Kona on High­way 11. Turn to­ward the ocean on Route 160 at the Honau­nau Post Of­fice and watch for the his­toric park sign.

28. Take a Road Trip to Hip Hawi

The hip lit­tle en­clave of Hawi is only about an hour drive north of Kailua-Kona, but this up­coun­try ham­let (pop­u­la­tion 938) is worlds apart from its neigh­bor­ing city.

A ma­jor piece of Hawai‘i’s his­tory is tied to this tiny vil­lage. Hawi is the birth­place of , the great war­rior-king who united the is­lands and laid the foun­da­tion for to­day’s state. A plaque des­ig­nat­ing the king’s birth­place is lo­cated on the grounds of an an­cient sacrificial tem­ple near a small coastal air­field.

Be­yond its his­toric sig­nif­i­cance, Hawi demon­strates a pro­cliv­ity for a self-suf­fi­cient life­style spiced with a sense of hu­mor. Find a take-home trea­sure cre­ated by lo­cal artisans at

Ele­ments Jewelry and Fine Crafts. The store fea­tures jewelry cre­ated by owner John Flynn, as well as pot­tery, paint­ings, prints and pho­tog­ra­phy by other artists.

Light­house Del­i­catessen is a buzzy New York-style deli that can cure hunger pangs both small and large with choices from a house-made soft-baked pret­zel to a sat­is­fy­ing salad or a meat­ball Parme­san hero.

The Ko­hala Cof­fee Mill churns out 100 per­cent Kona cof­fee, gourmet ice cream and an ar­ray of sand­wiches, pas­tries and Hawai­ian gifts.

The Bam­boo Restau­rant is a Hawi in­sti­tu­tion. The pop­u­lar restau­rant and gallery is a taste of vin­tage Hawai‘i that never grows old.

• Bam­boo Restau­rant (808) 889-5555

29. Bik­ers: Sad­dle Up, Ride ’Em Out

Just be­cause you’re on the seat of a Har­ley doesn’t mean you’re ready to go every­where. Even the most-sea­soned bik­ers need to plan their Big Is­land trips care­fully.

Think of the is­land as cir­cu­lar in shape with a few zigzag­ging con­nec­tor roads. There are two key high­ways (11 and 19), while Sad­dle Road (High­way 200) pro­vides the short­est route from Kailua-Kona to Hilo.

Hawai‘i Is­land of­fers great day trips. You’ll find the road­ways well marked and sig­nage easy to fol­low.

Ki­lauea Vol­cano is a must-see and a unique drive. You can see snow on Mauna Kea and ex­pe­ri­ence 90-de­gree tem­per­a­tures on the Chain of Craters road all on the same day!

Parker Ranch is a great step back in time and a nice cruise up the coast. Ali‘i Drive in Kailua-Kona is the best place to cruise at night.

30. Visit a Vin­tage Palace

Hulihe‘e Palace, lo­cated in the heart of Kailua-Kona, has un­der­gone a $1.5 mil­lion ren­o­va­tion and is re­ceiv­ing guests again. Dam­aged in a 2006 earth­quake, the vin­tage palace has re­sumed its full sched­ule with pub­lic, self-guided tours.

Gov. John Adams Kuakini built the palace, lo­cated on Ali‘i Drive, in 1838 for his daugh­ter-in-law, Princess Ruth. The princess used the palace pri­mar­ily for en­ter­tain­ing vis­i­tors, but when she wasn’t en­ter­tain­ing, the princess pre­ferred sleep­ing out­side in a large grass house she had con­structed on the grounds. In 1884, King Kalakaua bought the stately ocean­side

man­sion. It was then re­mod­eled to in­clude a kitchen and fur­nished with dis­tinc­tive koa wood and com­mis­sioned Vic­to­rian pieces. The palace was used as a va­ca­tion spot for

Hawai­ian roy­alty un­til 1916, when it was sold and all its contents were auc­tioned off. In 1925, it was pur­chased by the Ter­ri­tory of Hawai‘i and leased to the Daugh­ters of Hawai‘i, who tracked down many of the orig­i­nal pieces of fur­ni­ture and con­vinced the own­ers to re­turn the items for dis­play.

To­day, there are more than 1,000 ar­ti­facts on dis­play, in­clud­ing javelins, spears and a 180-pound lava rock used by King Kame­hameha the Great as an ex­er­cise ball.

The palace is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tues. through Sat.

• Hulihe‘e Palace (808) 329-1877

31. Go Wine Tast­ing in Par­adise

Imag­ine en­joy­ing the fresh air and peace­ful views of Mauna Loa at 4,000 feet above sea level, a glass of wine in hand. For those with a taste for the ex­otic, Vol­cano Win­ery can turn this dream into re­al­ity.

Cre­ated in 1986 by re­tired vet­eri­nar­ian Lynn “Doc” McKin­ney, the Hawai‘i Is­land win­ery cre­ates and bot­tles its own va­ri­etals of vin­tages in­spired by vol­canic fire and the bounty of the is­lands. Doc passed the torch to friend Del Bothof in 1999, and to­day the fam­ily-owned busi­ness con­tin­ues to thrive with its line of award-win­ning wines made with aloha.

Trop­i­cal fruits like yel­low guava and jabot­i­caba berry are blended with tra­di­tional wine grapes and trans­formed into

vi­brant cre­ations avail­able nowhere else in the world. And its Macadamia Nut Honey Wine, made from blos­soms of the macadamia nut tree, is a sweet af­ter-din­ner treat that is a fa­vorite with kama‘aina (lo­cals) and vis­i­tors alike.

Those with a more tra­di­tional palate are wel­come to sam­ple an Es­tate Cayuga White, which made its of­fi­cial de­but this fall, or Vol­cano Win­ery’s Sym­phony Mele of pure grape white wines. Red wine lovers also will de­light in the lush

Pinot Noir. Or par­take in a spe­cialty In­fu­sion Tea Wine, a re­cent ad­di­tion made with leaves from tea plants grown at the win­ery as well.

