Suit | Monday Swimwear Pants | Bali Queen similar here
Dress | Reformation
Dress | Ulla Johnson Bag | Clare V. Shoes | Target
Hawaii is one of the most magical places, and those of us who live on the West Coast are lucky to have such an exotic location so close to home! I grew up visiting Maui for many years for summer and winter breaks–but as an adult I’ve been hitting up the Big Island of Hawaii for the past decade because a dear friend of mine has a house there. Each island has something unique to offer–and even though Maui will always hold my heart, I’ve fallen in love with the Big Island thanks to all the activities and sites it has to offer. Below are a few things that I love to do while I’m on the Big Island of Hawaii that you should definitely bookmark if you’re heading there soon!
Whether you want to go fishing, snorkeling, or just have an amazing day out on the water enjoying the coastal view–the best way to feel the spirit of the islands and take in the beauty of Hawaii is most definitely by sea. Boat day is always my favorite–it’s a great photo opp and if you’re lucky enough to spot a pod of dolphins, don’t be afraid and jump on in to swim with them. This was such a highlight and I’m glad I didn’t chicken out.
Quite possibly my favorite activity to do in Hawaii. There is something so peaceful about paddle boarding on the calm, clean ocean early in the morning.
Okay I am by no means good at golf, but there are so many beautiful golf courses on the Big Island that it’s a shame to not take advantage. I usually just go for the food and drinks and the cute outfits–I’m more of a driving range type of gal–but if you enjoy golfing or just hitting balls with your friends this is a must do!
For the most stunning views, head to Waipio Valley. It’s a bit of a drive from Kona but totally worth it for the insanely magical views. Huge cliffs cascade down into a lush green forest that kisses the shoreline of a stunning black sand beach. It’s very scary to get down to the beach, and you need a car with four wheel drive, but if you’re adventurous and want to see something super special then this is totally worth it.
I went on my first Big Island helicopter ride this trip and it was one of my favorite activities ever! Along with boating, this is a phenomenal way to take in the expansive Hawaiian views and really appreciate the many terrains that the Big Island has to offer. It’s the only place on Earth (I’m told) that a desert borders a rainforest–it’s quite a spectacle!
Kona Farmer’s Market at Kailua Village
I love a good famers market and this one in Kona is honestly amazing. One time I got an avocado the size of mango and it taste like butter… needless to say the produce here is insane. If you’re accommodations allow, pick up local fruits and veggies and BBQ in one night. Perhaps even cook your freshly caught fish from a day of fishing. They also have cute little trinkets and island treasures to take home to the fam.
Huggos Fine Dining
If you’re on the market for a delicious meal in Kona on the water–go to Huggos Fine Dining. We had such a delicious dinner here and I would definitely go back. The ambiance is really pretty and it’s more upscale then the neighboring Huggo’s On the Rocks.
Brunch at Lava Java
Brunch is easily my favorite meal of the day and IMO is an activity in itself–some vacation days are fully centered around our brunch stop! We checked out Lava Java in Kona on this recent trip and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was.
Beach Tree at the Four Seasons Hualalai
Any meal, any time of day, this place is sure to be a hit. I love heading here for sunset cocktails or a glass of Italian wine or even for a full dinner. This Four Seasons property is particularly special so if anything, head there to check it out–it’s magic!
You can’t go to Hawaii without snagging super fresh poke bowls, crab salad and mac salad! These island favorites are all over town, but if you want the real deal make a pit stop at Umeke’s. We always swing by to get some sides for the house!
Kukio is a member’s only place, but if you are lucky enough to know someone with access this is hands down my favorite meal on the island. I crave their sashimi on the regular, the superfood salad, and whatever nigiri or catch of the day that I can get my hands on–everything they churn out here is spot on.
I love taking cooking classes on vacation–it’s so fun to take in the culture of wherever I am and add some new tricks into my culinary repertoire. We took a cooking class at Kukio this time around–my first time taking a cooking class in Hawaii–and although we didn’t learn Hawaiian cuisine, I made my first paella and hopefully not my last!
Want more travel? HERE is my perfect week in Marrakech, Morocco!
SHOP MY HAWAII OUTFITS