If you're going to fly all the way from Florida to Hawaii, you better do Hawaii the right way! Sara and her family did exactly that. It's pretty awesome that in such a short amount of time, they were able to experience so much of what the Big Island has to offer. Her 12 days consisted of 3 locations, whales, volcanoes, tattoos, hikes, beers, yoga, coffee, waterfalls, luaus... I could keep going but instead, with Sara's help, I'm going to give you a full travel guide on what you need experience when on the island of Hawai'i. Being that Sara is a total foodie, she made a list of the most epic places to eat, drink, and be merry on the island!
Where to stay
Volcano, HI in a Cabin - Volcano House
Where to eat
Order some poke at the in Kona. Poke is a local Hawaiian dish, typically ahi tuna chopped raw. Delicious and so fresh!
A huge bar and grill in Kona. A perfect place to grab lunch and a beer.
A food truck Sara found on trip adviser located in Volcano Village. Their menu has everything from a traditional Pad Thai to a local green papaya salad.
If you're in the mood for some Italian food while in Waikoloa Village, Sara recommends the Kale salad.
Grab a local brew and some great pub food. This brewery is super well know throughout the US. Their Longboard Island Lager is perfectly crisp and refreshing.
Stop in for a toes in the sand, waves crashing 3 feet away kind of experience. This is the best place to have dinner while watching the sun set! Magical...
Sara says their wings are killer! The menu is also filled with small plates and seafood.
"Home of liquid aloha", Kanaka Kava is a perfect stop to pick up some traditional root tea. Kava makes you feel relaxed and silly at the same time. Sounds fun!
This is a great stop for some fresh baked Hawaiian sweet bread on a 4 acre tropical estate. Fun fact: this is the southern-most bakery in the United States!
This coffshop had Sara falling in love with coffee all over again. She says the peaberry is the best. My mouth is watering for some of that coffee right now!
"Kona as a village was incredible, it was full of culture"
Sara suggests walking everywhere you go in Kona and to take some time and go to the local farmers market. Try and stay until the sunset and catch it from behind the Shopping Village. Relax and breath in that Hawaii sun before it sets over the Pacific.
MANINI'OWALI BEACH AND HAPUNA BEACH
These beaches are breathtaking and have out of this world waves. Sara recommends you bring a cooler and a boogie board with you.
Volcano National Park
Camping on the Volcano was such an amazing experience for Sara and her family. She recommends doing as much hiking as possible when in the state park. You will see some interesting and strange vegetation and even get to experience the lava glow at night. For more information on this park, chick here.
Punalu'u Black Sand Beach Park
I swear, the first time you see black sand in real life, you'll feel like you are on a totally different planet. It's so trippy at first!
A waterfall lookout point through dense rain forest.
Don't over-pack, remember, you're still in the US.
If you're visiting for over 4 days, rent a car and drive to other parts of the island.
Eat Poke and drink Kava. Taste the local traditions!
Take a yoga class and feel the peaceful "Aloha Spirit"
Sara's most beautiful moments:
"The sunsets each night that were painted so beautifully. The smell of plumeria flowers. Night time strolls. Star gazing on the volcano. Reading under a palm tree in a hammock at the Waikoloa Beach Resort with a pina colada in my hand! The spectacular views!"
To see more from Sara, follow her here