Vol­cano Win­ery is lo­cated at 35 Pi‘i Mana Drive at the 30 mile marker in Vol­cano, near the golf course. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ev­ery day of the year ex­cept Christ­mas Day. Call (808) 967-7772 for more in­for­ma­tion, or visit www. vol­canowin­

32. Where the Ocean Melds with Science

Lo­cated at Kea­hole Point, just a mile south of the Kona In­ter­na­tional Air­port, the Nat­u­ral En­ergy Lab­o­ra­tory

of Hawai‘i Au­thor­ity is a sprawl­ing 800-acre com­plex pop­u­lated by en­trepreneurs en­gaged in in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy and prod­uct de­vel­op­ment. Here, the State of Hawai‘i is de­vel­op­ing an ar­ray of

re­new­able en­ergy sources. Sci­en­tists ex­plore geo­ther­mal en­ergy (stored at the Earth’s core), wind power, hy­dro­gen en­ergy (pol­lu­tion-free en­ergy car­ri­ers) and var­i­ous biomass en­er­gies (a re­new­able re­source drawn from plant mat­ter).

NEHLA also is the only place in the world where the vast nat­u­ral re­sources of sun­light and sea­wa­ter are har­nessed to sup­port ex­cit­ing new aqua­cul­ture tech­nolo­gies. Huge in­take pipe­lines are used to de­liver cold deep-sea wa­ter from 3,000 feet be­low to trop­i­cal, warm sur­face sea­wa­ter.

“Techno-ma­gi­cians” use the cold sea­wa­ter to cool build­ings as well as grow crea­tures like cold-wa­ter abalone, lob­ster, Ja­panese floun­der and more—all crea­tures that couldn’t ex­ist in Hawai‘i’s warm wa­ters. The abalone farm con­ducts reg­u­lar

tours in con­junc­tion with a gen­eral pre­sen­ta­tion and of­fers a taste of the fresh del­i­cacy.

For more in­for­ma­tion about NELHA or tour reser­va­tions, call (808) 327-9586 or visit

33. Ka‘u: South by South

The sparsely pop­u­lated Ka‘u Dis­trict at the south­ern tip of the is­land is known for its rich en­vi­ron­men­tal di­ver­sity. A large chunk of Hawai‘i Vol­ca­noes National Park is lo­cated in this dis­trict, as are wind farms, high­land forests, the parched Ka‘u Desert and en­tic­ing black-, white- and green-sand beaches.

But the area is largely dis­tin­guished by its ge­o­graphic lo­ca­tion. South Point, at the bot­tom of the dis­trict, is con­sid­ered the south­ern­most tip of the United States, and the vil­lage of

Na‘alehu is its south­ern­most town. More prop­erly called Ka La‘e, South Point is lo­cated at a lat­i­tude that’s 500 miles farther south than Mi­ami. Its roots go back to A.D. 150, when it is be­lieved the first Poly­ne­sian ex­plor­ers set foot on the is­land.

Na‘alehu (pop­u­la­tion 900) is lo­cated 19 de­grees north of the equa­tor on Route 11. It’s a good place to take a break on the drive to Vol­ca­noes National Park. Check out Pu­nalu‘u Bake

Shop, which is, of course, the south­ern­most bak­ery in the U.S. • Pu­nalu‘u Bake Shop (808) 929-7343 or

(866) 366-3501

34. Look Through the Eyes of Mauna Kea

The largest as­tro­nom­i­cal ob­ser­va­tory in the world is lo­cated at the 13,796-foot sum­mit of Mauna Kea. Here, in­ter­na­tional sci­en­tists work with a so­phis­ti­cated ar­ray of tele­scopes to gather data about the vast ce­les­tial uni­verse.

The moun­tain cur­rently houses 13 work­ing tele­scopes, and plans have been an­nounced to build an­other, slated to be the largest on Earth. The new $1.2 bil­lion tele­scope will be built by a con­sor­tium of Cal­i­for­nia and Cana­dian uni­ver­si­ties and will be ca­pa­ble of track­ing stars and gal­ax­ies some 13 bil­lion light years away.

Mauna Kea means “white moun­tain,” so named for the snow that cov­ers its slopes. It is the high­est is­land moun­tain on Earth, ris­ing 32,000 feet from its base on the ocean floor.

The view from the sum­mit is like step­ping out of an air­plane just above a bank of clouds. The last stop be­fore the sum­mit is the Onizuka Cen­ter

for In­ter­na­tional Astron­omy. Lo­cated at the 9,300-foot level, this is a good place to stop for a while to ac­cli­ma­tize for the rest of the trip. From there, it’s a 30-minute trip to the sum­mit nav­i­gat­ing a mostly un­paved road.

A guided tour of the sum­mit is the safest and most ed­u­ca­tional way to go. Sev­eral com­pa­nies con­duct tours, which can last seven or eight hours. Be­cause of the very thin air at the sum­mit, chil­dren un­der 16 years of age and peo­ple with res­pi­ra­tory, heart and se­vere over­weight con­di­tions are not ad­vised to go be­yond the Vis­i­tor Cen­ter. • Hawai‘i For­est & Trail (808) 331-8505 • Mauna Kea Sum­mit Ad­ven­tures (808) 322-2366

35. Walk Through An­cient Pet­ro­glyph Fields

Cen­turies ago, Na­tive Hawai­ians carved im­ages of hu­mans, ca­noes, tur­tles and other forms into lava rock. And though the true mean­ings be­hind th­ese ki‘i po­haku, or pet­ro­glyphs, are un­known, it is widely be­lieved that th­ese an­cient carv­ings are records of births and other sig­nif­i­cant events that oc­curred in the lives of the peo­ple who lived on th­ese is­lands long be­fore Western con­tact.

Pet­ro­glyphs can be found to­day at var­i­ous spots around Hawai‘i Is­land—you just need to know where to look. Start at the coastal end of Chain of Craters Road in Hawai‘i Vol­ca­noes

National Park, where you’ll dis­cover the largest pet­ro­glyph field in Hawai‘i. You can see more than 23,000 ki‘i po­haku dur­ing a

guided tour, or take the 0.7-mile hike on your own; it ends on a board­walk, from which point the carv­ings are eas­ily vis­i­ble.

Kaloko-Honoko­hau National Park, lo­cated about 3 miles north of His­toric Kailua Vil­lage, is the home of many mys­te­ri­ous pet­ro­glyphs. They are scat­tered through­out the 1,160-acre his­toric park, which also is the site of Hawai­ian fish­ponds, kahua (house-site plat­forms), a holua (stone slide) and heiau (tem­ple).

