Hawaii Vacation: Akatsuka Orchid Gardens
Akatsuka Orchid Gardens is a major player in the growth and sale of Cattleya orchids, and has been for more than thirty years. The blooming orchids, which can be seen on display at the gardens, number more than 500 at any given time. The orchids come from a number of different varieties, including Oncidiums, Miltonia, Dendrobiums, and many others. Besides the orchids, the gardens sell other flowers and tropical flower arrangements to individuals and retailers. The gardens have a handicap-accessible showroom and gift shop. The showroom has many orchids and tropical plants on display. Visitors are able to tour the propertys greenhouse.
11-3051 Volcano Road, Volcano, HI 96785
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Captain Cook Memorial And Kealakekua Bay
The suggestion is really not for the memorial itself, which is a monument to the first white guy who arrived and then was killed in Hawaii . However, I mention it because this is where you can access the Kealakekua Bay. This is rumored to be the best snorkeling on the island, and in the morning, you might just see some dolphins.
Getting to the bay is difficult you can hike a good hour each way on a trail thatâs hard to find, rent a kayak, which is increasingly frowned upon and only available to companies with permits , or take a snorkeling tour. Because of the difficulty, I havenât made it here yet, but itâs on my list.
Hike To The Green Sand Beach At South Point
There are only a handful of green sand beaches in the world, and PapakÅlea beachis one of them. The sand on this beach gets its green sand thanks toa common mineral in the lava on Hawaii, called olivine. It stayson the beach because its heavier than other elements found in the lava.
While swimming isnt recommended at this beach, you can hike there but do be awarethat the hike is in full sun and its quite steep to get down to the beach.Be sure you wear proper shoes, and dont take sand from the beach its illegal!
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Explore The Stunning Waipio Valley
Camera at the ready with incredible landscapes nestled in the Kohala Mountains like the Hiilawe Falls and the Akaka Falls the Waipio Valley is one of the most picturesque places on the Big Island.
Besides a few hours exploring beautiful surroundings, guided tours also offer the chance to learn about the rich history of the region, ride an ATV, or even tackle a zipline or two.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
Formed within the crater of a volcano on the island of Oahu, Hanauma Bay is a unique protected bay, which has been popular with snorkelers for a long time. After overuse caused pollution and damage to the delicate reef ecosystem, restoration efforts have restored the bay to its original splendor, and it is again open to visitors.
The Hanauma Bay Education Center is a great place to learn about the bay, and there are several snorkeling rental shops that offer lessons, so that visitors can see the breathtaking reef system and its inhabitants up-close.
At one time, feeding the tropical fish frozen peas was a touristy thing to do this practice is no longer allowed. Also, to safeguard the area for future generations, all first-time visitors are required to watch a nine-minute video on marine life, safety rules, and preservation.
Equipment rentals, including life jackets and snorkeling gear, are available at the kiosk in the park. Securing a spot in the pay parking lot can be tricky sometimes, as the 300-car lot fills up quickly in the winter. A per-person fee is charged to enter the park for those 12 years and older, although Hawaii residents get in for free.
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Visit A Famous Dole Pineapple Plantation
It goes without saying that Dole Pineapples are famous for being sweet, juicy, and a favorite snack for locals all over the archipelago. So, why not see first-hand where theyre grown?
Hot tip: combine a plantation visit with a full-day tour that way, after grabbing a tasty and refreshing snack, youll be able to see the whole island as well!
Snorkel With Sharks Oahu
One Ocean Diving offers a shark tour unlike all others, the only one in which guests snorkel without a cage, and the only one that goes to where the sharks live rather than attracting them with food, so they can be observed in a calm, natural state. This is an exhilarating experience, perhaps even life-changing, a chance to get up close with the oceans apex predators and gain new insight and understanding of these magnificent creatures. Owned and run by marine biologists and experts in shark behavior patterns, One Ocean is part of a conservation and scientific study group. There are no age requirements, but guests must be at least 4 feet tall and strong swimmers: children must be accompanied by two adults. Tours are two hours long, with about 30-45 minutes in the water. Operating out of Haleiwa, close to the river for an amazing SUP experience, surfing spots Banzai Pipeling and Waimea Bay, and famous Matsumotos shave ice .
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Watch The Sunrise At Haleakala
Rising 10,023 feet above Mauis coastal areas is the massive shield volcano HALEAKALA. This sleeping giant is enormously popular and easily accessible for visitors in fact, it has become a ritual for those staying on the island to rise before dawn, and trek to the mountaintop in the chilly darkness to watch the sun makeContinue »
Explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
One of the most popular attractions on Big Island, Hawaii, is the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This beautiful park features two active volcanoes, the Mauna Loa volcano, and the Kilauea volcano. The volcanoes both erupt quite frequently, usually at no risk to tourists.
