We went to the Big Island in Hawaii in February of this year. I know, I know… I’m very behind in posting a recap! We planned the trip so we could attend a destination wedding, but it turned into a nearly three week trip of awesomeness. One we landed on the Big Island, we headed over to Hilo where we’d be for a week. Here are some of my favorite moments from that part of the trip.
Liliuokalani Park and Gardens
Liliuokalani Park and Gardens are beautiful! They are located in Hilo and are a fun spot to wander for a couple hours. It’s completely flat and well-maintained so you can wear flip flops and stroll.
Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden is a nonprofit botanical garden and nature preserve. It’s located north of Hilo. The paths are paved within the garden, but there are very steep portions and I highly recommend tennis shoes instead of flip flops. There are also mosquitoes aplenty – so load up on that bug spray!
I loved the botanical gardens and we could have easily spent a whole day there. I think we spent about 4 hours besides the driving time.
Volcano National Park
We spent two partial days exploring Volcano National Park and enjoying all that it has to offer. The views of the volcano were fun, the hikes were nice and the Volcano Restaurant was incredible! If you have the time, make reservations for Volcano Restaurant. The food was great and the views can be stellar. Make your reservation for sunset – you’ll see the crater start to glow. Unfortunately for us, it fogged over as soon as we sat down! That can happen from time to time.
At night you can actually see the red glow emanating from the crater!
We were able to get in touch with some local Baha’is and were invited for dinner and devotions in Hilo. It was great to meet some other Baha’is from another part of the globe and found out that some of them actually have family in Seattle! What a small world.
Green Sand Beach
We drove to the south tip of the island and hiked to Green Sand Beach on our last day in Hilo. It was by far one of three stand out moments of the trip. (The other two being the wedding and our manta ray experience – see next week’s post.)
To get to Green Sand Beach, you drive to the south tip of the island and park your car. You then either hire a jeep to take you out or you hike the three miles. We opted to hike! We did catch a ride back at the end.
Here is our first view of Green Sand Beach in a beautiful cove! The water looks so majestic and the sand has olive undertones. (See below for the close-up of the sand!)
We drove to the southern most tip of the island after that, which happens to be the southern most point in all of the United States. With a flair of creativity, it’s name is South Point.
Check in next week for part two of our Hawaii 2016 recap!