Other great view­ing places to see hun­dreds of wel­lpre­served etch­ings in­clude Pu‘ako Pet­ro­glyph Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal

Pre­serve, found just a short walk from The Fair­mont Orchid Hawai‘i (ask the Fair­mont Orchid Beachboys for a nar­rated tour of the nearby site) along the Ko­hala Coast, and the

Anaeho‘omalu Pet­ro­glyph Field, lo­cated on the grounds of the Waikoloa Re­sort. Many of the fields in this area can be found on the Ala Ka­hakai Trail, a 175-mile cor­ri­dor full of his­toric

sites and set­tle­ment ru­ins.

36. Shop Big Is­land-Style

Whether you’re plan­ning a Big Is­land shop­ping spree or just a win­dow-shop­ping walk­a­bout, don’t ex­pect to hit a mall stocked with main­land look-alikes. Part of the is­land’s charm is the fact that it’s not rid­dled with depart­ment store chains. Don’t get us wrong, you’ll eas­ily find all that you need; it’s just that shop­ping on Hawai‘i Is­land is an in­trigu­ing mix of is­land-style ap­parel and one-of-a-kind things.

Ali‘i Drive in Kailua-Kona has wall-to-wall shop­ping. Wan­der through the small shops and find is­land wear, san­dals, gifts, jewelry and art.

For re­sort shop­ping, head to the Ko­hala Coast. Two chic des­ti­na­tions are the Queens’ Mar­ket­Place at the Waikoloa Beach Re­sort and The Shops at Mauna Lani.

With stores in Kona and Hilo, Hilo Hat­tie is known for its large se­lec­tion of Hawai­ian fash­ions. The store may be the only place in the is­lands that stocks sizes up to 5XL.

Holu­aloa Vil­lage is a shop­ping des­ti­na­tion just wait­ing to be dis­cov­ered. A short and scenic drive from Kailua-Kona, the vil­lage is set in Kona cof­fee coun­try and fea­tures a col­lec­tion of

gal­leries and shops with friendly pro­pri­etors and in­trigu­ing, orig­i­nal mer­chan­dise.

The Hilo Shop­ping Cen­ter, just min­utes from the air­port, is a re­fresh­ing oasis from over­crowded malls. En­joy lunch or din­ner at one of five restau­rants or re­lax with a cup of gourmet cof­fee. The

mall in­cludes a large nat­u­ral foods store and a va­ri­ety of ap­parel shops. The shop­ping cen­ter is lo­cated at the cor­ner of Kekua­nao‘a and Ki­lauea streets.

37. In­dulge Your Candy Crav­ings

Big Is­land Can­dies is a deca­dent des­ti­na­tion for choco­holics of all ages and tastes. For more than 30 years, the Hilo in­sti­tu­tion has been known for the qual­ity, ir­re­sistibil­ity and in­no­va­tion of its prod­ucts.

Big Is­land Can­dies is lo­cated in a 40,000-square-foot fa­cil­ity on Hi­nano Street near the Hilo Air­port. Candy and cookie mak­ers work in plain view be­hind a glass win­dow at the rear of the store. Daily tours and free sam­ples are avail­able. Be sure to try the com­pany’s award-win­ning macadamia

nut short­bread cook­ies, di­ag­o­nally dipped in dark choco­late, milk choco­late and white choco­late. The com­pany also has a line of truf­fles with names that’ll make you drool: Mocha, Hi­bis­cus, Dark Choco­late, Yuzu and Co­conut. And that’s only the tip of the candy jar.

The store is open ev­ery day from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with fac­tory op­er­a­tion view­able be­tween 8:30 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. Mon. through Fri. (ex­cept hol­i­days). • Big Is­land Can­dies (808) 935-8890 or


38. Get an Uke of Your Own

In­spired by Ed­die Ved­der’s ‘Ukulele Songs? Think you could be the next Jake Shimabukuro? Or just want to be able to strum

along to songs such as Sit­ting, Wait­ing, Wish­ing by Jack John­son or Iz’s ver­sion of Some­where Over the Rain­bow? Check out lo­cal mu­si­cal in­stru­ment shops in Hilo or Kailua-Kona to try strum­ming the in­stru­ment’s four strings your­self and even buy your own uke to take home with you.

As for the his­tory of the ‘ukulele (pro­nounced “oo-koo-leh-leh,” not “you-ka-le-le”), it ar­rived in Hawai‘i with Por­tuguese im­mi­grants in the late 1800s along with malasadas and sweet bread. Since then, the ‘ukulele has been a key part of kanikapila (back­yard jam ses­sions) and pop­u­lar Hawai­ian tunes.

Buy one for your­self and learn all about the dif­fer­ent sizes, styles and woods at Kier­nan Mu­sic in old-town Kainaliu. Here you can talk to ex­pert luthiers at the only fully staffed re­pair and cus­tom-made ‘ukulele and gui­tar shop on the is­land. They carry a full range of new, used and vin­tage in­stru­ments for be­gin­ners and ex­pert play­ers alike, and of­fer a va­ri­ety of learn-toplay books and DVDs, as well as re­fer­rals to lo­cal in­struc­tors for short vis­i­tor les­son pro­grams.

• Kier­nan Mu­sic (808) 322-4939

39. Track the Un­der­wa­ter King­dom

Hawai‘i Hawai‘i Is­land’s Is­land’s cerulean cerulean wa­ters wa­ters are are teem­ing teem­ing with with life. life. Liv­ing Liv­ing coral coral can can be be found found in in 57 57 per­cent per­cent of of the the wa­ters wa­ters sur­round­ing sur­round­ing the the is­land—the is­land—the high­est high­est per­cent­age per­cent­age in in the the main main Hawai­ian Hawai­ian Is­lands. Is­lands. And And where where there’s there’s coral, coral, there there are are fish. fish.

At At least least three three is­land is­land tour tour boat boat com­pa­nies com­pa­nies spe­cial­ize spe­cial­ize in in un­der­wa­ter un­der­wa­ter views. views.

Blue Blue Sea Sea Cruises Cruises in­ves­ti­gates in­ves­ti­gates the the view view down down un­der un­der in in its its glass-bot­tom glass-bot­tom boat. boat. View­ing View­ing wells wells pro­vide pro­vide live-screen­ing live-screen­ing ac­tion, ac­tion, while while nar­ra­tors nar­ra­tors fill fill in in the the de­tails. de­tails. Ex­pect Ex­pect to to see see schools schools of of fish, fish, dol­phins, dol­phins, manta manta rays, rays, tur­tles tur­tles and, and, in in the the win­ter, win­ter, hump­back hump­back whales. whales.

