Who hasn’t dreamed of vacationing in beautiful Hawaii? Its white sands, blue waters, and beautiful people are the stuff of legends. Synonymous with floral leis, grass skirts, and hula dancing, Hawaii is a popular honeymoon and bucket list destination. Made even more popular in recent years due to being the birthplace and preferred vacation destination for President Barack Obama and his family, Hawaii caters to everyone.
But, you don’t have to be a VIP like President Obama to feel like one in Hawaii. All you need is a few nights at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Hawaii’s first luxury resort, each of the guestrooms at Mauna Kea has a large, comfortably furnished lanai (balcony) that offers unrivaled views of the ocean or the resort’s world-class oceanfront golf course. Guests are also provided a robe and slippers for their comfort, and L’Occitane bath amenities!(Lobby of Mauna Kea Beach Hotel) (Mauna Kea Beach Hotel bedroom)
You’ll find similar accommodations at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, where you can dine while overlooking the Pacific Ocean, or the Hilton Waikoloa Village, where you can enjoy a specialty massage at the Kohala spa. There’s also the Four Seasons Resort Hualälai, with two-story bungalow accommodations and open-air living spaces. You’ll feel and be treated like royalty at any of these lodging options.
(Four Seasons Resort Hualalai Reception Area)
While the natural beauty of Hawaii feeds your soul, you’ll also need to feed your belly. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of wonderful dining experiences to be had on ‘The Big Island.’ If you’re just looking for a casual bite to eat, swing by the Lava Lava Beach Club, the Queens’ MarketPlace Food Court, the Pine Tree Cafe, or The Blue Room for easy, brasserie-style dining. And don’t forget to stop by the Kona Brewing Company for some authentic, homegrown, Hawaiian coffee. Nearly every one of the island’s dining establishments prepare locally sourced seafood and farm-to-table produce from Hawaii’s rich, fertile farms.(Lava Lava Beach Club)
Those longing for a taste of home will find just what they’re looking for at Café Pesto, Hawaiian Style Café and Moon and Turtle restaurant. Seafood, pasta, and pizza—along with a little Asian-fusion to keep things interesting—satisfies most appetites.
(The Ultimate Burger)
You can take your Hawaiian dining experience up a notch with creative regional cuisine and hand-crafted drinks at Copper Bar, inside the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel; with steak and signature appetizers at the Hualälai Grille, inside the Four Seasons Resort Hualälai; and with Hawaiian seafood specialties at KPC restaurant, inside Hilton Waikoloa Village.
But what if you have special dietary preferences and want a few vegan, gluten-free options? Not a problem at Under The Bodhi Tree restaurant. There, you can indulge in gluten-free banana French toast, a fruit plate, organic tea, and egg whites with spinach—and that’s just for breakfast. What’s a vacation experience without great memories about what you ate?
(Under the Bodhi Tree)
When you’re ready to get off the beach, you’ll find that Hawaii offers a variety of tropical and cultural things to do. You can take a helicopter tour over the volcanoes or go zip lining over lush tropical forests.
Want to stay a little more grounded? Take a guided foot tour through Hawaii’s forests and an evening volcano tour. Literally sample the local flavor at the Hilo Farmers Market, visit the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii, and take lots of postcard-worthy pictures at Lili‘uokalani Park and Gardens, Wailuku River State Park and Wai‘änuenue (Rainbow Falls), and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. There’s even a historical dinner cruise where the origin story of the Hawaiian islands come to life through food and performances.
(Aerial volcano tour) (Ziplining headquarters) (Volcano tour by land) (Scenic rainforest tour)
There’s a reason Hawaii is such a sought after getaway. When it comes to natural beauty, the variety of recreation, delicious food, and vivid culture, few other places compare. Aloha!