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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Get a Taste of your Big Island vacation with Big Island photos

This blog post is sponsored by Big Island Vacation

Dear Best Hawaii Vacation Blog visitors,
It's so great to see you guys coming back to our Hawaii vacation blog for getting some ideas for your next vacation on the Hawaiian Islands. For those, who even consider moving to Hawaii for good, we hope our guest article from Hawaii realtor Bill Jardine was of interest for you making your decision to buy a home or condo in Hawaii now or later.

For all those who have never been to Hawaii and plan a Hawaii vacation sooner or later, we are excited to introduce our new blog project about introducing all the Hawaiian Islands to you with a special Hawaii photo tour of the island. We had this great response to the general Hawaii photo tour. Everybody enjoyed that.

Now, Best Hawaii Vacations joined forces again with renowned Hawaii photographer Jennifer Crites from Honolulu to introduce each island with island specific photos. We hope our Hawaii Islands photo tours will help you make your decision which Hawaiian island is your favorite to visit. Let's get the show started with our Big Island vacation photos:Visit Hilo, Hawaii Big Island
Hilo is the second largest city in the State of Hawaii according to census figures, but to most visitors, it’s a charming country town fronting a pretty bay ringed with many parks. Best known of these is Liliuokalani Gardens, with its arched bridges, gazebos, statuary, bamboo grove and beautiful ponds.
Rainbow Waterfalls in Hilo
Hilo is also known for its rain, which feeds Hilo’s Wailuku River and Rainbow Falls, a popular destination just above the town off Waianuenue (‘anuenue’ is Hawaiian for ‘rainbow’) Avenue.

Akaka Waterfalls, Hilo, Hawaii Big Island
A few miles above Hilo on Highway 19, a four-mile scenic route takes you to Onomea Bay and lush Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens, where walking paths lead you past waterfalls, an orchid garden and a cornucopia of tropical plants.

Nearby you’ll also find Akaka Falls State Park. Traversing the wooden walkways is half the fun, but when you reach Akaka Falls, you’ll be mesmerized watching the 442-foot waterfall cascade into a rainforest pool of mist and mystery.

Parker Ranch, Waimea, Big islandFollowing Highway 19 inland will take you to the cowboy town of Waimea where horses and cows graze on green pastures carpeting gently rolling hillsides, rodeos are common, and the Parker Ranch Shopping Center sports Stop signs that say ‘Whoa.’

On the dryer side of Hawaii’s Big Island, where famous King Kamehameha was born and spent much of his time, are two heiau, or temples, made notable by this powerful man. Puukohola (meaning Hill of the Whale) at Kawaihae was built by Kamehameha. He was told that if he built this human-sacrificial temple in honor of his war god Ku, he would be victorious over all the Hawaiian Islands. A promise that proved true.

Heading north, you’ll have to search to find the road that leads to Mookini Heiau, another temple important to Kamehameha the Great. Unless you’re in a four-wheel-drive vehicle, when you reach the end of the road at the ocean, you’ll need to make a 3-mile roundtrip walk to the temple.
North Kohala, Pololu Valley, Hawaii Big IslandThe Big Island’s most northern point is Pololu Valley where the road ends. Most visitors just enjoy the view from the lookout, but it is possible to walk down the steep trail to the valley floor.

Mauna Lani Beach Resort, Kohala Coast, Big IslandMany visitors spend a great deal of their vacation at one of the luxurious resorts along the sunny Kona and Kohala Coast of the Big Island. And why not. These resorts offer every comfort and a host of activities. There are wide golden-sand beaches like the one at the Mauna Lani Resort.
Waikoloa Beach Resort, Hilton Waikoloa Wedding, Kohala Coast, Hawaii Big Island
The Hilton Waikoloa offers an inviting swimming and boating lagoon capped off with a stunning waterfall. You can even walk under the waterfall to, say, have your wedding photo taken.

Waikoloa Beach Resort, A-Bay BeachOn the beach side of the Marriott Resort, there are trails laced with ancient Hawaiian artifacts and a once-royal Hawaiian fishpond fringed with stately palm trees. It’s the perfect place to photograph one of the Big Island’s stunning sunsets.
Kona Coffee, Kailua Kona Coffee Farm,Big IslandIn South Kona, on narrow winding roads, you’ll pass through the region known for producing delicious Kona coffee. There are a number of coffee farms here. Most offer tours and coffee tasting, so enjoy.
Punaluu Black Sand Beach, East Coast, Hawaii Big IslandHeading further south, as trees get shorter and the road passes through fields of lava, you’ll know you’re in Volcano Country. Punaluu black sand beach was formed from lava that reached the ocean, cooled and then broke into tiny fragments over the years. It’s the most accessible of all of Hawaii’s black sand beaches, and if you’re lucky, you’ll see Hawaiian green sea turtles frolicking in the waves just offshore. It’s also a great place to cool off on a warm Hawaiian day.
Puna Tidepools, Big Island
Rather than cooling off, if you’d like to take a dip in a fresh-mixed-with-saltwater pool that has been heated by volcanic activity, head for Ahalanui, a very popular thermal pool in Puna, on the Big Island’s South shore.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Most visitors to the Big Island look forward to seeing the world’s only drive-by volcano at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park is full of many interesting activities including a volcano museum, sulfur pits, lava watching (if the park guards say it’s safe), the Thurston Lava Tube, and Kilauea Caldera, where some people leave flowers wrapped in ti leaves as offerings to the fiery volcano goddess Madame Pele.

Devastation Trail, Hiking Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big IslandDon’t miss a walk on Devastation Trail where, even though plants are growing back around the edges, the desolate area testifies to the power of an immense volcanic lava flow.

Hope the Big Island photos by Hawaii photographer Jennifer Crites awakened your interest in a Big Island vacation. If you have any questions, we are here to answer. Please, stay tuned for our upcoming photos for your vacation on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Molokai.

A hui hou. Pua Best Hawaii Vacations

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