Nat­u­ral­ists Nat­u­ral­ists shed shed light light on on his­tor­i­cal his­tor­i­cal sites sites along along the the coast­line, coast­line,

and and a a hula hula show show tops tops off off the the ex­cur­sion. ex­cur­sion. Bet­ter Bet­ter yet, yet, the the Evening Evening on on the the Reef Reef tour tour pro­vides pro­vides not not only only manta manta ray ray view­ings view­ings but but also also a a pre­mium pre­mium din­ner din­ner and and hula hula show show pack­age, pack­age, along along with with stun­ning stun­ning sun­sets. sun­sets.

At­lantis At­lantis Ad­ven­tures, Ad­ven­tures, a 65-foot, air-con­di­tioned sub­ma­rine with 26 large port­holes, con­ducts tours off Kailua-Kona. The sub cruises past hun­dreds of trop­i­cal trop­i­cal fish fish that pop­u­late an 18,000-year-old, 25-acre fring­ing coral reef that lies some 100 feet be­low the sur­face. The com­pany, which through­out 2013 is cel­e­brat­ing its 25th 25th year year of shar­ing the mag­nif­i­cence of Hawai‘i’s marine en­vi­ron­ment and mes­sage mes­sage of of con­ser­va­tion con­ser­va­tion with guests from around the world, of­fers pack­age pack­age tours tours that in­clude a com­bi­na­tion sub­ma­rine/vol­cano air tour and, from De­cem­ber through April, whale-watch­ing tours.

Kailua Kailua Bay Bay Char­ter Char­ter Co. Co. runs 50-minute reef tours in a glass-bot­tom boat, which af­fords up-close up-close views views of of un­der­wa­ter un­der­wa­ter fea­tures like “ship­wreck “ship­wreck rock,” rock,” where the reef rises to within inches of the glass, then plunges to more than 100 feet. Ex­pect to see tur­tles, frol­ick­ing dol­phins and sea­sonal whales. You also can char­ter the com­pany’s boat to cre­ate your own tour for you and your friends.

All of th­ese tours de­part from the Kailua-Kona pier. • At­lantis Ad­ven­tures (800) 548-6262 • Blue Sea Cruises (808) 331-8875 • Cap­tain Zodiac (808) 329-3199 • Kailua Bay Char­ter Co. (808) 324-1749 • Wahine Char­ters (808) 325-2665

40. Go Snor­kel­ing

Snor­kel­ing the Big Is­land’s crys­tal-clear wa­ters is an easy way to spot marine life.

Kealakekua Bay, an un­der­wa­ter marine pre­serve that is a rest­ing area for dol­phins and the site of the Cap­tain Cook Mon­u­ment, is a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion. So are the pris­tine wa­ters off the Ko­hala Coast and Pawai Bay.

Snorkel gear can be rented or pur­chased. In ei­ther case, all you’ll need is a mask, a snorkel and some fins. Gear comes in many sizes and shapes, but be sure you find a good fit.

You also can go snor­kel­ing in style aboard a cata­ma­ran. This typ­i­cally in­cludes plenty of food, cock­tails, re­strooms and lots of flota­tion equip­ment.

Here are a few safety tips: 1. Never snorkel alone. Hang with a buddy. 2. When­ever pos­si­ble, snorkel in the morn­ing, when fish are

more ac­tive and wa­ter clar­ity is at its peak. 3. Marine life tends to con­gre­gate around struc­tures, so stick

to reefs for a face-to-face en­counter. 4. Don’t feed the fish. 5. Even on the cloud­i­est of days, use water­proof sun­screen. 6. Take a small cooler with bot­tled wa­ter, snacks and food. 7. Snor­kel­ing isn’t so much about swim­ming as it is about

float­ing. Stay re­laxed, float and kick only when nec­es­sary. 8. Be re­spect­ful of the ocean. Avoid stand­ing on coral, as

bro­ken coral takes many years to grow back. 9. Don’t com­bine snor­kel­ing with al­co­hol or drugs. • Ad­ven­tures in Par­adise Snor­kel­ing Trips

(808) 323-3005 or (800) 979-3370 • Aloha Kayak Com­pany (808) 322-2868 • Body Glove (800) 551-8911 • Cap­tain Zodiac (808) 329-3199 • Dol­phin Dis­cov­er­ies (808) 322-8000 • Fair Wind Cruises (808) 345-0244 • Hana­mana Boat Char­ters (808) 936-5855 • Hawai‘i Is­land & Ocean Tours (808) 313-1116 • Ka­manu Char­ters (808) 329-2021 • Lava Ocean Tours (808) 966-4200 • Sea Par­adise (808) 322-2500 or (800) 322-5662 • Sea Quest (808) 329-7238 • Sea­s­pace Div­ing/Espace Plongee (808) 323-3011 • Snorkel Bob’s Kona (808) 329-0770 or Mauna

Lani (Ko­hala Coast/Waikoloa) (808) 885-9499 • Splasher’s Ocean Ad­ven­tures (808) 326-4774 • Wahine Char­ters (808) 325-2665

41. Learn to Snuba

You’ve seen the pho­to­graphs and films of col­or­ful reef fish un­du­lat­ing in the warm, deep-blue ocean cur­rents, and now you want to ex­pe­ri­ence the sen­sa­tion of me­an­der­ing along­side them. But div­ing with heavy tanks seems a bit much, and snor­kel­ing only scratches the sur­face.

There is a com­pro­mise. Snuba, in­vented in 1988, is a dive ex­pe­ri­ence that com­bines the best of both scuba and snor­kel­ing. It al­lows par­tic­i­pants to go deeper than snor­kel­ing by us­ing a

shal­low-wa­ter dive sys­tem that makes it pos­si­ble to dive as deep as 20 feet be­low the sur­face for up to 30 min­utes with­out wear­ing heavy air tanks. Divers wear masks, fins and weight belts. What sets snuba apart is the mouth­piece (or reg­u­la­tor) at­tached to a hose that ex­tends to the sur­face, where air tanks float in a raft.

Chil­dren as young as 8 years old can snuba, as long as they are com­fort­able in the wa­ter.

• Body Glove Cruises (800) 551-8911

42. Catch a Wave

Leg­ends about surf­ing are found in the ear­li­est sto­ries of an­cient Hawai‘i. Around A.D. 400, a form of belly-board­ing on small wooden planks was in­tro­duced. Later, Tahi­tian ex­plor­ers brought their tra­di­tion of rid­ing waves with ca­noes. The Hawai­ians merged the two tech­niques to cre­ate the sport of surf­ing.