One of the most interesting geological activities here is the spewing of lava into the ocean, creating volcanic rock. There are also lots of things to do in this vast national park. Things to do in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park include taking a scenic drive, going on an eco-tour, and following various hiking trails.
Located in Kona on the west side of Big Island is the Kona Coffee Farm or Kona Coffee Living History Farm. The attraction is the only living coffee farm in the United States.
As you explore the farm, youll learn more about coffee production, the history of coffee in Hawaii, and the famous Kona coffee. Of course, youll also get to taste some incredible fresh coffee. Visiting Kona Coffee Farm is definitely one of the best things to do in Kona on Big Island!
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Overthrow Of 1893 Republic Of Hawaii
On January 17, 1893, Queen Liliuokalani was overthrown and replaced by a provisional government composed of members of the Committee of Safety. The United States Minister to the Kingdom of Hawaii conspired with U.S. citizens to overthrow the monarchy. After the overthrow, Lawyer Sanford B. Dole, a citizen of Hawaii, became President of the Republic when the Provisional Government of Hawaii ended on July 4, 1894. Controversy ensued in the following years as the Queen tried to regain her throne. The administration of President Grover Cleveland commissioned the Blount Report, which concluded that the removal of Liliuokalani had been illegal. The U.S. government first demanded that Queen Liliuokalani be reinstated, but the Provisional Government refused.
Congress conducted an independent investigation, and on February 26, 1894, submitted the Morgan Report, which found all parties, including Minister Stevenswith the exception of the Queen”not guilty” and not responsible for the coup. Partisans on both sides of the debate questioned the accuracy and impartiality of both the Blount and Morgan reports over the events of 1893.
Learn About Marine Life At The Maui Ocean Center
While you can catch a glimpse of marine life at Maui while exploring the island, the best way to learn about all these stunning creatures is to visit the Maui Ocean Center.
Some of their exhibits include a live coral reef, a turtle lagoon filled with the famous Hawaiian green sea turtles, and a 35-foot tunnel where sharks swim freely above.
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Try One Of Hawaii’s Staple Foods Poi
Poi, made from the corm of the kalo plant was one of Hawaiis original canoe plants a variety of plants that came over with the Polynesian seafarers who settled the islands. These canoe plants were fundamental to the survival of early Hawaiians, and still today the cooked and mashed root of the plant is an important part of Hawaiian life. Poi can be an acquired taste, but visitors should definitely give this staple a try before leaving the islands. Order a side of it as part of a plate lunch, get a bowl of it served sour , or find it reinvented in a new way . If youre attending any sort of cultural event, you may also have the chance to try pounding poi yourself with a traditional pounder and board.
Discover Beautiful Waterfalls At Akaka Falls State Park
Akaka Falls State Park is found about 11 miles north of Hilo and features an amazing 442-foot waterfall, Akaka Falls. There is also a smaller 100-foot waterfall called Kahuna Falls. Along with viewing the waterfalls, you can hike various trails through the lush jungle.
Visiting Akaka Falls State Park is one of the top things to do on the Big Island, Hawaii! This experience is made even better by going on the Waipio Valley and Waterfalls Adventure. The tour will take you to Akaka Falls State Park as well as the Waipio Valley and multiple other waterfalls in the area.
One of the best activities on the Big Island is whale watching. December to May are the prime time to see these majestic sea creatures. If you want to spot some whales, going on a whale watching tour is a great option.
Youll set sail from Honokohau Marina to areas known for being home to pods of humpback whales. Your captain will also teach you some Hawaiian history and geology facts as you marvel at beautiful whales gliding through the water.
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Enjoy A Bike Ride Along The Kapaa Coastline
Hawaii never fails to surprise us. One of the coolest ways to sightsee is to rent a bike and cycle the coastal path in Kapaa. Renting a bike is not a costly thing to do in Hawaii. You will find plenty of bike rental facilities in the downtown core of Kapaa.
Then start the Kapaa Coastal Path and make your way along the coastline, cross the neighborhood, and head northbound before making a stop at Kealia Beach. Over here, you want to take it easy, get off your bike and walk the sun-kissed stretch of sand along the highway.
Go To The United States Only Zoo Inside A Rainforest
Little did you know that Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo located on theHilo side of the island is the only zoo in the United States that isactually located inside a rain forest. Youll find all sorts of animals, rangingfrom the ringrailed lemur to peacocks and other indigenous birds like theio . It also has a botanical collection including giant lillies.
The main tip you need to know about visiting this zoo is to avoid it duringschool holidays, where it can host over 2,000 visitors in a single day.The official Hilo Zoo website has moreinformation about the current opening hours and prices.
