Hawaii is called The Big Island, and there is big fun to
be had on a family vacation to Hawaii. Here are some
not-to-be-missed Hawaiian destinations.
Waipio Valley. This state seems to have panoramic vistas
around every corner, so it can be easy to miss the
breath-taking views across Waipio Valley. Located along the
Hamakua Coast on the northeastern coast, this is the
largest of the 7 valleys on the windward side of the Kohala
Mountains. This is nature at its finest, having carved,
over time, this massive valley filled with amazing cliffs
and spectacularly beautiful waterfalls. The road down to
the valley is very steep and narrow, and driving is not
encouraged (and certainly not without 4-wheel drive), but
walking and hiking are great alternatives.
Akaka Falls State Park. Amid a setting of tropical
foliage and flowers, just a mere 20-minute drive from Hilo,
you will find the gorgeous Akaka Falls which plunges a
sheer 442 feet down black volcanic rock. As a bonus you'll
also enjoy the neighboring Kahuna Falls which tumbles about
100 feet. The falls are best viewed in the morning around 8
to 10 a.m. when the sun will hit them exactly right. If you
arrive too late or too early, you'll find the falls to be
in complete or partial shade which will make taking a great
picture (which of course you must do( difficult. For the
absolute best photographs of the falls, take your photos on
a cloudy day when no sun is directly hitting anywhere on
Kaimu Black Sand Beach. There are many other black sand
beaches in Hawaii, but Kaimu, a shimmering obsidian sand
beach, is very picturesque and is probably the most
impressive. It may also be the blackest, and if you walk
along the beach you may want to wash your feet before
getting back in your car to resume your trip. Bring your
camera of course.
Crater Rim Drive. This is an 11-mile road that circles
the edge of the Kilauea Caldera (large pit crater) in
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Scenic vistas and hiking
abound! If you are visiting this national park and can only
do one thing, choose this scenic drive and you can't go
wrong. Depending on how many times you stop, this tour can
take between one and three hours to complete. This is
definitely a drive well worth making if you have the time
in your itinerary.
Hiilawe Falls. Located along the Hamakua Coast, this is
the most famous waterfall in Waipio Valley. It is also the
tallest of all falls in the state, one of the tallest in
the entire world, and plunges over 1000 feet. This
waterfall shares the same cliff as the Hakalaoa Falls which
is currently dry. You can see this amazing spot by
helicopter, a very popular way of viewing the falls, or by
hiking or riding down (4-wheel drive) to the floor of the
valley. I would call this one of the do-not-miss spots of
your family vacation to Hawaii!
Hilo. Located on the Hilo Bay, this charming historic
city is the island's largest city and boasts beautiful
orchid gardens, quaint shops, open-air markets, parks,
museums, festivals, fairs, farmer's markets, and many more
interesting places to visit. This is known as the wettest
city in the US, and is always lush, green, and pretty.
Kamuela Museum. This family-owned museum and popular
tourist attraction looks like someone's home! It is a
privately-owned museum and contains a delightful assortment
of items collected over many years. This museum is full of
Hawaiian artifacts and is well worth a visit.
Add these interesting and scenic stops to your family's
next vacation to Hawaii and don't forget your camera for
some spectacular photo memories!
Really cheap airfare for your next family trip.