Learn­ing how to surf is a re­ward­ing ad­ven­ture. Stu­dents gen­er­ally be­gin their train­ing by rid­ing soft long­boards and are in­tro­duced to surf­ing fun­da­men­tals, safety and ocean-aware­ness rules in a land les­son be­fore en­ter­ing the small surf to give it a try.

Ocean Eco Tours, lo­cated in Honoko­hau Har­bor, spe­cial­izes in be­gin­ners’ train­ing. The com­pany holds the only surf per­mit for Honoko­hau National Park and of­fers lessons at the pop­u­lar Ka­halu‘u Beach Park on Ali‘i Drive in Kailua-Kona.

Ka­halu‘u is a pop­u­lar surf­ing site par­tic­u­larly at­trac­tive to be­gin­ners. The park’s reef-pro­tected la­goons at­tract crowds year-round, and the beach is guarded and pop­u­lar with both snorkel­ers and surfers.

One of the most pop­u­lar and con­sis­tent surf spots on the east side of the is­land is Honoli‘i Point, near Hilo. This is a great place to watch surfers and body­board­ers.

• Ocean Eco Tours (808) 324-7873

43. Ride the Swells in an Ocean Raft

Rid­ing the swells of the great Pa­cific tucked away safely in a pow­ered rigid-hull in­flat­able boat is an ex­pe­ri­ence that puts a whole new per­spec­tive on an ad­ven­ture at sea. Com­monly called ocean rafts, th­ese sta­ble, high-per­for­mance boats re­sem­ble res­cue crafts, which is one thing they’re used for. They’re also used for fun and ad­ven­ture. Typ­i­cally car­ry­ing no more than 35 pas­sen­gers, a raft­ing trip al­most al­ways in­cludes snorkel stops in Kealakekua and Honau­nau bays. In a raft, you can en­ter sea caves and lava tubes and get a good look at dol­phins, sea tur­tles and whales. The wa­ters off the South Kona coast are among the calmest in the state, which makes raft­ing here gen­er­ally com­fort­able.

Most raft­ing tours de­part from Honoko­hau Ma­rina near Kailua-Kona and travel along the Kona Coast to snor­kel­ing des­ti­na­tions. Ad­ven­ture X Raft­ing launches from Puako, 30 min­utes from Kailua-Kona. Morn­ing and af­ter­noon tours are avail­able and gen­er­ally take three or four hours to com­plete. Some boats are equipped with canopies for shade and lad­ders to pro­vide wa­ter ac­cess. Widely known as the “orig­i­nal ocean raft­ing com­pany,”

Cap­tain Zodiac has been en­ter­tain­ing guests with rip-roar­ing ocean tours aboard its fleet of mil­i­tary boats since 1974. Its “Beat the Crowd” tour ar­rives at Kealakekua Bay Marine Pre­serve when fewer peo­ple are there, en­sur­ing in­ti­mate, un­ob­structed views of marine life, dol­phins and whales. Cap­tain Zodiac’s sig­na­ture

ex­plo­ration of sea caves and blow­holes along the coast­line is an­other pop­u­lar op­tion. • Body Glove (808) 326-7122 or (800) 551-8911 • Cap­tain Zodiac (808) 329-3199 • Ka­manu Char­ters (808) 329-2021

44. Latch onto an Out­rig­ger Ca­noe

Des­ig­nated the state’s of­fi­cial team sport, out­rig­ger

ca­noe rac­ing draws hun­dreds of pad­dlers to clubs through­out the is­lands. How­ever, it is more than a pop­u­lar ac­tiv­ity—it’s a cul­tur­ally sig­nif­i­cant link to the leg­endary sea­far­ing tra­di­tions of Hawai‘i.

Hawai‘i’s first set­tlers ar­rived aboard dou­ble-hulled sail­ing ca­noes that they pad­dled across 2,000 miles of un­charted

ocean us­ing only the stars and flight pat­terns of birds to guide them. They found the is­lands more than 1,000 years be­fore Euro­pean ex­plor­ers ar­rived in 1778. Ca­noes were used for

in­ter­is­land travel, fish­ing and sport, to trans­port war­riors

into bat­tle and for ex­ploratory voy­ages.

Typ­i­cally, a mod­ern-day out­rig­ger is pow­ered by six pad­dlers in a 45-foot fiber­glass, sin­gle- or dou­ble-hulled ca­noe. The ca­noe

fea­tures the ama, which is a pon­toon at­tached to one side of the hull to pro­vide added sta­bil­ity.

• Aloha Kayak Com­pany (808) 322-2868

45. Go Sea Breeze Sail­ing

One of the best ways to fully ex­pe­ri­ence the fa­bled at­tributes of sail­ing the Kona Coast is to book a tour on a cata­ma­ran or sail­boat. It is a fine place to sail, pro­tected as it is from the blus­tery east-north­east trade winds by the vol­canic moun­tain slopes. The moun­tains cre­ate a wind shadow, or lee, along the west side of the is­land that pro­vides sail­boats and fish­ing boats with pro­tected, smooth-sur­face con­di­tions. The heat­ing of the land­mass by the sun causes warm air to rise, pulling the “Kona

breeze” off the ocean and pro­vid­ing gen­tle winds. There isn’t much “white-knuckle” sail­ing on the Kona Coast, nor do you have to be an ac­com­plished swim­mer or diver to en­joy the trip. And if you’d rather pilot your own craft, some com­pa­nies rent small sail­boats and pon­toon boats for sight­see­ing, fish­ing and snor­kel­ing. • Cor­saire Hawaii (808) 426-6269 • Fair Wind Cruises (808) 345-0244 • Kona Boat Rentals (808) 326-9155

46. Get High on Kitesurf­ing

From the tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances of wind­surf­ing, paraglid­ing and wake­board­ing has come a hot new wa­ter sport called

kitesurf­ing, or kite­board­ing. This ex­treme sport takes wind, guts, the right equip­ment and a lot of prac­tice.

The surfer stands on a kite­board (a small surf­board with straps) and is pulled across the wa­ter by a big kite. Sounds easy enough, but don’t be fooled—it could take many ses­sions of kitesurf­ing be­fore a pilot be­comes com­pe­tent.