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Sunset At Hanalei Bay
Hanalei, meaning lei making or crescent bay in Hawaiian, is home to the largest bay on the North Shore of Kauai. The beauty is so awe-inspiring that its rumoured to have inspired Puff The Magic Dragon, a 1960s folk song about a mythical beast that lived by the sea and frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.
Hanalei, Honah Lee. Coincidence? Actually yes, yes it was .
If I were a magical dragon, Id definitely choose Hanalei Bay as my napping spot
Serendipitous coincidence or not, it still makes me happy to believe that the gentle rolling hillside that curves around the bay is actually a sleeping dragon that protects the peaceful town.
Plus, Hanalei Bay where youll find the best sunset in Kauai, offering the most magical viewpoint on the island.
Stroll along the lengthy Hanalei Pier armed with takeaway from one of the killer local food trucks and grab a seat to soak in the calm atmosphere and watch the sun go out in a blaze of colour.
Take An Unforgettable Hike Up The Stairway To Heaven
The stairway to heaven is one of the islands greatest attractions.
First built in 1942 by the U.S navy, it has now become one of the most famous attractions on the island.
The Stairway itself has 3,922 steps, but it is currently forbidden to hike on. Luckily, there are hiking tours from which tourists can view it from a safer location.
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Holualoa Town Big Island
Holualoa is an arts colony in the Kona mountains. Just a twenty minute drive from Kailua-Kona, this small town is surprisingly full of visual arts galleries, showcasing painting, sculpture, ceramics, and jewelry. The best known is Studio 7, featuring the art of two generations of the Morinoue family. Donkey Mill Art Center is just a little further south, offering classes and exhibits that are often free. Two galleries are located in the Historic Kona Hotel, a hot pink two-story at the entrance to Holualoa. Thespian Thursdays feature all kinds of performance art every week at Holuakoa Café.
Take A Deep Dive With Atlantis Submarines
Atlantis Submarines gives visitors the chance to see some of Hawaiis most amazing features through the portholes of a submarine. After riding a boat out to the docking station, guests descend into a submarine that then drops to the bottom of the ocean, allowing guests to see a variety of ocean life set among crystal blue waters. Sadly, the reefs of Maui and Waikiki have been decimated by tourism, so Atlantis has had to put millions of dollars into building artificial reefs by bringing in and sinking retired ships. Its a wonderful experience, dropping to the lowest points that visitors can reach, and a reminder of the importance of caring for delicate ecosystems. The reef in Kona is still in tact, a 25-acre garden of coral where marine plants and animals flourish, but is always being closely monitored to ensure its health.
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Kona Coffee Living History Farm
The Kona Coffee Living History Farm is the only living history farm in the nation that is dedicated to the history and traditions of coffee farming. Costumed interpreters can be found throughout the grounds, going about daily tasks, from food preparation to farming chores, always happy to answer questions.
You are free to explore the plantation, which still produces coffee, where you might even spot a Kona Nightingale. You can also find tours of modern Kona coffee producers, including plantation tours at Hula Daddy and roasting facility tours at Mountain Thunder Plantation.
Location: Captain Cook, Hawaii
Spend The Night On A Historic Ranch
Keep the ranch vibes going with an overnight stay in one of Puakea Ranchs four cottages. A few of them, like the Cowboy House, sleeps up to six individuals. Some were built by working plantation families during the 1920s and 1930s, and all feature ample lanai space, or a wide veranda a signature architectural feature at the time.
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What Activities Are Available In The Big Island
Welcome to the the island of Hawaii, whose things to do and big time adventures match its affectionate nickname the Big Island. This is simply the place to come be totally engulfed in nature, especially the gigantic volcanoes that make the entire state of Hawaii so famous. Not only that, but the clear blue waters of the Pacific, the breathtaking waterfalls and the greenery inside the mountains are wonders to behold.
Where to start enjoying the magnificent things to do in Hawaii? How about seeing it all with one Grand Circle tour of the whole Big Island! This way, you get a magnificent 360º birds-eye view of the main landmarks Volcanoes National Park, Kilauea Caldera, Kealakekua Bay, Kilauea Iki and the Steam Vents. To go deeper in to the verdant nature of Big Island, take the Waterfall and Rainforest Trail tour for 15 miles of exploration and even some ATV exhilaration.
For even more adrenaline and nature, check out the Historical Ocean and Kohala Ditch Trail ATV Adventure, which will have you traversing through mountain streams and youll find secluded waterfalls along the way. Or you can take your daredevil spirit to greater heights with the Akaka Falls Skyline Zipline Adventure, which will have you soaring above ravines at the home of the 250-foot Akaka Falls.