So, this past September, I went to a place I haven’t been to or visited in about 14 years: The beautiful Hawaiian Islands.
This is a family vacation that we had been planning for a few years now as it has definitely been a long time coming. We own a timeshare on the Big Island of Hawaii and we used to go every other year when I was younger. However, once we did everything there was to do on the Big Island, I suppose we decided to take a break from Hawaii that ended up being long overdue for us Islanders at heart.
On this trip to Hawaii, we ended up staying at two islands each for a week: The Big Island of Hawaii and Kauai
Below are my top 5 favorite scenic spots from each island I visited this past vacation!
TOP 5 SPOTS FROM THE BIG ISLAND (in no specific order..okay this is kinda like 5.5 spots…)
Punalu’u Black Sand Beach
This beach is literally so amazing as it is the most popular black sand beach on the island that is open to the public to visit and take cute photos and feel the ocean breeze air. The reason why the sand is black on this beach specifically is because of the prevalent amount of lava (dormant & flowing) on this island today. With the irony of the name, the Big Island of Hawaii ironically is the baby island out of all the hawaiian islands with it being the newest and largest in comparison to the others.
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
I have an absolutely dear spot in my heart of Four Seasons Resorts not just because I used to be a previous employee of the company, but just the high quality of service, thoughtfulness, and gratitude received by the workers there and the beautiful well-kept aesthetic scenery everywhere. My parents and I have specifically been visiting this Four Seasons location for years to constantly come to have their breakfast brunch buffet any time we make a trip to this island and we have never been disappointed. We have been coming back for years thanks to the quality of service we have received every time. Without a doubt, if you’re going to the Big Island of Hawaii, check out this resort and their food. Your stomach will thank you! (PS, I also write a little bit more in depth about their food here: TOP FAVORITE HAWAII FOOD SPOTS)
3. Waipio Valley Lookout & Rainbow Falls Lookout
This spot was absolutely breathtaking. We did happen to come right in between storm clouds to take a few good photos and then run back to our rented car in hopes of not being eaten alive by mosquitoes (TRAVEL TIP: ALWAYS have some type of mosquito repellent or bracelet on as there are a million on the Hawaiian Islands and especially be cautious after rainfall or near water sources because they loveeee moisture!). This spot is also on the other side of the Big Island and might take about 30-40 minutes drive from Kona, but it’s totally worth the travel to see it in person. Wouldn’t exchange experiencing a few like this for the world. Also, there are hiking trails to go down near the shoreline pictured above, but I would highly recommend not wearing an outfit like mine if you’re going to do so and have camelpaks filled with lots of water, great hiking shoes and mosquito repellent!
Okay, so the reason why I added this place as a little extra spot next to Waipio Valley is because this is definitely more of a spot that a lot of the locals like to go to just to hangout, sell coconuts, eat coconuts, or go swimming at the top of the falls. If you look closely in the first picture overlooking the falls, there is a person standing right behind me on top of the falls where there are a bring of little springs and a river to swim in where the locals go. However, I would not recommend doing so as this could be a risk of you getting in trouble as this is considered somewhat illegal as the Big Island of Hawaii does not promote it with signs stating to not do this whatsoever, but “lowkey” a ton of people do it anyways and theres sooooo many great gopro shots to get from there. I personally didn’t swim because 1. I wasn’t dressed for it and 2. I already slipped in mud walking over there to see it and do not absolutely trust myself whatsoever anyways to stay on top of the falls. Knowing myself, I’d probably fall down. So, again: YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! Proceed with caution.
4. St. Benedict’s Roman Catholic Church aka “The Painted Church”
Knowing what I learned from a local who attends this church and volunteers here, this is a Roman Catholic Church that was painted by a priest dating back to 1899 who painted this entire church out of some paint leftover from another house and all other colors were produced from the local plants, vegetation and flowers native to the island! He painted it to resemble that of a cathedral and famous scenes in Jesus’ time. Through many volcanic eruptions and destruction, this “Painted Church” still stands today with none of the paintings restored and is in its original condition. The only changes are the windows. To read more about this church’s history, read about it HERE!
5. Nahuku (Thurston Lava Tube) at Volcano National Park
So, this is definitely a unique spot that I wanted to add to my list because I feel like it’s not something that many people are too familiar with as its somewhat of a hidden gem through Volcano National Park. These dormant Lava Tubes have been dormant for about 500 years and are now preserved for visitors to come and go as they please to check out what once was hot, molten flowing lava.
To read my article on my TOP FAVORITE KAUAI SCENIC SPOTS, click here!
Don’t forget, keep it Savvy, Guys!
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