Kitesurf­ing en­thu­si­asts say the sport, though chal­leng­ing and some­times danger­ous, is more fun than and not as de­pen­dent on high-wave and wind ac­tion as wind­surf­ing. Lessons and rental gear are avail­able all over the is­land.

47. Soar in a Para­sail

Para­sail­ing Para­sail­ing in Kailua Bay is an easy-to-mas­ter thrill thrill ride ride in a gor­geous sur­round­ing. The wa­ter in the bay is so clear you can al­most see the ocean floor, and most days you’ll be drift­ing through cloud­less blue skies.

UFO UFO Para­sail, Para­sail, the only op­er­a­tor in Kona, loads para­sail­ers in a boat and then at­taches them to a tow­line and a para­chute. As the tow­line is re­leased, you soar soar into into the the sky. sky. With a ride run­ning from seven to 14 min­utes, this is a quick thrill. Most para­sail­ing com­pa­nies em­ploy state-of-the-art state-of-the-art

equip­ment, equip­ment, en­sur­ing dry land­ings and safety. You can fly sin­gle, tan­dem or triple. No ex­pe­ri­ence is nec­es­sary.

• UFO Para­sail (808) 325-5836 or (800) 359-4836

48. Rent a Power Boat

When Mother Na­ture set out to de­sign Hawai‘i Is­land, she

came up with 11 dis­tinct cli­mate zones rang­ing from tun­dra to trop­i­cal for­est—and she saved the best for the Kona Coast. In the sum­mer, less than an inch of rain falls a month; in the win­ter, that changes only marginally to 1 to 3 inches a month. The wa­ters off the coast are typ­i­cally calm, cre­at­ing a per­fect set­ting for boat­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

Kona Boat Rentals has de­vised a great way to ex­plore the coastal wa­ters on your own. The com­pany rents easy-to-op­er­ate, en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly u-drive boats that ac­com­mo­date up to six adults, with room to spare. No li­cense is re­quired.

Kona Boat Rentals, lo­cated at Honoko­hau Small Boat Har­bor in Kailua-Kona, of­fers full- or half-day rentals. The com­pany’s 21-foot cen­ter-con­sole boats are roomy and come equipped with a full elec­tronic pack­age in­clud­ing GPS and fish find­ers. Take the wheel and go ex­plore. • Kona Boat Rentals (808) 326-9155 or

(800) 311-9189

49. Land a Win­ner

Sport fish­ing on the Kona Coast is big busi­ness. Many an­glers come to pur­sue the sto­ried 1,000-pound Pa­cific blue mar­lin and other hefty catches of broad­bill sword­fish, yel­lowfin tuna, mahimahi and sharks.

Since wa­ter depths drop off to 6,000 feet just a few miles off­shore and con­tinue to get deeper as you head out to sea, most of Kona’s “grander” mar­lins have been found be­tween just 2 to 5 miles from shore.

More than 60 char­ter boats are avail­able for hire, most of them out of Honoko­hau Har­bor, north of Kailua-Kona.

You can also get a look at Kona whop­pers in the lobby of King Kame­hameha’s Kona Beach Ho­tel. Check out a 1,166-pound blue mar­lin, the record catch at the 1993 Hawai­ian In­ter­na­tional Bill­fish Tour­na­ment.

Or catch the live weigh-ins daily at Honoko­hau Har­bor’s Fuel Dock at 11 a.m. or 3:30 p.m. The Char­ter Desk is lo­cated just above th­ese weigh scales at Honoko­hau Har­bor.

If you don’t want to hang with the Kona crowd, drop your line in the more re­mote east­side wa­ters, where LavaKat Fish­ing

Char­ters, of­fered by Lava Ocean Ad­ven­tures (lo­cated in Hilo), prom­ises some se­ri­ous sport fish­ing. The rule is a guar­an­teed catch, or the crew buys din­ner. • A‘u Struck Sport Fish­ing (808) 640-4181 • Hana­mana Boat Char­ters (808) 936-5855 • Lava Ocean Tours (808) 966-4200 • Ohana Sport­fish­ing Ad­ven­ture (808) 854-7760

or (808) 854-7761

50. Power a Jet Ski

Look­ing for some ac­tion? Try get­ting wet and wild on a Jet Ski. This is a safe and fun wa­ter ac­tiv­ity for nearly all ages, and any­one can learn to do it. Rid­ing the waves on a per­sonal wa­ter­craft is a good bet in Kailua Bay, where the wa­ter is rel­a­tively free from fast boats, wa­ter skiers and other ves­sels.

Rental com­pa­nies typ­i­cally rent by the hour, but for some, 60 min­utes may be only the be­gin­ning of a good time. Be­gin­ners are wel­come, with life vests and op­er­at­ing in­struc­tion in­cluded.

• Kona Jet Ski (808) 329-2754

51. Go Ocean Kayak­ing

Ocean kayak­ing is a great way to slip away from the crowds and get lost in the ir­re­sistible tug of na­ture. Whether you rent a kayak to go or book a guided tour with an ac­tiv­ity com­pany,

ex­pect to move through some of the is­land’s most-invit­ing

seascapes and abun­dant marine life.

It’s pos­si­ble to rent one- or two-per­son kayaks rang­ing from a wide, vir­tu­ally un­tip­pable kayak to sleek fiber­glass rac­ing kayaks.

Rentals usu­ally come equipped with soft racks de­signed for any ve­hi­cle and are able to han­dle up to three kayaks at a time.

An­other op­tion is a jet-pow­ered kayak that speeds over the wa­ter at 15 miles per hour. Th­ese ex­cur­sions be­gin at Puako Bay.

Guided tours range from a lazy pad­dle along the North Ko­hala Coast to more ad­ven­tur­ous tours on the South Kona coast, where sea caves and se­cluded beaches pre­vail. • Ad­ven­tures in Par­adise Snor­kel­ing Trips

(808) 323-3005 or (800) 979-3370 • Aloha Kayak Com­pany (808) 322-2868 • Ocean Eco Tours (808) 324-7873

52. Pad­dle to the Cap­tain Cook Mon­u­ment

Bri­tish Cap­tain James Cook, thought to be the first West­erner to set sight on the Hawai­ian Is­lands, spot­ted the is­lands of O‘ahu and Kaua‘i on Jan. 18, 1778. Al­most a year later, on Jan. 17, 1779, the ex­plorer found his way to Hawai‘i Is­land. He an­chored his ships in Kealakekua Bay, where the an­nual

Makahiki Fes­ti­val was in progress. Think­ing Cook might be the god Lono, Hawai­ians wel­comed him with a great feast.

