87. Fresh from the Island
At colorful open-air markets throughout Hawai‘i, you’ll find fresh, homegrown produce at bargain prices. Look for local favorites like sweet and juicy Ka‘u oranges, Puna papayas, cherimoya, poha berries, Hamakua mushrooms, sugarloaf pineapples, Hilo lychees and Waimea strawberries. Some markets sell an assortment of cakes, cookies and preserves. Bring lots of small bills (markets are cash-only).
Hilo’s Farmers’ Market
Corner of Kamehameha Avenue and Mamo Street Wed. and Sat., 6 a.m.-4 p.m. www.hilofarmersmarket.com
Waikoloa Village Farmers’ Market
Waikoloa Community Church, 68-3625 Paniolo Ave. Sat., 7:15-10 a.m.
Keauhou Farmers’ Market
Keauhou Shopping Center Sat., 8 a.m.-noon
South Kona Green Market
Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden Sun., 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Holualoa Gardens Famers’ Market
76-5901 Mamalahoa Hwy., Holualoa Sat., 9 a.m.-noon
Volcano Farmers’ Market
1000 Wright Road, Cooper Center, Volcano Sun., 7-9 a.m.
88. Follow the Scent of Sweet Bread
Like most things in Hawai‘i, the treats one finds to munch on are as varied as the people who’ve come to live in these islands. From the Portuguese, Hawai‘i has adopted the malasada ( a hole-less donut typically coated in sugar) and sweet bread (loaves of sweet, soft bread) as dining staples.
Here on Hawai‘i Island, some bakeries have taken the sweet bread recipe to a whole new island-inspired level, with flavorings that include tropical fruits and taro.
In Hilo, check out Low’s International Food, or head south to Punalu‘u Bake Shop, the southernmost bakery on the island and in the U.S. You can also get malasadas filled with flavored creams like mango and lilikoi (passion fruit).
Punalu‘u Bake Shop is located on Route 11 in Na‘alehu. It also can be found online at www.bakeshophawaii.com.
• Punalu‘u Bake Shop (808) 929-7343
89. Explore a Historic Roadway Using Modern Technology
The Kona Coast, one of the state’s two Hawai‘i Scenic Byways, is home to Ali‘i Drive and roughly 7 miles of roadway rich with seven centuries of archaeological, historic and cultural traditions, along with more than two dozen impressive points of interest. To make sure folks don’t miss any of these must-see sites, Kailua Village Business Improvement District recently launched the Kona Royal Footsteps App for smartphones.
Visitors who download the free app will have access to information about sites found along the byway—think ancient heiau (temples), Hulihe‘e Palace, the Holualoa Royal Center and the beach where King Kamehameha I perfected his surfing skills—as well as photos and data on ocean recreation activities, shoreline access, area accommodations and more.
Immense care was taken to use and revitalize Hawaiian place names at popular surf spots. Points of interest are mapped with easy-to-use Google Maps.
Search “Kona Royal Guide” or “Kona Royal Footsteps” to download the app, or visit www.historickailuavillage.com for more information.
90. Stroll to Kokua Kailua
In Hawai‘i, keeping it local is important. For many residents of the islands, local support is the only thing that keeps them afloat. And at Kokua Kailua, a monthly village stroll, eating and shopping local converge with a concert series at Hulihe‘e Palace for a wonderful experience. Families and friends of all ages walk around oceanfront Ali‘i Drive along scenic Kailua Bay as local artists display work and performers share music, while local restaurant fare abounds.
Kokua Kailua typically falls on the third Sunday of every month and runs from 1 to 6 p.m., with the concert starting at 4 p.m.
91. Picnic Under Coconut Trees
Wander across a footbridge over Hilo Bay, keeping your eyes peeled for sea turtles that often play underneath, and you’ll find yourself on a small, peaceful island frequented by tourists and locals alike.
