Beaches in the Big Island’s Captain Cook area are all excellent for various water sports, including rental kayaking, and two have great amenities for a full day at the beach with a packed picnic lunch.
When along came baby for author and Hawaii travel expert Bree Kessler, so too did a deeper understanding about what makes for a fun, stress-free outing for everyone. Here’s what she’s learned about beach-going, hiking, dining out, and where to stay on the Big Island with kids in tow.
The Wailoa River State Recreation Area, a huge area encompassing a spring-fed lagoon, is used by locals for picnics, pleasure walks, informal get-togethers, fishing, and launching boats. For visitors, the Wailoa Center is also an excellent cultural stop, with historical and local artist exhibitions.
Kona’s beaches south of the airport are a motley crew. Worth a visit if you’re in the area looking for sand, you’ll find plenty of picnic areas and one or two spots to get in the water for snorkeling, swimming, or boarding. Here are directions, the best activities for each beach, and amenities.
All the ins and outs of canoeing and kayaking in Kona, from budget rentals at Kealakekua Bay to recommended outfitters in the area and the tours they offer, to the permits necessary to land at the Captain Cook Monument.
Looking to learn more about the lives of ancient Hawaiians? Well, look no further. Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park on the Big Island houses fishponds that highlight the engineering skills of ancient Hawaiians.
There is little in the way of organized recreation along the north coast of the Big Island, but what there is can be adrenaline-fueled excitement. Try an ATV or helicopter tour, or for a real wind-through-your-hair experience, a zipline adventure.
It’s not so easy to move heavy or big items across the ocean. While this makes Hawaii a thrift-store and vintage paradise, dealing with waste on an island is a continuous challenge. Some locals tackle the problem creatively, such as reusing old or broken bicycles to build new custom models.