On Feb. 4, Cook left the is­land, only to re­turn about a week later af­ter a se­vere storm dam­aged one of his ships. This time, the Hawai­ians, who had dis­cov­ered Cook was not a god, were quite hos­tile. Cook and four of his sailors died in the bat­tle that en­sued.

A small bronze plaque at the north­ern end of Kealakekua Bay marks the spot of his death. Near the plaque is a 27-foot obelisk erected by Cook’s coun­try­men.

Kayak­ing Kealakekua Bay is a great way to see the mon­u­ment and ex­plore the sur­round­ing reef. As Kealakekua Bay is a Marine Life Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict (MLCD), it presents a unique aquatic ex­pe­ri­ence. Land­ing a kayak is only per­mis­si­ble with a per­mit, of which there are only 10 avail­able per day. Aloha Kayak Com­pany, in ad­di­tion to rent­ing kayaks and snorkel gear for your trip, makes the link to the land­ing per­mit avail­able on its web­site at www.alo­

• Aloha Kayak Com­pany (808) 322-2868

53. Schmooze with the Dol­phins

There’s some­thing spell­bind­ing about squint­ing into the Pa­cific and spy­ing a pod of wild dol­phins spin­ning like shiny toy tops out of a sun-pol­ished sea. Th­ese marine mam­mals may ap­pear out of the blue and put on a show for you. And when they do, there’s an al­most ir­re­sistible urge to get in the wa­ter with them.

A num­ber of Big Is­land tour boat com­pa­nies un­der­stand that urge and pro­vide the op­por­tu­nity to do so. Most of them fol­low self-reg­u­la­tory guide­lines de­vel­oped to safe­guard dol­phins, as well as hu­mans.

Dol­phin Dis­cov­er­ies pi­o­neered Hawai‘i Is­land dol­phin swims 15 years ago, de­vel­op­ing the guide­lines cur­rently in use by most com­pa­nies that of­fer dol­phin tours. The com­pany spe­cial­izes in small group tours, and their guides are trained marine-mam­mal nat­u­ral­ists. An­other way to get to know dol­phins is to par­tic­i­pate in the

Dol­phin Quest marine re­search and ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram at the Hil­ton Waikoloa Vil­lage. Sun­Light on Wa­ter, a tour com­pany with 15 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in dol­phin en­coun­ters, guar­an­tees dol­phin sight­ings and the op­por­tu­nity to get in the wa­ter with them on its Kona Coast tours.

You also can swim and snorkel with wild dol­phins on ocean raft­ing tours with Ad­ven­ture X Raft­ing, Nep­tune Char­lies and Cap­tain Zodiac. • Cap­tain Zodiac (808) 329-3199 • Cor­saire Hawaii (808) 426-6269 • Dol­phin Dis­cov­er­ies (808) 322-8000 • Dol­phin Quest (800) 248-3316 or (808) 886-2875 • Hawai‘i Is­land & Ocean Tours (808) 313-1116 • Ka­manu Char­ters (808) 329-2021 • Nep­tune Char­lies Ocean Sa­faris (808) 331-2184 • Ocean Eco Tours (808) 324-7873 • Splasher’s Ocean Ad­ven­tures (808) 326-4774 • Sun­Light on Wa­ter (808) 896-2480 • Wahine Char­ters (808) 325-2665

54. Walk on Wa­ter

Stand­ing up­right on a board and nav­i­gat­ing the surf with a light­weight pad­dle is wildly pop­u­lar on the is­lands. It’s called

stand-up pad­dle surf­ing, or SUP, and it has been re­vived on the is­lands in the past few years, quickly spread­ing to the main­land and be­yond. Orig­i­nat­ing in Waikiki about 60 years ago, “beach boy

surf­ing,” as it was known then, was com­monly used to get around on the oc­ca­sional flat day in Waikiki and for tak­ing pic­tures of vis­i­tors learn­ing to surf.

To­day, some of Hawai‘i’s surf­ing greats (Laird Hamil­ton, for one) have latched onto the sport, tak­ing the idea to a new, more rig­or­ous level. • Aloha Kayak Com­pany (808) 322-2868 • Kona Jet Ski (808) 329-2754

55. Snorkel, Dive at Pawai Bay

Pawai Bay is an ex­quis­ite spot for snor­kel­ing and scuba div­ing. A pro­tected marine sanc­tu­ary, the bay is pop­u­lated by more than 600 species of trop­i­cal fish, mo­ray eels, manta rays, green sea tur­tles and the oc­ca­sional dol­phin. Un­der­wa­ter ledges, caves, shal­low shelves and steep drop-offs all add up to an in­ter­est­ing ter­rain fit for ex­plo­ration.

Though it is lo­cated near the old Kona air­port not far from Kailua-Kona, Pawai Bay is not eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble, which is one rea­son a lot of peo­ple pay for a seat on a cruise boat equipped with snorkel and div­ing gear.

Body Glove gets you there in style on a state-of-the-art, 65foot cata­ma­ran equipped with fresh­wa­ter show­ers, a 15-foot-high dive plat­form and a 20-foot-long wa­ter slide. The com­pany of­fers both snor­kel­ing and div­ing.

Ka­manu Snorkel Sail­ing Char­ters has been tak­ing vis­i­tors to Pawai Bay for 30 years. Ka­manu caters to non­swim­mers and novice snorkel­ers with a wide as­sort­ment of gear car­ried on­board the ves­sel. A brief ori­en­ta­tion will be pro­vided be­fore pas­sen­gers en­ter the wa­ter.

• Body Glove (800) 551-8911

• Ka­manu Char­ters (808) 329-2021

56. Wade in a Tide Pool

Tide pools are mini-ecosys­tems boast­ing ev­ery­thing from mo­ray eels to coral reef life and fish. Th­ese pools tend to be shal­low with calm, clear wa­ters for ca­sual snor­kel­ing or toe dip­ping, and Hawai‘i Is­land has nu­mer­ous great spots to splash around.

Kikaua Point Beach, near Kailua-Kona, is a kid-friendly op­tion with a sand-bot­tom pool only around 3 feet deep. Ar­rive early, since there is limited park­ing, and check in with the golf re­sort’s se­cu­rity so that they can give you a hang-tag and di­rec­tions. Lo­cated on Kukio Nui Road, near the 87 mile marker.