Aptly named for the coconut trees scattered across it (heads up!), Coconut Island offers shallow pools with sandy bottoms perfect for children to play, grassy spots ideal for picnicking and a beautiful view of Hilo Bay set against a mountainous backdrop. The breeze that reaches the island and the shade of the palm trees makes for a nice retreat where you can snack, fish and play. Head to the east side of the island and you’ll even find an old stone tower, remnants of a footbridge that was wiped out by a tidal wave.
The footbridge to Coconut Island is just opposite the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel along Banyan Drive.
92. Find Beachfront Om
Yoga is known for its relaxing and centering qualities. Beaches are hailed as a place to escape and rejuvenate. Hawai‘i is a destination renowned for its luxury and leisure. Why not combine all three for the best possible getaway?
Located on the Eastern tip of the island among 26 tropical acres, Yoga Oasis (800-274-4446 or www.yogaoasis.org) offers weeklong yoga retreats as well as daily classes.
Near Pahoa, Kalani Oceanside Retreat (800-800-6886 or www.kalani.com) offers a variety of workshops and packages, including a weeklong “Introduction to Yoga.”
If you want go the retreat route, visit Yoga Hale (808-9389980 or www.yogahale.com), located minutes from White Sand Beach near Kona. Or, for classes and workshops held daily, visit Big Island Yoga Center (808-329-9642 or www.bigislandyoga.com). Held in a plantation home in the cool upland town of Kealakekua just south of Kailua-Kona, these classes are very popular with travelers.
Beyond these options, many resorts and spas offer yoga classes of their own (for example, the Hilton Waikaloa’s fitness center offers complimentary classes to its guests), so contact your concierge for more options.
93. Pamper Yourself
Hawai‘i is a healing place, and not just because of the soothing sounds of waves crashing on the shore or the warmth of the sun on your skin. Hawaiian culture traditionally stresses the importance of healing both body and spirit, with the focus on mind-and- mana (spiritual power) TLC.
Treatments that stem from Hawaiian tradition relax the body while soothing the mind and spirit, as it is believed that one being off balance affects the other. Lomilomi is a type of massage that focuses on easing stress and bringing harmony to the recipient as a whole. La‘au lapa‘au is herbal healing. And Hawaiian salt rituals emulate the healing effect believed to come from ocean water while cleansing pores and rejuvenating skin.
Some spa tips:
1. Arrive between 15 to 30 minutes early.
2. Turn off your mobile phone.
3. Let your therapist know of any health concerns.
4. Tips are usually 15 to 20 percent. If you are using a gift certificate, ask if the tip is included.
5. If something is not quite right (the pressure of the massage, for example), let your therapist know.
94. Book a Sunset Dinner Cruise
When the sun sinks below the horizon and the party boats light up, Kailua Bay is one of the sweetest sights on the planet. Book a dinner cruise and savor a view of the island from the deck of one of several seagoing vessels that travel from Kona’s shoreline every evening.
Dinner cruises are available on various types of boats, with island-themed food and entertainment that are sure to please. Dancing into the sunset and looking back at sparkling city lights is an exquisite way to end a Big Island day.
• Blue Sea Cruises (808) 331-8875
• Body Glove Cruises (800) 551-8911
95. Trek to a Star Party
You won’t find celebrities at a Hawai‘i Island “star party,” but having the Southern Cross, Jupiter, Saturn and the Great Andromeda Galaxy at your fingertips draws awe just as well.
A regular feature of the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Visitor Information Station, the stargazing program is held every evening from 6 to 10 p.m. It begins with an astronomy video, followed by a discussion focused on astronomy and Mauna Kea, where the center is located. There, state-of-the-art telescopes and guided tours to Mauna Kea’s summit are your passports to the stars. It’s a good idea to call (808) 935-6268 for the latest weather conditions before making the trip. For more information about the Onizuka Center, call (808) 961-2180 or log on to www.ifa. hawaii.edu/info/vis.
