101 Things to Do (Big Island) - - EXPLORE -

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

Keei Cafe

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!


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