Hawaii Mom Blog: Visit Hawaii Island: Big Island Sightseeing




August 4, 2012

Visit Hawaii Island: Big Island Sightseeing

This past weekend, the hubby and I went on a two day get-away to the Big Island. One of our friends gave us a voucher for a two night stay at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa that was expiring in mid-August, and so we booked our flights, rented a car, and off we went.

The Marriott is located in Waikoloa, on the west side of the Big Island. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the hotel from Kona International Airport.

We received an upgrade to an ocean-view room in the Ka'ahumanu Wing. The view from our room was amazing, especially in the morning ....

...and at sunset.

On Saturday morning, we went for a walk along the shoreline, from our hotel to the Hilton Waikoloa.

As you can see, there is a lot to see just by setting out on foot from the hotel. But we wanted to see more, and so we hopped in our rental car and headed north.

Our first stop was the lookout at Waipio Valley. There is a paved road that leads from the lookout point to the bottom, but it's only for 4x4 vehicles because of the steep terrain, and we did not rent a 4x4. It's walkable, but it was raining and so we just enjoyed the breathtaking view from the top.

We also stopped at Akaka Falls State Park.

If you are not Kama'aina and you park in the parking lot, the parking fee is $5. I saw a lot of people parking outside of the parking lot in order to avoid paying the $5 fee. To enter the park, it's $1 for non-Kama'aina visitors.

There are two trails that lead to Akaka Falls. The shorter trail is on the left.

Look how beautiful this waterfall is. 442 feet from top to bottom.

On our way back to Waikoloa, we spotted a family of billy goats along the roadside. I managed to snap a picture of the mama goat before it hid in the bushes. These goats move fast and I had no time to zoom in.

On Sunday morning, we started the day by picking up cups of coffee from Kona Coffee Shoppe in the hotel lobby, and enjoying them by the pool.
The morning was so still that we could see the reflection of the trees in the eternity pool.

After drinking our coffee, we decided to walk a portion of King's Trail (also known as the Ala Kahaki Trail). We hopped on the trail at the entrance near the gas station at King's Village.

The trail consists of lava rock, therefore shoes are a must.

The trail runs through the Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve.

Petroglyphs are carvings in lava rock and stone, made by the Native Hawaiians centuries ago.

After we passed the petroglyph area, we found ourselves in the lava fields. The path is rocky and can be treacherous for the unsuspecting tourist.

Along the trail we saw shelter caves. This was the only way for the Hawaiians to get relief from the blistering sun.

The mauka side of the trail is all lava rock.

The makai side of the trail has lava rock, and resort development.

We made it all the way to the next resort - the Mauna Lani. We made a pit stop at the golf course to use the restroom and drink some water. Then we headed back to the Marriott. I used the RunKeeper app on my iPhone to track the distance and time - 3.64 miles roundtrip/ 1 hour 30 minutes.

Before we went to the airport to catch our flight back to HNL, we stopped in Kailua Village.

Kailua Village is on the map not just for it's rich cultural history, but also because it's the start and finish for the Ironman World Championship.

We hope to hit the South side of the Big Island on our next visit!

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