96. Surround Yourself with Blooms
There’s little else that says “Hawai‘i” better than a flower lei— this garland of flowers that is given as a gift upon greeting guests is a fragrant symbol of aloha.
Lei can be as simple as a daisy-chain-like string of perfumed plumeria or as intricate as a multi-braided haku lei composed of flowers, berries and leaves. Either way, it’s an honor to receive one.
In Hawai‘i, May Day is Lei Day, when many kama‘aina (locals) wear lei. Lei displays and even competitions are a part of the celebrations. During other days of the year, one can find lei at lei stands, florists, farmers’ markets and even at island grocery stores.
Many hotels and resorts offer lei-making classes, sometimes for free. Ask your concierge if there’s a class nearby.
97. Romantic Big Island Eateries
While there’s no need to hunt out romance in Hawai‘i, plate lunches and shave ice for every meal may not do the trick. Instead, check out these restaurants for a view, good food and a perfect place to feed the flame.
Brown’s Beach House
What better way to rekindle that spark than being surrounded by tiki torches and palm trees right along the beach? Brown’s Beach House offers the ideal sunset meal, pairing outstanding Hawaiian fare with a stunning view and outdoor seating. In the Fairmont Orchid at 1 N. Kaniku Drive, Kamuela. (808) 885-2000
With hardwood floors, wood tables, local paintings—oh, and windows that look out onto the ocean—the ambiance of this small fine-dining restaurant is sure to charm. Keei Cafe is known for its seafood and delicious local desserts, as well as its overall atmosphere. Even better, the menu won’t break the bank; just remember that they don’t accept credit cards. By mile marker 113 on Highway 11 in Captain Cook, near Kona. (808) 322-9992
‘ULU Ocean Grill at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
Casual island elegance surrounds diners here as they indulge in executive chef James Babian’s “R.S.A.-Regional, Seasonal and Artisanal” cuisine. Chef Babian, known for his efforts toward sustainable dining, has created a menu that is 75 percent sourced from Hawai‘i Island. With a cozily lit lanai overlooking the ocean, this is the perfect place for an evening meal accompanied by soothing trade winds and a view of the stars. 72-100 Ka‘upulehu Drive, Hualalai (North Kona Coast). (808) 325-8000
• Always make reservations for this special meal.
• If you’re looking for a sunset view, find out what time the sun will set before making a reservation.
• Ask for beachfront seating, if possible.
98. Sneak a Kiss
Maybe you came to the Big Island for romance. Maybe you came for the adventure, touting your significant other along. Or maybe you brought along three kids and left your two dogs at home.
No matter what the answer may be, you and your loved one can always find an ideal place and moment to soak up the romance that Hawai‘i exudes and sneak in a honi, or kiss, to add the finishing touch.
Some ideas for the when and where of this movie-worthy kiss:
• In the air over Kilauea while lava glows below you during a helicopter tour.
• After an oceanfront couples massage; just ask your hotel what
they, or nearby spas, have to offer.
• In front of a rainbow at Rainbow Falls, located off Rainbow Drive outside of Hilo. Head to the site in the early morning to catch the mist and a rainbow.
99. Go on a Photo Safari
While here on Hawai‘i Island, you’re likely to experience more scenic imagery than humanly possible to remember.
From the other-worldly landscapes you encounter as you tour lava fields and lush rainforests, to a sea turtle or a manta ray going about its day in the ocean and a rainbowcolored shave ice—only a picture can begin to capture these thousands of words.
Hawai‘i Island is the only place in the state where you may encounter a lava flow, making for stunning nighttime shots. You may have the chance to show off your inner paniolo (cowboy) on horseback or play the local foodie by perusing one of the island’s many farmers’ markets. Maybe you’ll get up to Mauna Kea and see some snow, or you might simply want to capture a tranquil moment on an almost-deserted beach.
Whatever your fancy, take a picture, it will last longer!