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Off the Beaten Path

3-DAY BIG ISLAND ITINERARY

Discover a hidden world within Hawaii Island (aka the Big Island). Escape the tourist crowds and immerse yourself in authentic local experiences. This unique journey will take you to lesser-known destinations and provide an unforgettable adventure. Explore the road less traveled and embark on an exciting exploration.

 
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Day 1 | waterfalls in North Kohala

8:30 am – 3:30 pm – Kohala Waterfalls
Many people don’t make it to North Kohala on Hawaii Island. We highly recommend this very unique adventure with Hawaii Forest and Trail where you can immerse yourself in stunning private waterfalls, tranquil streams, scenic coastlines, and rugged valleys. This is all on private land, so there are no crowds and well, you can’t see it any other way. Google Map

Lunch and refreshments are included, plus any gear you may need for the hike such as towels, walking sticks, and rain jackets (the water’s got to come from somewhere!). Read More…

[drive 35 mins. from Pacific 19 Hotel to the Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters, Waikoloa Queens’ Marketplace]

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3:30 pm – 5:00 pm – Rum Tasting at Kuleana Rum Shack
Kuleana Rum has a restaurant in the Queens’ Marketplace. The food is good and even if you’re not hungry yet, you can try some of the best rum coming out of Hawaii. If you want to sample more later, check out the bottle available in your in-room macrobar at Pacific 19.

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Relax for a minute and get changed before dinner. You’ve had a busy first day so far.

[drive 35 mins.from Waikoloa Queens’ Marketplace to Pacific 19 Hotel]

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Dinner at Kona Brewing Co., less than a mile from Pacific 19. Try their excellent Hawaiian pizza with real kalua pork. Or, check the P19 restaurant guide for something else that suits your fancy.

[drive 5 mins.from Pacific 19 to Kona Brewing Co.]

8:00 pm
If you’re in the mood for a cocktail, here are three good options:

1. Aloha Vibes is an upscale cocktail bar at Kona Inn
2. Da Shark Shack is an open air dive bar looking out to the water. The Mai Tai is great + they serve hot dogs
3. Cheeky Tiki Kona (right around the corner from P19). Ask for the P19 special.

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Day 2 | Hualālai Volcano

7:30 am – 12:30 pm – Explore Hualālai Volcano on the Hidden Craters Hike
Explore Hualālai Volcano on a private access, expert-guided hike with Hawaii Forest & Trail. Over the course of 3-4 miles, you’ll get to explore three types of volcano craters, old-growth forests, and an ancient lava tube all with private-access (that means no crowds) while making a ridgeline hike with 270 degree views of the island. Read More…

[drive 35 mins. from Pacific 19 Hotel to the Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters, Waikoloa Queens’ Marketplace]

BOOK EXPERIENCE NOW

 

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Waimea
Waimea is like nothing you’d expect to see on a tropical island. It’s like being dropped into Wyoming – known for the Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys), which predated the cowboys of the American West.

[drive 30 mins. from Queens’ Marketplace to Waimea]

 
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I’m sure you’re hungry by now. Check these favorites out:

Lunch at Pau Pizza. Try some freshly made pizza here. Also, in the same space, you can order excellent, fresh tacos and burritos. It sounds like a weird combo but trust us. It’s good. If you’ve got enough time (lunch ends at 2:00 pm), we highly recommend Mao Kitchen.

Shop, check out Surf Camp Waimea next door for the coolest shopping on the island. It’s excellently curated with beach and streetwear, and gear for your island adventures. Plus there’s a cool cafe inside.

Coffee, for the local’s hang, check out Waimea Coffee Co. to get a coffee before heading back to Kona. (This is also a good lunch backup on Sundays when most spots are closed in Waimea).

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4:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Take the long way home
Take the upper highway back to Kona for a different view of the island (it’s our favorite). You’ll want to make use of a few of the turn-offs on the road to snap photos of those amazing views.

[drive 1 hr. from Waimea to Pacific 19 Kona]

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Dinner
Since you may have eaten late, keep things light with a vegetarian option at Journey to Good Health Cafe. It’s a short walk from the hotel and open until 8:00 pm daily. Or, check out our recommended restaurants here.

7:00 pm
If you end dinner early enough, catch the sunset at the Old Kona Airport Beach, about 1 mile from Pacific 19 Hotel.

 
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Day 3 | Not your average beach day at Kiholo Bay

8:00 am – 9:00 am
Put on your walking shoes, gather your snacks, and head to see the sea turtles.
We always like to kick the morning off with a coffee from Waimea Coffee Co. at Pacific 19.

Since Kiholo Bay requires some walking, keep things light, but do consider grabbing beach chairs from the front desk. Also, check out the P19 microfiber towel in the lobby store. We think it’s a pretty cool design and will keep your pack lighter than bringing a beach towel (especially when wet on the hike back). And, of course, bring lots of water!

If you’re planning to make it a full day, consider grabbing some lunch for later from the KTA Supermarket just up the street from Pacific 19.

[drive 40 mins. from Pacific 19 to Kiholo Bay]

9:00 am – 1:00 pm – Hike + beach
You can visit Kiholo’s black sand beach, a flooded lava tube, and an incredible brackish tidepool that was once an ancient fishpond.

 
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1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
If you want a fun stop-off on the way back to Kona, check out the Kona Sea Salt Farm. They have the only sea salt in the world made from pure, 900-year-old deep ocean water.

The Kona Sea Salt Farm offers tours of the facility and a Deep Ocean Cold Water Mineral Foot Soak. Each is about 30 minutes and $20. A fun addition to your afternoon and makes for some cool, non-traditional souvenirs to take back home. Plus your feet will thank you.

[drive 20 mins. from Kiholo Bay to Kona Sea Salt Farm]

 
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3:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Rejuvenate and enjoy Kona Town
Rest up in your room at Pacific 19, or take advantage of the pool. Since you haven’t spent too much time in Kona town, walk Ali’i Drive and take in the old town vibes. You can always dig your feet into the sand next door at Kamakahonu Beach, about a 2-minute walk from the hotel.

[drive 20 mins. from Kona Sea Salt Farms to Pacific 19]

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Dinner
Indulge for your last night at Magics Beach Grill overlooking Magic Sands Beach. It’s got upscale fare and good cocktails, but you’re really going there for the view. The restaurant is located right on the water and makes for an amazing sunset dinner.

[drive 10 mins. from Pacific 19 to Magics Beach Grill]

8:00 pm – Dessert + Kona people watching
End your day with something delicious from Gypsea Gelato. It’s located above the volleyball court on Ali’i Drive, which makes for great people-watching.

 
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