Wawaloli Beach is more of a shel­tered swim­ming hole, per­fect for when the surf is high. This spot of­fers tide pools that boast fish, anemones and scut­tling crabs. This beach park also fea­tures benches, trees, re­strooms and plenty of space to pic­nic

or rest, though it doesn’t have a life­guard. It is lo­cated in Kalaoa on Queen Ka‘ahu­manu High­way, near the 94 mile marker.

Waiopae Tide Pools Marine Pre­serve, south of Pa­hoa, isn’t ex­actly a sandy beach; in­stead, the area is a maze of tide pools full of fish and sea life. It is rarely crowded, since it’s so far off the main drag. To get here from the Hilo side, head south on High­way 132, then go east on High­way 132 to High­way 137. Af­ter trav­el­ing a lit­tle more than a mile, turn east on Kapoho Kai Drive and fol­low signs to a small pub­lic park­ing lot and ac­cess point.

WARN­ING: The tide pools near the open ocean are fronted by pow­er­ful waves. Never turn your back on the ocean. Don’t walk on rocks that look wet near break­ing surf. Bring shoes or san­dals to wade, since lava rock can be sharp.

57. Cruise Hump­back Ter­ri­tory

Each year, hump­back whales swim 3,000 miles from their sum­mer feed­ing grounds in Alaska to mate and calve in Hawai‘i’s clear, warm wa­ters. The whales don’t ar­rive en masse—last year’s first re­ported sight­ing oc­curred in late Au­gust off Hawai‘i Is­land’s Kona Coast—but re­searchers say there is a pre­dictable

or­der to their ap­pear­ance in our wa­ters. Gen­er­ally, num­bers peak in late De­cem­ber through


Pro­tected un­der en­dan­gered species laws, the hump­back

pop­u­la­tion is grow­ing. An es­ti­mated 7,000 to 10,000 hump­backs are ex­pected to cruise through Hawai‘i’s wa­ters this sea­son, com­ing and go­ing at their own pace.

Hump­backs ex­hibit a va­ri­ety of be­hav­iors that should be vis­i­ble in one form or an­other from boats and shore­line look­outs. And al­though the hump­backs are the sea­sonal stars of the show, the wa­ters off this is­land are home to sub­stan­tial pop­u­la­tions of low­er­pro­file whales that are here year-round and equally in­trigu­ing to ob­serve, like the false killer whale, pilot whale, pygmy whale, beaked whale, melon-headed whale and even the sperm whale.

There are many ways to ob­serve a hump­back whale in the wild. Snorkel cruises are a good bet. Pow­ered rafts and fish­ing boats also travel hump­back ter­ri­tory. Two good shore­line view­ing sites are La­pakahi State His­tor­i­cal Park, north of Kawai­hae at mile marker 14, and Kapa‘a Beach Park off High­way 270. Trav­el­ing north, turn left on the onelane paved road just past mile marker 16.

• Ad­ven­ture X Raft­ing (808) 937-7245

• Blue Sea Cruises (808) 331-8875

• Body Glove Cruises (808) 326-7122 or 1-800-551-8911

• Cap­tain Zodiac (808) 329-3199

• Cor­saire Hawaii (808) 426-6269

• Dan McSweeney’s Whalewatch (808) 322-0028

• Dol­phin Dis­cov­er­ies (808) 322-8000

• Fair Wind Cruises (808) 345-0244

• Ohana Sport­fish­ing Ad­ven­tures (808) 854-7760 or (808) 854-7761

• Hana­mana (808) 936-5855

• Kailua Bay Char­ter Co. (808) 324-1749

• Ka­manu Char­ters (808) 329-2021

• Kona Boat Rentals (808) 326-9155

• Lava Ocean Ad­ven­tures (808) 966-4200

• (808) 883-1122

• Manta Ray Dives of Hawaii (808) 325-1687

• Nep­tune Char­lies Ocean Sa­faris (808) 331-2184

• Ocean Eco Tours (808) 324-7873

• Sea Quest (808) 329-7238

• Splasher’s Ocean Ad­ven­tures (808) 326-4774

• Sun­Light on Wa­ter (808) 896-2480

58. Help Pro­tect Hawai‘i’s Marine An­i­mals

The Big Is­land’s shores are alive with wildlife. Some of th­ese an­i­mals, like hump­back whales, Hawai­ian monk seals and sea tur­tles, are con­sid­ered en­dan­gered species and are pro­tected by fed­eral laws. Dol­phins and other whales, though not en­dan­gered, are pro­tected by the Marine Mam­mal Pro­tec­tion Act.

Hawai‘i’s marine mam­mals are fas­ci­nat­ing and eas­ily ob­served crea­tures, which is one rea­son na­ture-based tourism is a pop­u­lar seg­ment of the vis­i­tor mar­ket. Scores of tour boat com­pa­nies and wa­ter-based ac­tiv­i­ties on Hawai‘i Is­land cater to whale and dol­phin watch­ing.

Rules and guide­lines to fol­low when view­ing marine wildlife are:

1. Stay at least 100 yards from hump­back whales and 50 yards from dol­phins, monk seals and sea tur­tles.

2. It is against the law to ap­proach, chase, sur­round, touch or swim with marine mam­mals, in­clud­ing dol­phins.

3. If ap­proached by a marine mam­mal or tur­tle while on a boat, put the engine in neu­tral and al­low the an­i­mal to pass.

4. Do not ha­rass, swim with, hunt, cap­ture or kill any marine mam­mal.

5. Feed­ing marine mam­mals is pro­hib­ited un­der fed­eral law.

6. To re­port sus­pected vi­o­la­tions, call the NOAA En­force­ment Hot­line at (800) 853-1964.

Lo­cal author and pro­pri­etor Robert Wint­ner, also known as Snorkel Bob, has sev­eral books avail­able that dive deeper into the topic of Hawai‘i’s pro­tected reefs and the marine an­i­mals that call them home. Ev­ery Fish Tells a Story records the tales of fish and their un­der­wa­ter com­mu­ni­ties through stun­ning pho­tos taken by Snorkel Bob him­self, while the tome Nep­tune Speaks and the novel Flame An­gels both un­der­score the val­ues of wilder­ness and the need to pro­tect our nat­u­ral re­sources.

All books are avail­able at Snorkel Bob out­fit­ters on all is­lands, and 100 per­cent of pro­ceeds from book sales ac­crue to the cam­paign to stop the aquar­ium trade.

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